|Date: Saturday August 29, 1981
|Result: Win by 27 points
|Umpires: Chapman & Sutcliffe
|Crowd: 64,207 Receipts; $137,101
|Goalkickers: P.Bosustow 2, W.Johnston 1, R.Ashman 1, A.Marcou 1, D.McKay 1.
|Best; B.Doull, K.Sheldon, R.Ashman, P.Bosustow, G.Southby, W.Johnston, G.Wells, M.Maclure, D.English.
Crack the champers Blues
''My advice to Carlton supporters is to start planning your premiership celebrations now. The Blues will win the 1981 flag. They are the best side in the business this season and have one of the best coaches - David Parkin. Their skill level is superb and Saturday's fighting 27 point victory over Richmond in the mud at the MCG proved that they can handle any conditions. And Carlton has the experience so necessary to suceed in a tight finals series. Players such as Southby, Doull, Austin, Wells, McKay, Ashman and Fitzpatrick are seasoned campaigners and know exactly what is required in finals matches.
None of the other finalists have the players capable of curbing Carlton's brilliant band of small men - Ashman, Buckley, Sheldon, Marcou, Glascott, Harmes, Johnston and co. The week's rest will do the Blues the world of good and they'll be raring to go in the second semi at VFL Park - a ground they relish playing on. Essendon fancies it can maintain its unbeaten run over Carlton this season if it meets the Blues in the finals. But the Bombers loss to Geelong on Saturday robbed them of the all-important double chance and probably another crack at Carlton. So order the champagne crates now Blues fans. Your team is looking really good .... premiership number 13 is on its way to Princes Park.'' - Tony Greenberg Inside Football.
Pressure's still on Parkin
''David Parkin is an experienced coach - captain of a premiership team at Hawthorn, coach of a premiership team some years later - but the pressure doesn't wane because Carlton is on top. Carlton is also experienced, a football team with players such as Southby and Doull who are the epitomy of coolness in a crisis.
Carlton is also a team that has occassionally been disappointing, the criticism often levelled usually zeroes in on the "suspect under pressure" syndrome. The Blues have been at times a looseness probably born of arrogance. Parkin has done well this season. He knew from the start that he had the talent and this probably puts more pressure on a coach than if he had no-one worthwhile, and no chance of getting a flag, (that is just plain frustrating!).
Carlton is a tight knit group, with outsiders sometimes finding it hard to fathom the way they think and separate. Its game has always been one of attack and handball, probably a leftover from Barassi's coaching days and that extraordinary "hand-ball at all costs" win against Collingwood in the 1970 Grand Final.
Defensively the Blues have been good because they have had five players actually playing in the backline. They still have! English and Hunter complement Southby and Doull extremely well. Against Richmond last Saturday, their defence was good again; the return of Perovic adding some height that has been needed over the past few weeks. The only difference now in their defensive skills under Parkin is that all are learning to defend when their opponents have possesion, particularily the forwards.
The reasons the Blues are shaping as a formidable combination is this blend of the ferocious tackling and pressure coupled with their undoubted skill. Bosustow, Maclure and Johnston seem to have gotten the message that if you can't get it yourself make sure your opponent is given no latitude to capitalise.
Once again their pressure on the Richmond backmen was obviously first-class and thsi is the reason why. The job of the Carlton backs wasmade so much easier. When you are palying in teh backline, there is nothing worse than seeing opposing half-backs, wingers and especially ruck-rovers and rovers careering down the field unopposed. Without the pressure, they have time to place their kick to a forward, create a loose man and score an easy goal by handballing over heads or simply keep bouncing the ball till they have a shot at goals. The more times this happens in a game the more confident these attacking players become, quite secure in the knowledge that they wont be tackled from behind.
Coversely, if the first time they get a break they are "crunched" or harrassed by a tough tackle, the next similar episode creates some doubts, some hesitation and often mistakes in handball or kicking will result. It doesn't even have to be a body contact that forces the error just the unseen "free" that an opponent is chasing. Such is Carlton at present! Top spot has been achieved, the road to ultimate glory is still fraught with danger because this year the opposition is also good.
Richmond in fact, could have been a danger to Carlton because of past finals tipping heavily in favor of the Tigers. Without them, there is still the improved Essendon and Fitzroy, the very tough Collingwood, perhaps down in talent, but very, very big on desire and incentive and the talented Geelong.
There is also the rest to think about. Probably in Carlton's case it is a good thing, because players such as Perovic, Klomp and Austin would welcome the extra week of training without match pressure. It is always debatable whether one should play a practice game or use the rest to lick wounds before the final onslaught to the Grand Final.
There is the danger that the Blues might think they already have it in the bag. They never lack confidence. Parkin's hardest job will be to keep the lid on false confidence and just let the quiet knowledge that they are in there with a good chance smoulder a bit.'' - Barry Richardson Inside Football
Three goals in four minutes late in the third term won Carlton a low-scoring match against Richmond and ended any chance the 1980 premiers had of reaching the finals. Ken Sheldon and Peter Bosustow were good players for the Blues while Mick Malthouse and Bryan Wood were the Tigers best. - Football Record.
|27 Des English
|20 Geoff Southby (vc)
|6 Mario Bortolotto
|9 Ken Hunter
|15 Val Perovic
|11 Bruce Doull
|34 Alex Marcou
|13 Phil Maylin
|32 David Glascott
|37 Wayne Harmes
|36 Mark Maclure
|7 Wayne Johnston
|43 David McKay
|4 Peter Bosustow
|16 Jim Buckley
|3 Mike Fitzpatrick (c)
|5 Ken Sheldon
|14 Rod Ashman
|24 Brendan Hartney
|1 Greg Wells
Round 21 | Semi Final