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Round 4, 2012         What the....? Carlton jumped by a professional Essendon outfit despite great early season form. They were too fast and too organised at the MCG, something didn't seem right........

Round 4, 2012

Carlton 4.4 28 4.7 31 5.12 42 11.13 79
Essendon 3.6 24 8.11 59 12.17 89 15.19 109
Venue: MCG
Date: April, 21, 2012 Saturday Afternoon
Result: Lost by 30 points
Crowd: 73,172
Goalkickers: E. Betts 4, M. Robinson, J. Garlett, M. Murphy, B. McLean, B. Gibbs, C. Judd, S. Hampson 1.
Reports:
Umpires: M. Leppard, D. Margetts, B. Rosebury
Injuries: Carrazzo (shoulder), Laidler (knee), Yarran (toe)
Ladder: 4th


Game Review

Two of the big four in Melbourne matched against each other, both undefeated after three rounds. The promoters couldn't ask for much more. The Blues, having had one of their best wins in recent memory, were riding high on confidence not seen for many years. The Bombers having fallen over the line in a couple of their victories and with more soft tissues injuries than the Kleenex Factory were one of the least favoured undefeated teams I can remember seeing. A healthy crowd was expected and 73,000 fans delivered on those expectations. Now all they needed was a game appropriate for such billing.

A comfortable victory over arch enemy Collingwood meant there was little for the match committee to tinker with at selection given a very solid effort all over the ground. Dennis Armfield was the sole change to the team poised to meet the Bombers. Armfield had wrenched his knee in a collision during round three, but despite soldiering on manfully to finish out the game his knee didn't recover as required and Brock McLean got a chance after three excellent performances in the VFL.

04_essendon-2012.jpg
Illustration: http://www.samcrook.com
With a gloomy light cast over proceedings at the MCG at the commencement, it wasn't long before things had turned to doom on the injury front for Carlton. In the opening minute Jeremy Laidler (he of the hideous pre-season dislocated kneecap) seemed to have hurt his poor old knee once again. Down into the rooms he went. Not more than two minutes later Andrew Carazzo followed Laidler's lead into the bowels of the MCG clearly in plenty of pain. His shoulder blade had been cracked in a punishing tackle (of questionable legality) and sadly his day was done. By this stage Laidler had resurfaced from the rooms jabbed up and hobbling around but still standing and battling on. It was an ominous sign. The Bombers got away clearly the better of the two sides. Higher intensity, harder tackles, more speed, more intent all of which lead to the first goal. The Blues responded with a nice end-to-end goal involving lovely long kicks from Michael Jamison and Kade Simpson with a strong Matthew Kreuzer mark and dish in between before Mitch Robinson finished it off with a nice snap. Essendon quickly regained the lead after exposing the Blues over the top of the zone before Carlton got on top for one of the few periods in the match. Three goals came whilst the Blues made hay, first to Jeff Garlett with a well worked snap off the outside of the boot, then came the dodge and weave of Marc Murphy on the left followed by a solid set-shot from Carlton's dominant forward of the first month Eddie Betts. The Bombers kept hanging in there responding late in the quarter to narrow the Carlton lead to a mere four points by the close.

Any ascendency the Blues held disappeared almost instantly upon resumption. An Essendon goal inside two minutes restored their lead and goals would flow steadily to their end throughout the quarter. The Blues had limited opportunities during the term and though Jarrad Waite had been presenting well and marking strongly he was unable to finish when it counted. Same could be said for Simpson who missed a trademark shot on the run from distance which on another day he would have gobbled up. Five unanswered goals from Essendon and a measly three behinds for the Blues spelled a 28 point deficit that would take some turning around.

There was cause for optimism when Betts finally ended the goal drought shortly after half-time goaling from what appeared to be a fortunate free-kick. Sadly that was where it ended. The scorers barely troubled at the Carlton end thereafter but for the odd behind which came from generally wasteful usage. The Bombers seemed more lively over the ground perhaps emphasising the lack of Carlton run after the early injuries to Carrazzo, Laidler and Ed Curnow, the latter two still on field but hobbling noticeably. Essendon added a wasteful 4.6 for the term, perhaps keeping slim hopes alive for the Blues with their inaccuracy, but by the final change held a comfortable 47 point lead.

With the heat appearing to be out of the game the Blues finally got something positive going. An early goal to Betts after a lovely piece of crumbing from a Simpson bomb came with a quick retort from the Bombers, but the Blues battled on. Goals to McLean, Bryce Gibbs, another crumbing effort from Betts (his fourth) and then Chris Judd had reduced the margin to four goals with about eight minutes to play. The patient still had a heartbeat albeit faint. But just as Judd had kept the Blue's hopes alive the Bombers snuffed them out with an instant reply from the next bounce. A late one to either side to finish it out saw the Bombers run out victors by 30 points somewhat flattering the Blues. A reality check for Carlton with a long trip west to meet Freo next task on the list.

Subs: Brock McLean replaced Andrew Carrazzo early in the first quarter

Team


B: 40 Michael Jamison 23 Lachlan Henderson 34 Nick Duigan
HB:42 Zac Tuohy 15 Jeremy Laidler 13 Chris Yarran
C: 3 Marc Murphy 5 Chris Judd (C) 6 Kade Simpson
HF: 38 Jeffery Garlett 30 Jarrad Waite 9 Kane Lucas
F: 19 Eddie Betts 22 Shaun Hampson 12 Mitch Robinson
Ruck:8 Matthew Kreuzer 4 Bryce Gibbs 44 Andrew Carrazzo
Interchange:18 Paul Bower 29 Heath Scotland 35 Ed Curnow
Substitute: 14 Brock McLean
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 2 Jordan Russell, 16 Andrew Collins, 32 Bret Thornton


Milestones

Interesting Fact: This was the 2,500th VFL/AFL match at the MCG.

Brownlow Votes

3. Brent Stanton, Essendon
2. Jobe Watson, Essendon
1. Stewart Crameri, Essendon

Best & Fairest Votes

Jarrad Waite 34, Kade Simpson 30, Marc Murphy 29, Heath Scotland 26, Eddie Betts 15, Lachie Henderson 13

Ladder


Pos Team Plyd Win Loss Draw For Agst % U/D Strk Pts
1 West Coast 4 4 0 0 503 260 193.46 +0 W 4 16
2 Sydney 4 4 0 0 412 278 148.20 +1 W 4 16
3 Essendon 4 4 0 0 429 355 120.85 +1 W 4 16
4 Carlton 4 3 1 0 480 315 152.38 -2 L 1 12
5 Adelaide 4 3 1 0 399 322 123.91 +3 W 1 12
6 Fremantle 4 3 1 0 342 309 110.68 +3 W 2 12
7 St Kilda 4 2 2 0 406 268 151.49 -2 Lt 1 8
8 North Melbourne 4 2 2 0 493 385 128.05 -2 L 1 8
9 Hawthorn 4 2 2 0 413 342 120.76 -2 L 1 8
10 Geelong 4 2 2 0 382 391 97.70 +1 W 1 8
11 Brisbane 4 2 2 0 328 342 95.91 +3 W 1 8
12 Collingwood 4 2 2 0 359 396 90.66 +1 W 1 8
13 Richmond 4 1 3 0 343 359 95.54 -3 L 1 4
14 Port Adelaide 4 1 3 0 331 398 83.17 -2 L 3 4
15 Western Bulldogs 4 1 3 0 191 321 71.91 +0 L 3 0
16 Melbourne 4 0 4 0 210 418 54.74 +1 L 4 0
17 Gold Coast 4 0 4 0 249 492 50.61 -1 L 4 0
18 GWS Giants 4 0 4 0 210 529 39.70 +0 L 4 0
Game
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Agst Rich Bris Coll
Ess
Frem Gws St.Kilda Adel Melb Port Geel
W.Cst
Carl
125
154
122
79
               
Opp
81
63
62
109
               
Ladder
4
2
2
4
               
% 154.3 193.7 194.6 152.3                
Game
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
 
Agst BYE Haw Coll N.Melb W.Bull Rich Sydney Bris Ess G.Cst St.Kilda  
Ladder                        
%                        



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