|Venue: Optus Stadium, Perth.|
|Date: Saturday 23rd April, 2022 (7.40 pm).|
|Result: Lost by 35 points.|
|Goalkickers: P. Cripps 3.1, C. Curnow 2.1, H. McKay 1.1, J. Martin 1.1, M. Owies 1.0, L. Young 1.0, T. De Koning 0.1, S. Walsh 0.1, Rushed 0.2.|
|Umpires: Brendan Hosking, Michael Pell, Matt Stevic.|
|Injuries: M. Pittonet (knee), H. McKay (knee).|
Dockers down Blues as both sides lose key tallsFremantle has strengthened its position high on the ladder with a strong win against Carlton - By Ben Somerford.
Fremantle might just be the real deal in 2022 after improving to a 5-1 record with an impressive 35-point win over Carlton at Optus Stadium on Saturday night. The Dockers burst clear with five consecutive goals in the second quarter and never looked back, led by Lachie Schultz and Rory Lobb with three majors each as they won 14.13.97 to 9.8.62. Fremantle's speedy small forwards did plenty of the damage, with Schultz's three along with two each from Sam Switkowski and Michael Walters. Matt Taberner, who kicked seven last round against Essendon, was kept to one showcasing the side's array of attacking weapons. Andy Brayshaw and Will Brodie had 27 and 26 possessions respectively in a tough midfield battle against the tireless Sam Walsh (36 disposals), Patrick Cripps (31) and Adam Cerra (32), coming up against his former club for the first time. Carlton won the disposal count (380-357) but lost the inside 50s (56-38).
Alex Pearce blanketed reigning Coleman medalist Harry McKay, who was kept to one goal from just three disposals and battled a knee issue throughout. Cripps showed no signs of the hamstring injury that kept him out of round five, gathering a game-high 18 contested possessions along with three goals for Carlton, who slip to a 4-2 record. The Blues weren't helped by an early knee injury to ruckman Marc Pittonet, with Sean Darcy and Lobb dominating the hit-outs 49-20 against makeshift Tom De Koning. Carlton's third-quarter struggles continued again yet they rallied in the last, dominating the centre clearances after Darcy was subbed out with concussion, but Fremantle repelled their best efforts to finish strong. The Dockers had trailed by four points at the first break but pulled away with a six-goals-to-two second quarter, including five in a row after McKay converted a soft free-kick early in the term. Schultz and Walters both kicked two each, the latter slotting a fine dribbling shot from 25m on an angle, as the Dockers opened up a 19-point half-time buffer. Fremantle led by five goals after two more from Lobb early in the third quarter, while Cripps kept them alive with two of his own. Carlton closed within 21 points in the final term after another Cripps goal was followed by Lewis Young's major, but Zac Williams' turnover allowed Switkowski – who kicked two in the fourth quarter - to ice the game for the home side.
Cerra cops the boos
Adam Cerra tested the endurance of the boo-boys' vocals throughout the evening, collecting plenty of footy on his return to Perth after leaving Fremantle in the off-season having played 76 games for the Dockers, who drafted him with pick five in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. Cerra, who started alongside close friend Caleb Serong in the middle, had 13 kicks and 19 handballs for the game, greeted with boos from the Freo faithful on almost every occasion.
Carlton's sluggish third quarters
Carlton's poor third terms have plagued them all season and the issue reared its head again, the Blues managing only 2.2 against Fremantle’s 4.3 in the premiership quarter, after trailing by 19 points at the long break. That was actually Carlton’s second best third quarter of the season, bettered only by 2.3 against Richmond in round one. The Blues managed only one goal in the third term of their past three games, so this was a slight improvement with both majors coming from captain Cripps, but with a 32-point deficit, the game was basically lost.
Carlton will be praying for good news surrounding Pittonet’s knee.
Carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet’s knee injury against Fremantle couldn’t have come at a worst time. The former Hawk was proving to be one of the competition’s breakout players across the opening five rounds, hitting to advantage more than any other ruck in the competition. As Carlton’s gameplan centres around clearance work, Pittonet’s loss could be a devastating one as rumours floated that the injury could be a potential PCL tear. The typical recovery timeframe for that injury is typically around 6-9 months, while a corked knee could see him miss minimal time. With no Levi Casboult, the Blues may have to turn to Tom De Koning if Pittonet misses, and while he shows a lot of promise, it looks like he’ll struggle against mature bigger bodies. If in fact Pittonet doesn’t get back for an extended period, the Blues may have to rejig their gameplan away from stoppage dominance. Michael Voss will be hoping and praying the big man’s scans come back clean.
Best: P. Cripps, S. Walsh, A. Cerra, J. Weitering, G. Hewett.
Blues go down in the westCarlton fall to Fremantle by 35-points - by Rose Zarucky, Carlton Media.
It wasn't to be at Optus Stadium, as the Blues fell to a classy Dockers outfit. Losing Marc Pittonet early to a knee injury, Carlton struggled to keep up with the speedy play of Fremantle, who surged home to a 35-point win.
It was an even opening term, with both sides finding it difficult to penetrate their forward line. The Blues got the first goal on the board with a clever left-footed snap from Matt Owies. Fremantle was particularly fast through the middle, but Carlton’s backline held firm, with Jacob Weitering recording three intercepts while also launching an attack which ended in a goal for Charlie Curnow. The Blues struggled in the second half of the term, with Marc Pittonet and Harry McKay both spending extended time on the bench: however, the Dockers' inaccuracy in front of goal saw the Blues maintain a narrow lead. Returning to Optus Stadium, Adam Cerra had a physical start, recording three tackles in the first term against his old side. The Blues entered the first break with a lead, a late goal from Rory Lobb meant it was just four points.
Fremantle owned the second quarter, kicking six goals to Carlton’s two. The Blues opened the term with a goal from McKay, but didn’t kick another until Jack Martin slotted one at the 25-minute mark. Adam Saad and Zac Williams did well in the defensive half to move the ball quickly, but Fremantle was set up well behind the ball, giving Carlton limited options ahead of the play. Weitering and Lewis Young provided strong intercept efforts whilst under fire, and George Hewett battled strongly in the middle, setting up Martin’s goal and recording four score involvements in the first half. Despite their forward entries drying up, the Blues still managed to record shots on goal, heading into the half 19 points in arrears despite a dominant term from the hosts.
Despite Carlton looking for the fast start, it was Fremantle who registered the first two goals of the term. A captain's goal from Cripps looked like it could swing the momentum Carlton’s way, but Fremantle kept its foot on the pedal, winning the contested ball and tackle counts. While the Blues had more forward entries than the previous term, they couldn’t manage to find an avenue to goal outside the skipper. The Blues had the top four ball winners on the board (Walsh, Cerra, Cripps, Docherty) but the Dockers made the most of their time with ball in hand and doing the damage where it counts. The final term was a big ask for the Blues as they went in trailing by 32 points.
Cripps continued to do everything in his power to lift his side, kicking an early goal for the Blues — recording three consecutive majors for his side in the process. An impressive smother from Jordan Boyd - who was activated for Marc Pittonet at half time - proved the catalyst for defender-turned-forward Lewis Young to kick his first Carlton goal. Fremantle’s Sam Switkowski proved to be Carlton’s nemesis, initially answering Young’s goal and then Charlie Curnow’s second. While the Blues didn’t relent, they were ultimately outclassed as the Dockers ran away with a 35-point victory.
Best: P. Cripps, S. Walsh, S. Docherty, A. Cerra, J. Weitering.
|B:||33 Lewis Young||23 Jacob Weitering||26 Luke Parks|
|HB:||42 Adam Saad||6 Zac Williams||15 Sam Docherty|
|C:||43 Will Setterfield||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||46 Matthew Cottrell|
|HF :||21 Jack Martin||30 Charlie Curnow||44 Matthew Owies|
|F:||25 Zac Fisher||10 Harry McKay||12 Tom De Koning|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||18 Sam Walsh||5 Adam Cerra|
|Interchange:||19 Corey Durdin||24 Nic Newman||29 George Hewett|
|32 Jack Newnes|
|Medical Substitute:||37 Jordan Boyd|
|Emergencies:||2 Paddy Dow||3 Jesse Motlop||20 Lachie Plowman|
In: Patrick Cripps, Tom De Koning, Jordan Boyd.
Out: Jack Silvagni (ankle sprain), Matthew Kennedy (soreness), Paddy Dow (medi-sub unused).
Medi-Sub: Jordan Boyd replaced Marc Pittonet at quarter time.
Milestones50 Games (AFL): Will Setterfield
First Goal (Carlton): Lewis Young
Last Game: Luke Parks
AFLCA Votes10 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
8 - Andrew Brayshaw (FRE)
6 - Lachie Schultz (FRE)
2 - Rory Lobb (FRE)
2 - Brennan Cox (FRE)
1 - Sam Switkowski (FRE)
1 - Luke Ryan (FRE)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 5 | Round 7