|Venue: Ikon Park, Carlton.|
|Date: Thursday 25th February, 2021 (11.00 am).|
|Result: Won by 21 points.|
|Crowd: Nil due to Covid restrictions.|
|Goalkickers: P. Dow 2, Z. Fisher 2, H. McKay 2, M. Pittonet 2, P. Cripps, D. Cuningham, J. Martin, M. Murphy, J. Newnes, Z. Williams 1.|
|Injuries: H. McKay (ankle)|
The Carlton squad:
1. Jack Silvagni, 2. Paddy Dow, 3. Marc Murphy, 4. Lochie O’Brien, 5. Sam Petrevski-Seton, 6. Zac Williams, 8. Lachie Fogarty, 9. Patrick Cripps, 10. Harry McKay, 13. Liam Stocker, 14. Liam Jones, 15. Sam Docherty, 18. Sam Walsh, 20. Lachie Plowman, 21. Jack Martin, 23. Jacob Weitering, 25. Zac Fisher, 27. Marc Pittonet, 28. David Cuningham, 31. Tom Williamson, 32. Jack Newnes, 35. Ed Curnow, 40. Michael Gibbons, 42. Adam Saad, 43. Will Setterfield, Oscar McDonald, Callum Moore.
Oscar McDonald and Callum Moore are train-on players.
Lachie Fogarty, Oscar McDonald, Adam Saad, Zac Williams.
Carlton's first dress rehearsal for the 2021 AFL season ended with a 21-point victory over Essendon at Ikon Park. With a number of key names featuring for both sides, there were plenty of positives to take for the Blues: not least a damaging third quarter which effectively put the result to bed.
Q1: It was a goal-for-goal start at Ikon Park, with Jack Martin getting Carlton’s first of the day from a free kick. Harry McKay and Paddy Dow also hit the scoreboard with accurate set shots, while Liam Jones held down the fort brilliantly deep in defence. Patrick Cripps was the Blues’ main outlet at the centre bounce, partnered with Sam Walsh and new recruit Zac Williams as the starting on-ball combination.
Q2: It was a hot start from Carlton early in the second term, kicking the opening three goals of the term on the back of some quick ball movement going forward. It was the smalls who got to work in attack, with David Cuningham and Zac Fisher both hitting the scoreboard while Marc Murphy was directly involved in two of the Blues’ three goals. A late flurry from Essendon saw the margin pegged back to three points, while Carlton’s coaching staff continued to throw the magnets around with Sam Petrevski-Seton spending some time up the ground while Will Setterfield spent time as an inside and outside midfielder.
Q3: The Blues broke the game wide open in the third term. After Essendon momentarily took the lead, Carlton piled on six straight goals at the Legends Stand end, with an Adam Saad assist for Patrick Cripps arguably the pick of the bunch. Dow continued to have an impact as a genuine inside midfielder and kicking multiple goals up forward, while Zac Williams kicked his first goal in the Navy Blue. Sam Docherty and Petrevski-Seton got their rebound going across half back as the Blues restricted their opponents to just two goals for the term.
Q4: There were plenty of tired legs throughout the last term at Ikon Park, with the game all but over on the scoreboard as the Blues took a five-goal lead into the final change. Marc Pittonet continued having an impact as a sole ruckman as well as up forward, kicking his second goal of the game after a towering mark in attack. The run of Ed Curnow, Fisher (two goals) and Adam Saad didn’t waiver throughout the afternoon, with Carlton running out as 21-point victors.
Three things from the game:
1. The main positive to take out of the day was clearly the form of Paddy Dow from a Carlton standpoint. The 21-year-old was involved in everything throughout the four quarters at Ikon Park, using his explosive power to emerge out of congestion after winning the contested ball. Arguably the most promising thing about Dow’s performance was his scoreboard impact, finishing the day with multiple goals.
2. When Carlton’s smalls get to work, they’re an exciting team to watch and a difficult one to stop. The Blues spread the load today with a number of players rotating through the forward line at the feet of Harry McKay and Jack Silvagni. While Zac Fisher kicked two goals, the likes of David Cuningham, Marc Murphy and Michael Gibbons late in the game enjoyed the space and made the most of it.
3. While last year it may have been a consistent centre-square combination for the Blues, it looks like David Teague’s side will have plenty of numbers rolling through it in 2021. It was a starting trio of Cripps, Walsh and Williams at the feet of Marc Pittonet, but it wasn’t uncommon to see Ed Curnow, Dow, Jack Martin and Will Setterfield - among others - spend time at the coalface.
Carlton spreads the load in practice match.
Arguably the biggest positive to take from Carlton’s performance yesterday was its wealth of contributors. While there’s still a lot to work on from a Navy Blue perspective - after all, it is only February - it was a well-rounded performance from Carlton in its 21-point triumph over Essendon. Whether it was around the ground, in the middle or hitting the scoreboard, there wasn’t a Blue who wasn’t involved in the opening AFL practice match of the campaign. Let’s start with around the ground. Across the four quarters, it was wingman Will Setterfield who had more disposals than anyone in a Navy Blue guernsey, finishing with 24 disposals. But he absolutely wasn’t alone.
Of the 23 players who featured over the course of four quarters yesterday, 14 players finished with 15 disposals or more. It was a promising start from the David Teague-led side from that standpoint, given the Senior Coach has so often spoken about spreading the load since being in the role over the last 18 months. In the middle, the story was much the same as the above — yet it was arguably the most tangible difference from the 2020 season. Yes, pre-season is the time of the year to throw the magnets around and see what sticks. But Carlton’s willingness to push more numbers through at the centre bounce was evident. When it came to midfielders alone, nine different Blues rotated through the centre square at the feet of Marc Pittonet. The most Carlton had in any single home-and-away game last year was seven, in the final match of the season against Brisbane. While Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Zac Williams was the go-to trio at the beginning of every quarter, Paddy Dow, Ed Curnow and Jack Martin spent extended time at the coalface, while the likes of David Cuningham, Lachie Fogarty and Marc Murphy all had brief stints.
With fewer rotations in 2021, expect to see more of the same this season as the Blues send some of their prime ball-winners up forward to 'have a rest' (read: hit the scoreboard). Cripps, Dow and Williams both recorded majors in their numerous stints up forward, as Carlton once again adopted a strength-in-numbers approach to making an impact in front of goal. No individual Blue kicked more than two goals while the team itself had 10 individual goalkickers overall. It’s clear to see that a key mantra for the Blues in 2021 is getting the job done, both individually and collectively. It was a promising first dress rehearsal on Thursday afternoon at Ikon Park, and something for David Teague’s side to build on. - Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.
Best: P. Dow, A. Saad, P. Cripps, L. Jones, M. Pittonet, Z. Fisher, S. Walsh.
|Venue: Marvel Stadium.|
|Date: Thursday 4th March, 2021 (7.10 pm).|
|Result: Lost by 26 points.|
|Goalkickers: J. Silvagni 3.1, Z. Fisher 2.3, Z. Williams 2.2, M. Pittonet 2.0, M. Murphy 2.0, O. McDonald 2.0, D. Cuningham 1.0, A. Saad 1.0, L. Fogarty 0.1, J. Newnes 0.1, Rushed 0.1.|
|Reports: Zac Williams was charged with rough conduct by the Match Review Officer. The MRO has graded the incident as careless, medium impact and high contact, resulting in a one-game suspension being offered with an early plea.|
|Injuries: H. McKay (rolled ankle), J. Newnes (rolled ankle), J. Weitering (knock to the hip)|
Carlton's final dress rehearsal before its 2021 AFL season opener has ended in a high-scoring affair against St Kilda. Drawing within a kick in the final term, a late flurry from the Saints saw the Blues fall by 26 points in an end-to-end contest at Marvel Stadium. The Blues will be buoyed by the performances of Zac Fisher, Jack Silvagni and recruit Zac Williams as all eyes now turn towards Round 1.
It was a fast start from the Saints, whose fast work in the middle yielded two early goals. Strong marking from Liam Jones gave the Blues their first forward 50 foray, while Sam Docherty and Adam Saad were busy in the defensive half. The youngsters went straight to work, with Carlton’s first goal coming from the boot of Zac Fisher, while Sam Walsh’s work rate through the middle was strong. St Kilda’s pace from the centre bounces hurt Carlton on the scoreboard, along with their accurate kicking in front of goal. New recruit Zac Williams gave Blues fans a glimpse of ability as an inside midfielder, snapping a goal from a forward stoppage, with Marc Pittonet following suit shortly after. The Blues had a fair bit of possession in their forward half but struggled to peg back a three-goal Saints lead throughout the first term.
The Blues' defence were under pressure early with Docherty, Jones and Jacob Weitering doing their best to hold the Saints out and rebound from defensive 50. Train-on player Oscar McDonald slotted his second for the game after a handy assist from Jack Silvagni as the Blues looked to shift some momentum back their way. St Kilda’s run and carry in transition was too fast for Carlton, with the Saints' speed and ball movement isolating the Blues' defenders. Will Setterfield was important in transitioning the ball from defence to offence on the wing, while Sam Petrevski-Seton provided pace and pressure across half-back. Veteran Marc Murphy was a shining light for the Blues down forward, setting up a goal for Silvagni and kicking one of his own, but turnovers in the forward half cost the Blues a few scoring opportunities.
The Blues had the possession early, with Silvagni setting up opportunities in the forward half as well as slotting a handy goal. Walsh’s decision-making helped move the ball down the field but kicking inaccuracy saw scoring shots go begging. The Saints' forward delivery was clean and precise, putting the pressure on the Blues' defensive group. Paddy Dow played his role well through the centre, best demonstrated in his clearance assist for Saad who slammed one home from outside 50. Fisher had plenty of highlights in this quarter, with his sidestep and fast pace making him a difficult target to catch. Carlton played the back-end of the quarter in their half, but weren’t able to make any damaging impact on the scoreboard heading into the last term.
The Blues buckled down in the defensive half trying to keep the Saints from running away with the game. Jones was a strong force in contested situations while Saad's work rate was tireless, chasing down the opposition's forwards at any chance he could get. The former Bomber turned provider for Murphy's second, setting up a string of three consecutive goals for the Blues to draw within a kick. Jack Silvagni was Carlton's most dominant forward on the night, taking an impressive pack mark and finishing with three goals, while David Cuningham injected some life with a classy running goal. However, it was the Saints who ultimately ran away with it, kicking three straight goals of their own to finish with a 26-point win.
Three things from the game:
1. The Blues new-look forward line has some kick to it. Whether they were kicking goals themselves or dishing it off to teammates, the likes of Zac Fisher, Marc Murphy and Jack Silvagni were all crucial in Carlton making an impact on the scoreboard in kicking multiple goals. Silvagni was Carlton's main attacking outlet with three goals (eight score involvements), while Fisher (two goals, eight score involvements) and Murphy (two goals, seven score involvements) both providing some spark among the forward mix.
2. Carlton's pace in attack was a clear feature on the night, even though the Blues couldn't quite convert it to as many scoring opportunities as they would have liked. Whether it was a prolific Walsh, a combative Williams or a clean Dow on the inside or outside of the contest, the Blues were able to turn a stationary ball into offence quickly on a night where the ball bounced from end to end at Marvel Stadium.
3. Having spent his pre-season working on his forward craft, the proof was there for all to see when it came to Marc Pittonet's performance on Thursday night. The solo ruckman had a stand-out game for the Blues, hitting the scoreboard with two goals for the second straight practice match while also having more clearances than any other Blue.
Best: Z. Fisher, Z. Williams, J. Silvagni, M. Pittonet, L. Jones, M. Murphy.
|B:||20 Lachie Plowman||14 Liam Jones||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton|
|HB:||15 Sam Docherty (c)||23 Jacob Weitering||42 Adam Saad|
|C:||32 Jack Newnes||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||43 Will Setterfield|
|HF:||3 Marc Murphy||10 Harry McKay||21 Jack Martin|
|F:||25 Zac Fisher||1 Jack Silvagni||8 Lachie Fogarty|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||35 Ed Curnow||6 Zac Williams|
|Interchange:||2 Paddy Dow||4 Lochie O'Brien||18 Sam Walsh|
|28 David Cuningham||31 Tom Williamson||39 Oscar McDonald|
|40 Michael Gibbons||45 Callum Moore|
|Emergencies:||7 Matthew Kennedy||13 Liam Stocker||26 Luke Parks|
|44 Matt Owies|
Season 2021 | Round 1, 2021 | Pre-Season or Night Series Games