Carlton accounted for fellow top 2 aspirant Essendon in this boomer of a game at the G

Round 13, 2024

Carlton 4.3 27 9.3 57 10.4 64 15.6 96
Essendon 1.5 11 3.7 25 6.13 49 9.16 70
Venue: MCG
Date: Sunday 9 June 2024 (7.20 pm).
Result: Won by 26 points.
Crowd: 88,510
Goalkickers: E. Hollands 3.0, C. Curnow 2.2, A. Cincotta 2.0, Z. Williams 2.0, L. Fogarty 1.1, C. Durdin 1.0, G. Hewett 1.0, M. McGovern 1.0, H. McKay 1.0, M. Owies 1.0, S. Walsh 0.1, N. Newman 0.1, Rushed 0.1.
Reports: Nil.
Umpires: Hayden Gavine, Simon Meredith, Robert Findlay, Jacob Mollison.
Injuries: H. McKay (shoulder).
Ladder: 2nd.

Game Review

Blues show grit in big win

Carlton has a recorded a 26-point win over the arch rival. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.

How sweet it is. Carlton has recorded a 26-point win over Essendon for its third consecutive victory, overcoming a Bomber surge in the third quarter to run away with a victory. Pouncing on the Bombers’ inaccuracy, the Blues were efficient going forward, having a bevy of options in attack in the 15.6 (96) to 9.16 (70) win. For the second straight week, Tom De Koning was a telling presence for the Blues with 23 disposals and 11 clearances, while Elijah Hollands put together his best performance in Navy Blue with three goals.

Quarter one
The battle was clear heading into the game: would it be the Blues’ contested game or the Bombers’ uncontested spread which would win out? In a heavily anticipated clash between the two arch rivals, it was Carlton who made the early jump, with Harry McKay getting the early bragging rights against brother Ben. In what was the sideshow to the main event, Carlton’s McKay won a free kick and duly converted, ensuring the Blues’ fast start was established after Mitch McGovern’s opener. The defender played a crucial role in the early going, intercepting high up the ground alongside Nic Newman as the Blues looked to put heat on the ball at all costs. Carlton’s aerial game was on song early, taking four contested marks to one, with Charlie Curnow (one goal) looming large as a focal point. Adam Saad received plenty of attention over the fence against his former side, and while Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh’s was limited to their usual standard, it mattered not, with Tom De Koning, Elijah Hollands and George Hewett all taking their turn to impact, with the Blues winning clearances 9-5. Alex Cincotta’s role was clear for the evening, running everywhere with Zach Merrett after the centre clearance and keeping the Essendon captain to just four disposals,. At a crucial juncture, the recently re-signed Lachie Fogarty stood up, skidding the ball home from long range to give the Blues a 16-point break at the first change.

Quarter two
After the Bombers hit the scoreboard early with a goal from a free kick, the Blues tidied up their defensive work and were ruthlessly efficient going forward. Playing in the third 80,000-plus crowd of his career (all coming in the last six weeks), Elijah Hollands lit up the second term, producing two opportunistic goals to give the Blues a break. In his 50th game for the football club, George Hewett was putting together a typical George Hewett performance, accumulating 12 disposals, kicking a goal himself and directly assisting two. While Carlton’s game earlier in the season saw them generating plenty of inside 50s but often unable to convert in a meaningful way, it was the opposite in the first half, generating a scoring shot from over 82 per cent of forward-50 entries. That wasn’t to say the Blues weren’t busy at the other end, with the Bombers going inside 50 on 29 occasions, but Carlton’s backline led by Jacob Weitering and Adam Saad stood up excellently. The former Bomber laid a brilliant rundown tackle to save a shot on goal, but their desperation at the contest (+8 contested possessions) was met with patience in possession, taking 16 more marks than the Dons as they looked to work their way around a stringent Bomber backline. Carlton’s commitment to the cause was demonstrated when forwards Harry McKay and Lachie Fogarty both pushed hard defensively to take intercept marks in Essendon’s attacking 50. When the first half came to an end, despite holding a narrow 12-10 lead in scoring shots, the Blues found themselves 32 points in front at the main break.

Quarter three
Similar to the start of the second term, Essendon made the early running with a goal in the opening minute, but the home side was unable to sustain its pressure for longer in the third. Crucially, the Bombers were picking their way through the Blues, who were unable to generate any meaningful ball movement as they were smothered by pressure from their arch rivals. A brief moment of respite came from the boot of Zac Williams, who produced a brilliant assist for Elijah Hollands for a career-best third goal. However, that was the only relief the Blues had from a goals perspective in the third term, as the Dons dominated territory with the Blues backs once again under pressure. After Essendon recorded five of the first six clearances of the term, Carlton began to get some territory and tidied up its method around the ball, with De Koning (seven clearances) again looming large. It was a sign of the pressure the Blues were under with defender Lachie Cowan (eight disposals) their most prolific ball winner, while Matthew Kennedy (six disposals for the term) worked back hard to support the defence. Essendon’s Nic Martin loomed as the danger man, accumulating 10 disposals and two goals for the quarter as the Bombers surged back within 15 points at the final break with a late goal.

Quarter four
The Blues were under the pump, but after last week’s final-quarter surge, all eyes were on whether they could replicate it. The term may not have been as devastating as the one which sealed victory over the Power, but for the second straight week, the work the Blues did in the opening 10 minutes sealed a big Navy Blue win. Carlton piled on four goals inside the opening 10 minutes, with Cincotta, Williams and Curnow all recording multiple goals on the night, before sub Corey Durdin got in on the act with a brilliant contested mark and goal. After being well held all night, Cripps and Walsh combined for 17 disposals and 10 contested possessions in the final term. After barely being in possession in the third term, the Blues’ maturity was on display by owning the ball, having nine players record five or more disposals in the last quarter compared to just five in the third. The Blues had some concerns late with McGovern and McKay both spending time off the ground, while the Bombers got back within 21 points, but it was Cincotta who laid the telling blow, ensuring the Blues would come away with their third straight win.

Best: T. De Koning, E.Hollands, A. Cincotta, G. Hewett, A. Saad, J. Weitering.

Blues snatch second spot with King's Birthday Eve Bomber blitz

Carlton saluted by 26 points in a Sunday night blockbuster against Essendon. - By Sarah Black at the MCG

Carlton has proven to be a step above the rising Essendon, defeating the Bombers by 26 points in a mature performance in front of a packed MCG. Essendon had its opportunities but seriously struggled with both its forward structure and conversion in front of goal, the Blues quelling a third-term Bombers uprising to secure the 15.6 (96) to 9.16 (70) victory. All the attention had been (rightly) on twins Harry and Ben McKay's first meeting in nine years, but there are two other important talls in Carlton's line-up – Charlie Curnow and Tom De Koning. Curnow couldn't be tamed in the opening half, booting truly from 55m in the first after chasing down his own footy, and then delivering another 50m bullet to Elijah Hollands for the winger's second goal.

De Koning was well-beaten in the hitout count by veteran Todd Goldstein, but his around-the-ground work helped Carlton build out a 32-point buffer at the main break, proving to be a conduit to the forward line, and he was superb all match with a game-high 11 clearances. Essendon's midfield and backline had held the tide up until a point, but the forward line was unable to make any headway whatsoever, inaccurate kicking costing them in the few opportunities they had. Jake Stringer was barely sighted for the first 40 minutes of the match, aside from a mis-directed dribbling kick which cannoned into the behind post. When the enigmatic Bomber kicked into gear with a beautiful set shot late in the second, it appeared Essendon might have turned the corner, but this Carlton side is built of sterner stuff than previous iterations, immediately responding through Matt Owies. Essendon dominated the third term, winning the 50-50 contests and controlling every facet of the game except for the scoreboard. The Bombers struggled badly with their entries into attack despite directing play, but Nic Martin (26 disposals) was an exception, kicking 2.2 off his own boot in the term while pushing into attack from the wing. It ended up being a 3.6 term for the Dons, restricting the Blues to 1.1 in the process to halve the margin in the space of one quarter. Carlton booted the first four goals of the final term to reassert its control on the game, winning quick clearances and piling pressure on Essendon. To their credit, the Bombers rallied with three of their own, but Alex Cincotta's second of the term sealed the deal. Will Setterfield – who has a history of knee injuries – was subbed off with a knee issue after slipping over in the fourth term.

Finally, the meeting of "Barry" McKay
There's a running gag that Ben and Harry McKay – having never before met at AFL level due to a series of misadventures – are in fact one person, Barry. The pair played against each other for most of the match, Harry occasionally providing some ruck relief for Carlton, while Ben stayed firmly in the backline. The first contest inside 50 between the pair saw defender Ben infringe on forward Harry, who kicked a goal – but chose to bump another Bomber in celebration. It appeared Harry's night finished early after a marking collision with Ben, but he passed his concussion test.

Can you tag Zach Merrett?
Alex Cincotta – Carlton's go-to when it comes to shutting down opposition stars – tried his very best, but the Essendon skipper was a class above over the full four quarter. Cincotta would start centre bounces at centre half-forward to give Sam Walsh and Paddy Cripps their best chance of winning the footy, then pushing up to pick up Merrett as play progressed. The Bomber was held to just three disposals in the first quarter, but rallied in the second, finishing with 21 for the match, his equal-lowest tally for the season.

Best: T. De Koning, S. Walsh, E. Hollands, P. Cripps, J. Weitering.

'Peak of his powers': Why Blues are Swans' biggest threat for flag

Matthew Lloyd discusses the Blues' premiership chances in 2024 - By Martin Smith

Carlton's improved depth and a coach "at the peak of his powers" means the Blues will be the main challengers to Sydney in 2024, according to Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd. More than halfway through the home and away season, the Swans are two wins clear at the top of the ladder (with a game in hand) while the Blues jumped to second spot after their win over Essendon on Sunday night. Lloyd says the Swans are clearly the best side in the competition, as evidenced by their win over the Blues in round 10, but Voss's team is building nicely. "Apart from being exposed for speed by Sydney at the SCG, I think they've got every aspect you'd want of a good football side," Lloyd said on AFL.com.au's Access All Areas. "I think their depth has really improved and they take away the strengths of the opposition really well. "That's where Michael Voss is coaching at the peak of his powers at the moment – what he's doing in taking away the strength of opposition teams."

A key part of Voss's strategy in recent weeks has been the use of Alex Cincotta, who has been effective in lockdown roles on star midfielders like Zak Butters and Touk Miller as well as small forwards Bobby Hill and Tom Papley. Cincotta was at it again on Sunday night, limiting Bombers skipper Zach Merrett to an equal season low of 21 disposals while kicking two crucial goals himself. Lloyd says the way Voss deployed Cincotta on Sunday night was key to Carlton's win, adding the lift from the club's lesser lights this year – which has taken the pressure off the Blues' big names – has them well placed to go at least one better in 2024. "Merrett got his first kick halfway through the first quarter and I think that was a big psychological win for Carlton," he said. "And they're doing it really well. (Cincotta) didn't start in the centre square with Zach Merrett ... they kept their centre bounce players going to work and then he got a hold of him. "It used to be (Patrick) Cripps, (Sam) Walsh, (Harry) McKay, (Charlie) Curnow, (Jacob) Weitering – they had to have big games (but) I think Carlton no longer have that reliance (on those players). "None of those guys had big games (against Essendon) ... it's (Elijah) Hollands and (Tom) De Koning, Zac Williams, Blake Acres. I think they go a lot deeper than they used to."

Voss praises mentality in rivalry win

After another test against top-four opposition, see how Michael Voss summed up the win over Essendon. - By Carlton Media
Continuing to build. Sunday night marked the sixth time in the last eight games that the Blues have played a team sitting in the top four, and it was the fourth time they've come away with a win. Few Carlton wins are sweeter than those over the arch rival, with Michael Voss lauding the mentality of his side to overcome a difficult third term and storm towards a third consecutive win. This is what he had to say.

On how he saw the game play out:
"It was territory versus efficiency. When you looked at the game itself, through the third quarter they had complete dominance. We couldn’t get the ball out of our back half, but they couldn’t score — or it was hard to score. Credit to them, they were able to pin us in a lot. We had 38 back-of-centres, which is just an extraordinary number. "Coming into the last quarter, we had 24 inside 50s. To correct it . . . it’s one thing to be under pressure, so the chance to be able to come into three-quarter time and reset and hold as best as we possibly could. For the boys to be able to come in at three-quarter time and then do what they did, it shows the belief that’s growing within this team. "The last three weeks, we’ve played against quality opposition and ran out the game really strong. To beat us, you’re got to play four quarters, and that’s something we’ve had to develop as a football team for a while. It hasn’t just arrived, it’s something we’ve had to work on for a little while."

On how things compare to this time 12 months ago:
"It probably shows how quickly things can change. Don’t take for granted where you are. We’ve hard to earn our right to get here. I look at where the season is at and our consistency. We’ve had good visibility on the competition compared to what we’ve played against. "Over the last 11 rounds, we’ve played all of the top 10, so we’ve got a really clear visibility on where we are and what we’ve got to get to work on. Clearly there are still some gaps we need to address, but you’d say in terms of things we’ve had to go to work on from early in the year to now, we’re certainly producing a lot more consistent performances."

On players stepping up with Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh's influence quelled:
"Time and time again, we’ve proven that. The change in the culture is not feeling like we have to rely on one person to get it done. We’ve talked about giving roles status within our team, and one of the real strengths amongst our leaders is asking the question of if it’s not my day today, I’ve got to make it somebody else’s. "Fortunately there’s a number of other guys that stepped up. They still held their own, they still did a good job, but others came to the fore which was pleasing to see."

On where the team sits at the midway point of the season:
"We are where we deserve, the ladder doesn’t lie. We’ve had to do it with some challenges, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. We’ve been facing these top teams week after week after week and we’ve had some challenges. With that has come opportunity. "We’ve taken it as an opportunity to try a few things and see where we can grow next. As it turns out, there’s been a couple of roles that have emerged and maybe just helped us out a little bit."

On Cincotta's role on Zach Merrett:
"He’s done a great job. He’s clearly task-focused, and you’ve seen ‘Cinc’ — he’s powerful. He’s strong over the ball and doesn’t get knocked off it. He’s powerful, he’s hard to beat. It was something we thought about as a match committee a bit over a month ago, he’s been able to take on those jobs and do them very well. "His teammates have helped him around him and helped put him where he needs to be, he’s got the confidence from the other guys to be able to get that job done and it enables our mids to get to work."

On what Elijah Hollands has brought to Carlton:
"You improve your system a couple of ways, one is obviously trying to execute it a bit better and you’re always looking for ways to make it better. The other way is to add some personnel to it. "‘Lij’ coming in, and early days through pre-season - this is going back a long way - he showed a real high level to be able to understand the game, his decision-making and thinking through roles like that. We had an enormous amount of confidence coming into the year about what he could do, and he’s been able to execute that extremely well. "Tonight, he was able to hit the scoreboard, and I think that’s another pleasing aspect: we’re getting multiple goal scorers now. It’s not just through a couple of guys. They could do that if we need them too, I’ll never stop encouraging that! But it’s nice when the ball hits the floor to have some dangerous players."

On Harry McKay coming from the ground late:
"Shoulder. We’ll assess that. He got hit in the shoulder. He was able to strap it and come back on. For me to be able to form a prognosis out of it, I don’t know: I’ll have to wait until Monday to find that out."

On the first McKay versus McKay match-up:
"It was a pretty tough one. I’m sure Tracey is sitting there going ‘thank God that’s over’. As I said, you always dreaded Mum’s phone call on Monday to make sure nothing sinister happened. They had a great contest. "We’re pleased with what Harry did and I’m sure Essendon is happy with what Ben was able to get. I’m sure they’ll face up against each other sometime soon."


B: 17 Brodie Kemp 23 Jacob Weitering 2 Lachie Cowan
HB: 42 Adam Saad 11 Mitch McGovern 24 Nic Newman
C: 4 Ollie Hollands 9 Patrick Cripps (c) 13 Blake Acres
HF: 6 Zac Williams 30 Charlie Curnow 39 Alex Cincotta
F: 20 Elijah Hollands 10 Harry McKay 44 Matt Owies
Ruck: 12 Tom De Koning 18 Sam Walsh 7 Matt Kennedy
Interchange: 37 Jordan Boyd 16 Jack Carroll 8 Lachie Fogarty
29 George Hewett
Substitute: 19 Corey Durdin
Coach: Michael Voss
Emergencies: 22 Caleb Marchbank 3 Jesse Motlop 25 Jaxon Binns

In; Corey Durdin
Out: Orazio Fantasia (shoulder)

Substitute: Corey Durdin (replaced Jack Carroll at three-quarter time)


50 Games (Carlton): George Hewett

Interesting Facts

1. It has taken 9 years but this game was the first time that the McKay twins would feature in the same game.
2. The crowd of 88,510 is the third highest home and away crowd for Carlton.
3. Elijah Hollands kicked a career high 3 goals this match.
4. Alex Cincotta kicked a career high 2 goals this match.
5. Harry McKay played in his 50th win with the Blues in his 120th game.

Free Kicks

Carlton 15
Essendon 25

Front Runners

Oliver Hollands 15.6 km
Blake Acres 14.7 km


10 - Tom De Koning (CARL)
7 - Elijah Hollands (CARL)
5 - Nic Martin (ESS)
3 - George Hewett (CARL)
2 - Alex Cincotta (CARL)
2 - Samuel Durham (ESS)
1 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)

Brownlow Votes

Best and Fairest Votes


Round 12 | Round 14
Contributors to this page: blueycarlton , Bombasheldon and molsey .
Page last modified on Wednesday 03 of July, 2024 14:32:23 AEST by blueycarlton.

Online Users

74 online users