Judd and Simpson led the drought-breaking Blues to a 10-goal victory over the Swans at Docklands.

Round 16, 2009

Carlton3.4224.6 3010.86819.10124
Sydney3.1196.3399.5 599.963
Venue: Docklands (Etihad Stadium)
Date: Saturday, 18 July Result: Win by 61 points
Umpires: Rosebury, Schmitt, Avon Crowd: 42,018
Goalkickers: B. Fevola 5, B. Fisher 3, M. Kreuzer 2, M. Murphy 2, B. Gibbs 2, C. Judd, C. Yarran, K. Simpson, A. Carrazzo, E. Betts 1
Reports: Nil Injuries: Nil
Ladder Position: Seventh

Game Review

The sheltered confines of the Docklands Stadium seemed an unlikely place for a drought to be broken, but it was there that the 12-game losing streak against the Swans, dating back to April 2000, finally came to an emphatic close. After three quarters of arm-wrestling in the signature Sydney style, the Blues put on a powerful last quarter performance, kicking nine unanswered goals, to run out 61-point winners.

Carlton made several changes to the side that limped over the line against Richmond a week earlier with the inclusions of Heath Scotland, Chris Yarran and Paul Bower at the expense of Adam Hartlett, Jeffery Garlett and Dennis Armfield. Hartlett ended up getting a late reprieve into the final 22 when Michael Jamison was withdrawn suffering from a groin complaint.

The Blues began the opening term well, and moved out to a 14-point lead after 15 minutes, thanks to some clean finishing from Brendan Fevola, Matthew Kreuzer and Chris Judd up forward. The Swans then grabbed two late goals through youngster Jessie White to close the gap to a single kick by the quarter-time break. Sydney got on top during the second quarter as the Blues intensity waned and they were suddenly second to the ball. Another three goals to the Swans and just a single major to the Blues (a strong mark and goal to Matthew Kreuzer) saw Carlton in need of the half-time break, looking to regroup and rejuvenate.

The Swans’ lead extended to 15 points in the opening minutes of the third quarter, before the Blues clicked into gear. Chris Judd, Kade Simpson and Ryan Houlihan led the turn-around with a tonne of running, as they responded to coach Ratten’s urge to “get on your bikes”. Houlihan’s game was widely acknowledged as his best for the season, featuring some wonderful delivery inside 50, and an intensity in his defensive game that he had been criticised for lacking in the past.

The Swans were hanging on grimly when Brad Fisher streamed towards an open goal, looking certain to claim his fourth for the quarter and extend Carlton’s lead to 26 points, when his stubbed kick took a large divot from the Docklands turf, and dribbled through for a behind. The Swans accepted the lifeline, and replied with two goals in the final minute before the break, reducing Carlton’s lead to 9 points, but it proved to be a false dawn for the Bloods.

In the final quarter it seemed as though the clock had been turned back to the early eighties, as the Blues piled on goal after goal to dominate the quarter. Two majors to Bryce Gibbs book-ended the term, and Brendan Fevola snagged two more to finish with five for the match. Five other Blues joined the party, in a nine-goal to nil onslaught as Carlton dominated across each line. The final 61-point margin was not an accurate reflection of much of the game, but it did offer a glimmer of what the young Blues could produce when they played near their best. The extra percentage from the victory was handy as the season closed in on September, and the Blues aimed to improve their seventh position on the ladder.

The average age of this Carlton team was 23 years and 111 days, with an average League experience of 75.0 games per player. Heath Scotland was the oldest, at 28 years and 362 days, while Brendan Fevola was the most experienced with 180 games. Chris Yarran was the youngest, at 18 years and 211 days, playing in only his fourth senior game.


B: 32 Bret Thornton 23 Adam Hartlett 18 Paul Bower
HB: 45 Aaron Joseph 4 Bryce Gibbs 9 Chris Johnson
C: 16 Shaun Grigg 5 Chris Judd (c) 29 Heath Scotland
HF: 2 Jordan Russell 14 Brad Fisher 33 Ryan Houlihan
F: 22 Shaun Hampson 25 Brendan Fevola 19 Eddie Betts
Ruck: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 44 Andrew Carrazzo 6 Kade Simpson
Interchange: 3 Marc Murphy 13 Chris Yarran 26 Joe Anderson
47 Greg Bentley
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 28 Cameron Cloke, 40 Michael Jamison, 24 Nick Stevens

  • Adam Hartlett replaced Michael Jamison (groin) in the selected side


50 Goals: Marc Murphy - and his 51st
Losing streaks: Carlton ended Sydney's run of 12 consecutive wins over us with this smashing at Docklands. It had been over 9 years since we'd beaten them in the main season.
Interesting Fact: This was the first time we'd won 3 matches straight since 2004, some 5 years ago.

Brownlow Votes

3. Kade Simpson, Carlton
2. Ryan O'Keefe, Sydney
1. Matthew Kreuzer, Carlton

Best and Fairest Votes

41 Kade Simpson, 38 Chris Judd, 33 Brendan Fevola, 32 Matthew Kreuzer, 26 Ryan Houlihan, 24 Eddie Betts, 13 Greg Bentley, 12 Marc Murphy, 9 Brad Fisher, 8 Shaun Hampson, 4 Joe Anderson

The Ghost Article that week

Look what they've done to my team, ma

How many Bluebagger supporters at half-time on Saturday wished to flee the ground? How many wanted to head out of the Dome, race across the bridge and run screaming up Burke street, mad, angry and lost; perhaps even form a mad posse, burning scarves and searching for someone to blame?

It was the same old same old. We never looked like scoring and they just edged further and further away. Really it was only nine points at half-time but the dark years have taken their toll. We have grown to expect the tragic. I felt like standing on a table in the Victory Room and, in my worst voice, belt out 'Send In the Clowns'. My brothers and I wanted to hit the highway, take the long road home, pack up all our troubles and shuffle off down the road again.

We had had enough of these losses. And against the Swans. The Bloods! Twelve games straight – against them! Was there no end to the pain, the ignominy, the dark tunnel?

In the old days at Princes Park, standing in the social club, the Blues nine points down and playing as bad as the worst University Blues side, we would have drank happily and laughed, flushed with the sure knowledge we would come out and belt the opposing side. Pat might say. We can't play any worse, and we're still only nine points down' and Brain would say, 'don't worry, we'll win this in a canter' and we would, most times, we would. So many times that those when we didn't didn't count. That's what prosperity does, it secures you. That was the real secret to our arrogance - we'd come back so many times, including in finals and against the worst of our foes, the Magpies, the Tigers, the Don and so forth – we always thought we would win, no matter what.

We Bluebagger supporters were arrogant because history had taught us we would win more often than not. Much more often. So even at half-time when down by a few goals we would expect the lads to come out all guns firing and run away with another blazing win.

Not now though, now the arrogance has been knocked out of us. We sat in the social club, the beers cold against old hands, the blood thin with all the losses piled up in the past few years (and such losses, one hundred points here, seventy points there) the voices around us subdued, brewing with anger and disappointment, with the familiar knot in the guts and the sad little boy in his Bluebagger scarf and beanie whispering, 'not again, not again...'

I hated Ratts, wanted most of the side banished to the bullants, wished we had won some of those other close games so this game wouldn't count so much, wanted Sticks gone as President, wondered whether even the great Judd might soon be dragged down to our base level. I have been poisoned by the past few years, you see, arrogance replaced with a bleak despair that expects the worst far too often.

And then the third quarter began and then, well, then the Bluebaggers of old donned the flesh of our new players and we played as if the past twelve losses were a fantasy. By the last quarter, my head was filled with the distant sound of happy hands banging the signage at the Heatley Stand end. We were on the rampage again, the good times were back – oh come on baby let the good times roll! It may have been a long cold lonely seven or so winters but the sun was back, here comes the bluebagger sun, nine wonderful goals of sunshine and light and glory.

Gibbsey, Carrots, Yarran sublime! Fev – oh yes we were back, we were playing like the Old Dark Navies and the Swannies had no answers to the weight of run, the speed, the skill, the desire.

So I waltzed out of the new ground with the other Bluebaggers, sardines out of the can, swam across the bridge and sang the old theme song, the radio plugged in to my ears and a smile bigger than Texas across my face.

I may not be arrogant, not yet, it will take several great wins – particularly in finals to restore that certainty needed to maintain the swagger, but I felt pride again. The Bluebagger pride in a jumper like no other.

It was a great win and moves us that one step closer to our aim, to smell the sweet grass clipping scent of spring and know, know with a hummingbird buzz in the belly and nightingale song in the heart, that the Blues are back, back playing finals again.

We are not there yet but its getting closer. This week is the big one I think. Win this and I believe we will play finals, win this and we may even see two guaranteed weeks of finals action. But, as the old adage goes, one week at a time. This week its that hated foe, the black and white broken tooth army of twilight, the magpies. Beat them, send them tumbling and drag ourselves a step closer to the September action.

I'll not go this week with a swagger, not with that arrogant certainty from times gone by, for now wins and losses are blowing in the wind, but I will go with the belief that we can win, that if we play to our potential, if the midfield get on top, if Fev is firing and the defence plays to their strengths then I expect to win.

One thing is for sure, if we are nine points down at half time and playing badly I'll not be too worried mammy. This side is capable of turning a game on its head, any game, it'll only take a quarter to bury the Magpies under the weight of their own disbelief – could anything be sweeter?

Go Blues!
Yarran for 3
Carrots B.O.G.

The Bluebagger army to be singing the sweetest of all songs!

Mike and Dan

Chris Yarran: Play of the Week

There sure were some highlights in that last quarter - and lets not forget wrestling the game back from them in the third - that deserve a mention. Fisher's tap, Hampson's ruckwork, Betts' snap, Gibbs' majors...but lets be honest, Yarran's brilliant gather, bounce and goal not only set the game alight but highlighted the pure talent our Pick #6 possessed. Mike & Dan were lucky to have a chat to Chris in the aftermath of his arrival.

Q. Chris, cracking goal, great highlight. Did you have to think about it or as soon as it hit your hands were you going to play on?

Thanks, no it comes pretty natural, I didn’t really think about it, just summed it up and went.

Q: How many other blokes on the list do you reckon would have taken a bounce when you did in kicking that ?

I don’t know, I suppose you would have to ask them, sometimes you just do it on the field and think about it later, I was happy it worked out.

Q. At times this year, yourself, Eddie Betts and Jeffrey Garlett add some much needed spark and defensive pressure in our forward line. Is there room for all 3 of you in the same side?

I hope so, Eddie has been great for me and Jeff since we have arrived in Melbourne. I think he has taken his game to another level this year. Jeff and I are still a little different as players. There is no reason why it can’t work.

Q. It seemed only a few weeks ago that you had to go down to Geelong for a Bullants game at 9am. Do you prefer 9am starts, 2pm starts or night footy?

Not 9am. Night football is exciting; I am really looking forward to this weeks game. But it doesn’t worry me, I’m just happy being out there.

Q: Overall, you've obviously been in and out of the side a little bit this season. When you have been dropped back to the Bullants, is there anything specific the coaches have asked you to work on?

Always things to work on. There is a big gap between the WAFL and VFL and the AFL. It was good to get a taste of AFL, then go back and work on different aspects of my game. I have been working with Ratts and the Development coaches on a heap of areas.

Q. How does playing in the Bullies compare to playing in the WAFL? Is it a similar standard?

The WAFL is a quicker, open like game, very attacking football, the VFL is probably more like the AFL in that style of play.

Q: We keep hearing that your mate Buddy Franklin is the cousin of your mate Jeff Garlett. Is there any famous AFL blood in the rest of your family?

Haha, not of the class of Buddy.

Q: We know the club hasn't beaten Sydney since 2000. Did you get a sense of how important the win was in the rooms after the game, or did it seem like a 'normal' victory?

I haven’t been involved in too many wins yet so I was pretty happy, after the game we sort of said it was a win that broke a long streak.

Q.Have you felt under pressure to perform in 2009, or do the Club appreciate that first year players are new to this quality of game?

Yes externally and probably a bit from inside the Club. There is a big importance put on the draft and you feel that you have to play well early on. But the people at the club have been good. I still speak to the recruiting staff and they talk about the big picture not just the weekend’s game which players focus on. They say, “We know you can play, keep working on your game with the coaches”, that sort of thing.

Q. Last time we spoke to you, you were hoping to break into the seniors and get some respect from the playing group. You've played a few games now - what are your goals until the end of the year?

I just need to keep working hard I think and that should take care of itself.

Q. How is the AFLPA Apprenticeship going? What kinds of things have you learned over the past few months?

Yeah, it’s pretty good, it’s something we all do along with extra stuff with Rod Ashman. The programs are really helpful.

Q. You mentioned your Mum has come down and is living with you in Melbourne. How are you both adjusting to living in Melbourne, particularly the winter? Between you, have you bought extra woollen jumpers and ugg boots?

It can get pretty cold down here, the worst has been doing the beach sessions, they weren’t too bad back in Perth, but they are terrible here!

Q. Who is the most annoying player down there at the Club?

Haha, I’ll have to say Mitch Robinson! He is always causing trouble!

With the highlights reel being set up for a long career with a ripper goal on the weekend, Mike & Dan are looking forward to a movie night in 2020!

Round 15 | Round 17
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , molsey , PatsFitztrick , WillowBlue and snakehips .
Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 22:21:04 AEDT by Jarusa.

Online Users

118 online users