|Friday April 7, 2023 (4.20 pm).
|Won by 23 points.
|C. Curnow 6.2, H. McKay 4.1, J. Motlop 2.1, C. Durdin 1.2, J. Silvagni 1.0, J. Honey 1.0, T. De Koning 1.0, P. Cripps 0.1, A. Cerra 0.1, Rushed 0.3.
|Harry McKay has been offered a one-match ban for striking North Melbourne's Harry Sheezel head late in the final quarter. He has been charged with striking, with the incident graded as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, resulting in a one-game ban.
|1 - Chris Donlon ,17 - John Howorth, 33 - Brent Wallace, 37 - Martin Rodger.
|M. McGovern (hip).
Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay have booted 10 goals between them to haul Carlton to a 23-point win over North Melbourne in the annual Good Friday SuperClash. Curnow booted six goals while McKay kicked four and had 14 marks against North Melbourne's undersized defence as Carlton overcame an unconvincing first half to kick away for a 16.11 (107) to 11.18 (84) win. Carlton's victory came in front of a bumper crowd of 49,062 at Marvel Stadium, beating the previous Good Friday high of 48,278 in 2019.The Kangaroos stuck with the Blues until midway through the third quarter, despite being without Griffin Logue (suspension) and Ben McKay (foot), with Curnow and McKay monstering a defence led by Aidan Corr and Aiden Bonar. North spearhead Nick Larkey hurt his hip in a first-quarter collision with Jacob Weitering and was hampered throughout. Carlton's Mitch McGovern (27 disposals, six marks) was excellent down back despite requiring early treatment on his right thigh but was substituted out late.
Zac Fisher (28 disposals, five clearances) was consistent all game while skipper Patrick Cripps (29 touches, nine clearances) lifted in the second half. In their respective returns from a calf injury and suspension, Kangaroos duo Luke Davies-Uniacke (30 touches) and Jy Simpkin (29 disposals) dominated around clearances. First-year gun Harry Sheezel (37 disposals) continued his fine form while Cam Zurhaar and Jaidyn Stephenson booted three goals apiece. Coach Alastair Clarkson also pulled a surprise when he substituted veteran ball-winner Ben Cunnington for Hugh Greenwood late in the third quarter. The Kangaroos got on top around the contest early and led by a goal at quarter-time. Carlton was conservative with the ball and plagued by skill errors and fumbles throughout the second term. But the Kangaroos were wasteful around goal and took just a two-point lead into halftime. Zurhaar steered a brilliant snap through on his left foot at the start of the second half but from there, Carlton lifted its intensity and booted the next six goals, including a masterful long-range shot from Jesse Motlop put the Blues in front. They extended their lead to nine points after Cunnington was penalised for holding the ball, with Corey Durdin dobbing his set shot. For the sixth, Tom De Koning received a contentious 50m penalty from Jack Ziebell to help Carlton to a 25-point lead at the final change. From there, the Blues threatened to kick away before North reeled them in to keep the scoreline respectable. McKay will likely be scrutinised for a high, late hit on Sheezel that could attract a fine.
Best; C. Curnow, H. McKay, P. Cripps, L. Young, M. McGovern.
An imposing second half has seen Carlton record its third consecutive victory. Trailing by two points at the major break, the Blues kicked 11 of the next 13 goals, coming away with a 23-point victory in front of a record Good Friday SuperClash crowd. As the Blues prepare for another big event next week - the Gather Round opener - they will walk into Round 5 undefeated, off the back of 10 goals between twin towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay.
Charlie Curnow kicking the first goal of the term at the eight-minute mark was indicative of the term – relatively even with both sides struggling to pin the ball in their forward half. Mitch McGovern (10 disposals) and Lewis Young (10 disposals, eight marks) were strong when the Roos came at them, using their overhead marking and sure disposal to provide cover on the last line of defence. Harry McKay provided marking options and slotted a goal for the Blues after some quick transition down the wing. Carlton well and truly out-marked North Melbourne, looking to go slow and control the ball at every opportunity. A late goal from North Melbourne saw Carlton head into the first break six points down.
Despite a fast start from the Blues - with McKay crumbing a major in the goal square - North had the better of the territory in the second quarter. Carlton struggled to move the ball cleanly, unable to get any flow behind their ball movement. Adam Saad was crucial behind the ball, gaining 294 metres and 18 disposals to half time, using his precision delivery to give the Blues some relief. Jacob Weitering was a key pillar down back alongside Young, halting North’s fast breaks from the centre: it was a topsy turvy game, with eight lead changes in the first half as neither side able to break the game open on the scoreboard. North Melbourne had the better of the clearances (21-16) and inside 50s (27-22), but Carlton held up well and was converting when going forward. Adam Cerra was working hard in the contest, managing five tackles in the first half, while Zac Fisher was Carlton’s prime ball-winner out of the middle with five clearances. The Blues trailed by two points at the main break.
The Blues put their foot down in the third term, slotting four goals from turnovers and six unanswered goals in total. It saw the Blues overturn what was a game-high nine-point deficit into a 25-point lead at the final change. A Jesse Motlop goal from the boundary outside 50 had the crowd on their feet, shortly followed by a goal from housemate Corey Durdin. A classic McKay around-the-body snap put a pep in Carlton’s step while Curnow’s fourth solidified the ascendancy. The Blues managed 17-7 inside 50s, as well as getting the better of the centre clearances – an area they struggled with in the first half. An imposing third term opened up a four-goal lead at the final change.
Carlton picked up where they left off, kicking the first three goals of the quarters – with Jack Silvagni and Josh Honey slotting their firsts for the game. All three goals came from kick ins - a source the Blues hadn’t scored from before this year - as the Blues connected strongly between the arcs. Lachie Cowan showed his unflappable courage late in the game, dropping into the hole which would’ve made former No.26 David Rhys-Jones - who was in attendance at Marvel Stadium - full of pride. After opening up a 46-point lead, when Ed Curnow once against assisted brother Charlie for his sixth, the Blues coughed up the final four goals of the game, but still came away from the Good Friday SuperClash keeping their undefeated record in tact.
Three things from the game:
1. Adam Saad has mentioned in the past about what the holy month of Ramadan means to him, and how it reflects in his football. That was evident in Round 4, particularly in the first half when North had the better of the contest. Totalling 25 disposals at 92 per cent efficiency, Saad was on the front foot all night, and continued to rebound at will when the Blues got hold of the contest.
2. It’s tough to beat a Coleman Medallist at the best of times, let alone two. Continuing their outstanding record at Marvel Stadium, Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay did the damage for Carlton, combining for 10 goals – and kicking Carlton’s first six of the game between them. McKay was the most influential player on the ground, taking a career-high 14 marks, while Curnow’s six goals takes him to 16 from four games. Their work in tandem was the standout from the Blues’ game.
3. If the Blues want to keep the Good Friday SuperClash, as flagged by CEO Brian Cook earlier in the day, they did a great job of it. Together with North Melbourne, the game’s traditional hosts, the Round 4 clash was a spectacle that went beyond football. With kids and families aplenty in the stands, the crowd of 49,062 was a Good Friday SuperClash record.
Best: H. McKay, A. Saad, C. Curnow, M. McGovern, J. Weitering, P. Cripps, A. Cerra.
“It's nice to learn winning.” Despite not delivering a full four-quarter performance, AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss is happy that his side can learn some challenging lessons while still taking home the four points. This was despite Voss admitting the last 10 minutes of the final term were disappointing, with the Blues unable to sustain their second-half dominance: after kicking 11 of 13 goals, the Blues conceded the final four goals of the game in the 23-point win. “There’s a way we want to play and that’s really important to us and the style of footy we want to play: we didn’t hold that up for four quarters, so we have to go to work on that,” Voss said. “We take away four points — we were challenged, we got a great response, but didn’t like the way we finished. We’ve got things we need to work on in our game before we can even speculate what the rest of that looks like.” Voss noted that there was a need for a reset at half time, having been thoroughly beaten around the ball by North Melbourne. After trailing in the stat at half time, the Blues were +10 in contested possessions in the third term, reaping the benefits of some positional tweaks and a renewed appetite at the contest.
Referencing the discussion at the main break, Voss was pleased with the way Carlton applied the corrections and went out with a hunger to prove themselves. “We weren’t really getting our hands on it - our defenders were - but around the ball, North really challenged us in a lot of areas,” he said. “We had a chat at half time and really spoke about our contest, playing too safe and we needed to light up the ball a bit more and give our forwards more looks.” The two Coleman Medallists were a big factor in the third-term surge, with Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow totalling 10 goals for the game. Voss acknowledged the impact that they had in the forward line, but also noted the need for the entire forward line to jell if they want to gain scoreboard dominance. That was the case on Good Friday, with all of Carlton's forward hitting the scoreboard in the 16-goal effort.
“While McKay and Curnow are threatening, we want our ground level to be threatening as well,” he said. “We’ve been able to get that balance in the last couple of weeks: our smalls have been threatening and if the opposition want to come off and jump in the air with Harry, then we have the ground level presence to be dangerous.” Taking home a 23-point victory in their inaugural Good Friday SuperClash, Voss was quick to praise the turnout from the Carlton faithful, breaking the attendance record for the event. As 49,062 packed into Marvel Stadium to support a great cause, Voss said that the Club would be keen to "put our hand up" for an annual spot. “Starting the week at the Royal Children’s Hospital, the perspective you have in football, we think what we do is pretty important but being able to go there and have some real perspective on where the game truly sits and what truly matters is really important to us,” he said. “Every now and then, you get to be a difference maker and it’s a really simple way to be able to do it - playing a footy game and wrapping a story around it, put a spotlight on the kids - I think we’ve achieved our goal.”
|15 Sam Docherty
|23 Jacob Weitering
|26 Lachlan Cowan
|24 Nic Newman
|33 Lewis Young
|42 Adam Saad
|4 Lochie O'Brien
|9 Patrick Cripps (c)
|14 Oliver Hollands
|25 Zac Fisher
|30 Charlie Curnow
|3 Jesse Motlop
|19 Corey Durdin
|10 Harry McKay
|1 Jack Silvagni
|12 Tom De Koning
|5 Adam Cerra
|35 Ed Curnow
|29 George Hewett
|36 Josh Honey
|11 Mitch McGovern
|27 Marc Pittonet
|16 Jack Carroll
|39 Alex Cincotta
|20 Lachie Plowman
|2 Paddy Dow
In; Josh Honey, Jack Carroll.
Out: Blake Acres (suspended), Matt Owies (hamstring).
Substitute; Jack Carroll (replaced Mitch McGovern in the fourth quarter).
Harry McKay took a career-best 14 marks, 12 was his previous best taken against the Western Bulldogs in Round 2, 2022.
2. Charlie Curnow kicked 6 goals in a game for the third time in his career, one shy of his personal best of 7 goals.
3. This is Carlton's best start to the season since 1995 when the club won its last premiership.
4. Mitch McGovern had a career-high 27 disposals in this game.
5. Lewis Young had a career-high 22 disposals, as well as a career-high of 18 kicks.
Harry McKay (CARL)
9 - Charlie Curnow (CARL)
3 - Mitch McGovern (CARL)
3 - Harry Sheezel (NMFC)
2 - Cameron Zurhaar (NMFC)
2 - Zac Fisher (CARL)
1 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
1 - Luke Davies-Uniacke (NMFC)
Charlie Curnow (CARL)
2 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
1 - Harry McKay (CARL)
Round 3 | Round 5