|Date:||Sunday (twilight) April 20, 2014|
|Result:||Win by 28 points|
|Goalkickers:||L. Henderson 5, J. Waite 3, M. Murphy 2, H. Scotland 2, B. Gibbs, D. Ellard, T. Bell, C. Yarran, A. Everitt, D. Thomas 1.|
|Umpires:||T. Burgess, C. Kamolins, S. Jeffery|
|Injuries:||C. Judd (hamstring), E. Curnow (broken fibula), T. Bell (finger)|
Three players; Chris Judd, Ed Curnow and Tom Bell, were forced off the field late in the game, leaving the team with only one fit man on the interchange bench for the last fourteen minutes. In his much-anticipated return after undergoing surgery on an Achilles tendon in February, Judd started the game as the Blues substitute. There was a huge roar when he replaced youngster Patrick Cripps late in the third quarter, but Carlton’s former captain lasted just six minutes before tearing his right hamstring and limping back off. Shortly afterwards, one of Bell’s fingers was torn from its socket as he grabbed an opponent’s guernsey in a tackle, and halfway through the final term, Curnow crashed into a point post and broke the fibula in his right leg.
Before those incidents, Carlton had made three changes to the team so badly beaten by Melbourne, losing Michael Jamison and Troy Menzel to injury, and omitting Nick Graham. Into the line-up came Judd, Bell and Jarrad Waite. On match day, Simon White replaced Dylan Buckley in a late change, and the team ran out onto Docklands in front of a crowd of almost 28,000.
As the teams sorted themselves out, there were a few surprises. Carlton looked strong in attack with Lachie Henderson and Jarrad Waite inside the forward 50, but Simon White and Sam Rowe in the key defensive posts seemed like a gamble. If that was the case, it was a successful one - because all four talls acquitted themselves well, and with his five goals, Henderson was a match-winner.
For weeks, Carlton’s legion of fans had been demanding a lift in aggression and intent from their team, and they got it right from the first bounce when Bryce Gibbs crashed a Bulldog to the turf in a fierce tackle. The first six minutes were an even contest, until Gibbs pumped the ball long and Henderson marked strongly on the lead to post the Blues’ first major from 40 metres. Three minutes later, ‘Hendo’ kicked his second, and the Blues were away.
The pace of the game was frenetic. Carlton was playing on at all costs, and their disposal by hand and foot was fast and direct. Inspired by their captain Marc Murphy, Gibbs, Kade Simpson and Andrew Walker in defence, the Blues ran the Dogs off their feet for most of the quarter, which ended with Carlton up by 24 points. Henderson had booted three goals for the term, Waite two, and the Blues’ midfielders were right on top.
The second quarter began with a brief Bulldogs fightback, during which three unanswered majors in seven minutes cut their deficit back to six points. Meanwhile, in the ruck, Rob Warnock was engaged in a torrid contest against All-Australian Will Minson. At the next ball-up, Warnock grabbed the football and launched a long kick to where Tom Bell ran into an open goal-square for a quick reply. The Bulldogs’ rally stalled, and Carlton slammed on five of the next seven goals to skip out to a 30-point advantage at half-time.
Ed Curnow’s excellent blanketing job on Bulldog playmaker Tom Liberatore, a couple of Chris Yarran dashes from half-back and a lovely right-foot goal by Dale Thomas were the highlights of the third quarter. Then at the 25-minute mark, Chris Judd was released from the bench. He was soon in the thick of the action, only to be pushed in the back as he kicked, and immediately clutched at the back of his right leg. Having torn a hamstring, he faced another month at least on the sidelines.
With both Judd and Bell finished for the day, Carlton began the last quarter under-manned but still 25 points in front. The Bulldogs surged again, but they missed a couple of vital early shots at goal and couldn’t get the run-on they needed to start a revival – even after Curnow crashed into a point-post and limped from the field. It was left to Lachie Henderson to provide a fitting finale six minutes from full-time when he marked a pass from Andrejs Everitt and kicked truly for his fifth goal. Leading well up the ground, but equally as prepared to charge back and provide an option in the forward 50, ‘Hendo’ had been outstanding in a very even team that deserved their five-goal win.
Statistics told the story of the game. Carlton ruled the air, taking 17 marks inside 50, compared to 10 by the Bulldogs. They tackled harder (88 to 73) and won more contested possessions (150 to 134). The Blues kicked 13 goals in the first half, and only five in the second half, but by then they had run the Bulldogs ragged.
Outstanding for Carlton in an often spectacular game were captain Marc Murphy (28 disposals, 12 tackles and 2 goals) Bryce Gibbs (29 disposals, 5 tackles, 1 goal) Andrew Walker (26 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles) and Lachie Henderson (16 disposals, 8 marks, 5 goals).
Subs: Chris Judd replaced Patrick Cripps late during the third quarter.
|B:||42 Zach Tuohy||17 Sam Rowe||43 Simon White|
|HB:||13 Chris Yarran||1 Andrew Walker||6 Kade Simpson (VC)|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)||44 Andrew Carrazzo (vc)||29 Heath Scotland|
|HF:||28 Tom Bell||23 Lachlan Henderson||39 Dale Thomas|
|F:||41 Levi Casboult||30 Jarrad Waite||9 Kane Lucas|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||4 Bryce Gibbs||35 Ed Curnow|
|Interchange:||16 Patrick Cripps||33 Andrejs Everitt||46 David Ellard|
|Substitute:||5 Chris Judd|
|Emergencies:||7 Dylan Buckley||10 Matthew Watson||38 Jeffery Garlett|
- Simon White replaced Dylan Buckley in the selected side
Guernsey History: Players' names appeared on the back of each guernsey for the first time in all League matches in this round.
Marc Murphy, Carlton
2. Lachie Henderson, Carlton
1. Bryce Gibbs, Carlton
Ed Curnow 10, Bryce Gibbs 10, Lachie Henderson 10, Marc Murphy 10, Kade Simpson 6, Robert Warnock 6, David Ellard 5, Sam Rowe 5, Andrew Walker 5, Jarrad Waite 4, Dale Thomas 3, Zach Tuohy 2, Chris Yarran 2, Tom Bell 1, Heath Scotland 1,
Round 4 | Round 6