The Blues defeat Melbourne by 1 point in a nailbiter at the G~!

Round 9, 2024

Carlton 5.0 30 8.2 50 11.4 70 12.5 77
Melbourne 0.0 0 3.1 19 7.6 48 11.10 76
Venue: MCG
Date: Thursday 9 May 2024 (7.30 pm).
Result: Won by 1 point.
Crowd: 58,472
Goalkickers: M. Owies 3.0, C. Curnow 2.1, S. Walsh 1.1, M. Pittonet 1.0, H. McKay 1.0, J. Martin 1.0, G. Hewett 1.0, P. Cripps 1.0, T. De Koning 1.0, Rushed 0.3.
Reports: Nic Newman was reported by the MRO for striking Melbourne's Alex Neal-Bullen, the incident was graded as careless contact, low impact, and body contact. Newman was fined $2500 with an early plea.
Lachie Cowan was intially fined $3125 for striking Neal-Bullen in the second quarter, with that incident graded as careless conduct, low impact and body contact. Cowan's fine was reduced to $1875 with an early plea.
Umpires: Matt Stevic, Curtis Deboy, Nathan Williamson, Jacob Mollison.
Injuries: M. Pittonet (finger), A. Cerra (hamstring).
Ladder: 7th

Game Review

Carlton holds on for crucial win

Carlton has prevailed by one point against Melbourne in a grandstand finish. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media

Who would've thought? Carlton has held on to return to the winner’s list, defeating Melbourne by one point in yet another nailbiter between these two sides. After comfortably leading all night on the back of a ruthless first quarter where the Blues kept the Dees scoreless, Carlton spent the entire last quarter on the back foot as Melbourne surged towards a comeback win. It was a late tackle from Nic Newman and Patrick Cripps which sealed the win, with the skipper brilliant on the back of a 35-disposal, one-goal performance. Sam Walsh wasn’t far behind with 34 disposals and 10 tackles, while Jacob Weitering (seven marks, eight intercepts) was brilliant on the last line.

Quarter one
They weren’t perfect conditions at the MCG, but it was just about the perfect start from Carlton against Melbourne. Ollie Hollands and Sam Walsh signalled their intentions early, running rampant in the early going as the Blues were ferocious at the contest against the Dees. It was Walsh who opened proceedings on the scoreboard, channeling his inner Matthew Cottrell with his celebration as he registered his first goal of the season. Speaking of Cottrell, the high half-forward was once again a bundle of energy for the Blues, working overtime in offence and defence to support the Blues on both sides of the ball. Mitch McGovern’s presence behind the ball was a welcome addition for Jacob Weitering, who stood up well deep in defence, while Jack Martin’s also marked his return with a contested mark and goal to solidify the Blues’ advantage. It was a first quarter shutout for the Blues, who kept the Dees scoreless while posting great numbers in key metrics (+12 contested possessions) to take a five-goal lead into the first change.

Quarter two
After the Blues’ outstanding start, the Dees were always going to respond, but they were shut out by the Blues in the early going. Weitering positioned himself expertly against Harry Petty, taking three intercept marks in the second term to set the Blues up behind the ball. After Matthew Owies opened his account, it was Christian Petracca who loomed as the danger man, kicking back-to-back goals to give Melbourne a spark. When Carlton needed a response, it was unsurprisingly the captain who delivered: Patrick Cripps registered 13 disposals in the second term alone, leading all comers with eight contested possessions and kicking an opportunistic goal to extend the Blues’ buffer. Save for a late goal conceded from a turnover, the Blues were excellent defensively, stifling the Demons to just four scoring shots from 28 inside 50s in the first half.

Quarter three
Playing an unselfish role higher up the ground in the first half, Charlie Curnow stamped himself on the proceedings from a scoreboard perspective, converting a brilliant goal to start the term. After what was a much more even second term, the third quarter followed a similar trajectory, with both teams going goal for goal as the Blues threatened to break the game wide open while the Dees fought to stay in the game. There were some crucial defensive efforts from Alex Cincotta - who was doing a great job quelling the dangerous Kozzie Pickett - and Brodie Kemp, while a ground ball from Matthew Kennedy which led to Owies’ third was indicative of the Blues’ hunger for the contest. Cripps (nine disposals) and Walsh (eight disposals) continued to soldier on, but Carlton was forced to make a change when Adam Cerra (hamstring) was subbed out for like-for-like replacement George Hewett. The last minutes of the third term were going to be crucial, and they went the way of Melbourne, who reduced the deficit to 22 points at the last change.

Quarter four
It was the sub Hewett who stood up with the crucial moment of the final term, snapping truly from a Corey Durdin assist to open up a 28-point lead to the Blues. However, from there, it was all Melbourne, as Carlton struggled to maintain its opponent’s run and carry as it looked to snatch a come-from-behind win. The Blues looked to have weathered the Demons’ storm, holding them to just one goal inside the opening 25 minutes, but a quick flurry saw the game change dramatically. With three goals in four minutes of game time, the margin was reduced to a solitary point with a minute still remaining. Playing their third game in 12 days, the Blues couldn’t halt the Demons’ run, with Melbourne posting 20-5 inside 50s. In a tense final few seconds, the ball was again amped in Carlton’s defensive 50, but a group tackle from Nic Newman and Patrick Cripps sealed the result by the narrowest of margins.

Best: P. Cripps, S. Walsh, J. Weitering, A. Cincotta, M. Owies, M. Cottrell

Fast-starting Blues hang on in nailbiter against desperate Dees

Christian Petracca's heroics weren't enough as Melbourne fell short of Carlton on Thursday night - By Sarah Black.

Seven minutes into the third term, Carlton led by 38 points and appeared en route to a comfortable victory over Melbourne. Christian Petracca was having none of that. The superstar Demon, with help from skipper Max Gawn, dragged his side back to within one point of the Blues with 40 seconds remaining. But as the rain poured down at the MCG, it was the navy blue army belting out the famous club song after a clutch defensive-50 gang tackle from Nic Newman and Patrick Cripps stopped a wheeling Petracca dead in his tracks. The final margin was just one point, the Blues saluting 12.5 (77) to Melbourne's 11.10 (76). Petracca booted five of Melbourne's 11 goals as the Demons outscored the Blues 4.4 to 1.1 in the final term, but the opening quarter cost them dearly. The win may have come at a cost for the Blues, with Adam Cerra succumbing to another hamstring injury, adding to the ever-growing soft-tissue issues for the team. Melbourne was upbeat after becoming the first team to knock off Geelong last weekend, while Carlton was faltering, dropping consecutive games to the Cats and Collingwood.

You wouldn't have known it from the first term. Ed Langdon had the first shot of the game, his snap sailing out on the full, but it turned out to be Melbourne's only attempt at goal for the entire term as the Blues relished the temporarily wet conditions and piled on an impressive five straight majors. It wasn't from lack of effort by the Dees, either, leading the inside 50 count 13-11 at the first break, but regardless, they recorded their first scoreless opening stanza since 2008. It took a juggling effort – first with the left, then the right – for Petracca to open Melbourne's scoring account, 10 minutes into the second quarter. Suddenly, the score was Carlton (36) to Petracca (13) and it appeared the move forward had been a masterstroke, but the Dees were unable to make any serious further headway into the Blues' lead. Melbourne started to charge midway through the third term after the margin had pushed out to 38 points. The Dees began to maintain possession and lock the ball in their forward half, and Carlton's defence was looking decidedly edgy. But a number of behinds in the final term – Harrison Petty missing a straightforward set shot, and a couple of rushed scores – meant that winning score remained elusive. Newman could come under MRO scrutiny for a late and high bump on Alex Neal-Bullen in the third term when he left the ground and collected the Dee's jaw with his elbow after the ball was kicked. Cripps (35 disposals) and Sam Walsh (34) led the way for Carlton, while defensive general Jacob Weitering was also one of the Blues' best.

Best: P. Cripps, S. Walsh, J. Weitering, M. Kennedy, O. Hollands, C. Curnow.

Voss on crucial four points

Michael Voss sums up the Round 9 win over Melbourne. - By Carlton Media.

Four crucial points. The start was exceptional, the finish was nervy, but come the end of another heartstopper between Carlton and Melbourne, it was the Blues who came away with the all-important victory. Taking stock of the game as a whole, AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss lauded the fight in his team, both in taking the game to Melbourne to start before finding a way to hold on against a Dees barrage to close the game. This is what he had to say.

On his instant reaction to the game:
"To have a good look at it, we’ll break the game up a little bit. The start was really impressive, that’s how we wanted to make sure we got it. We realised Melbourne was on the back of a five-day break so we tried to get the jump: to be able to score like that early was important. "I thought it was a genuine arm wrestle in the middle of the ground. The end was a bit different, but it won’t take away from the positives of the game for us. We’ve been fighting for a good month, I think we’ve been in some good form and played against some really good sides. "We haven’t been able to get the wins on the board, so maybe that’s what it felt like in the last quarter. We needed to get the four points, and we walk away with that against a very, very good side."

On Nic Newman's tackle in the final seconds:
"It was pretty impressive. We needed a few moments like that to go our way late. They certainly had more than their fair share in the fourth quarter, and they stood up when they needed to. They fought back really hard, that speaks volumes to their resilience and hopefully it speaks volumes to the progression and improvement we’ve made over the last 2-3 weeks. "It’s been something we’ve been chasing hard. To be able to absorb 20 inside 50s in the last quarter and still be able to hang on, I’m sure we’ll look back at it and say there were moments we’d like to do better and have better composure, but generally, I was really impressed with the win. It was a really good win. "We’ve been talking about the phases of the game and how we want to defend as a team. I saw a real shift there. We walk away pretty happy with the result."

On defending with intensity:
"That’s where I feel the difference is going to be for us. Melbourne for a longer period of time have been able to get that part of their game in good shape. They were able to keep doing it for a bit longer over the course of the whole night, but we’ve shown that we’re quite good in that phase of the game over the last 12 months. "We’re still in the infancy of its development, and it reinforces the importance of it. On the back of it, we can play the offence we want to play and we’ve got some exciting parts of our game that we like to play as well. "But that’ll never be ahead of how we defend and what sort of contest we need to be able to bring to the game."

On Adam Cerra:
"Minor hamstring. We’ll get that scanned and see where that lies."

On Christian Petracca's influence:
"We tried a couple of different match-ups, and he was pretty hot. Matty Kennedy was trying to do a little bit of a job with him around the ball, he did too good of a job so Petracca went forward — so that was a mistake (for us)! "He was sensational. He could’ve been a real difference for them. We talk about the collective a lot, but that seemed to make a really big difference. His individual performance was pretty special. "But it took us as a collective to get the job done tonight. It wasn’t going to be one person, and thankfully we did."

On George Hewett starting as sub:
"We’re sharing the load. It’s a long season. Matty Kennedy played there last week and George took his turn, our small forwards have done the same job. That’s the approach we’ll keep taking. "We’ve got a squad mentality that we want to get after across this whole season, we realise it’s a long year. We’ve been fortunate to be able to get some more bodies back and that will hopefully put more pressure on players and their positions. That drives the next level. "We’ve got the personnel to keep finding form and keep challenging others. If we can share the load, that’s what we’ll keep doing."

On Sam Walsh's form:
"He didn’t actually miss as much of pre-season as you think he did. He missed the backend of it when games started to be played, but he actually got a full pre-season under his belt. "That aside, he’s a competitive beast and got some really high standards for himself and the way he plays. It was always going to take him a little while to get into it, but it doesn’t seem like it does it? He’s just picked it up and gone with it, and he’s a very important player to us."

On the midfield collective:
"If you look at our midfield group, they haven’t played a lot together — when you talk about ‘Pitto’, Tom, Patrick, ‘Walshy’, Kennedy, George, Cerra. They haven’t played a lot of footy together. To build those relationships and cohesiveness you need, it takes a bit of time. "They get along really, really well. They’re good teammates with each other, and the more we can get them out there playing together, the better we’ll be."

Key to beating the Dees? Lock up Lever

Jake Lever was arguably best afield in Melbourne's breakthrough win against Geelong in round eight, but faced with a much taller forward line on Thursday night, he was forced to focus on trying to nullify the 204cm Tom De Koning. Given the aerial threat De Koning posed, particularly as a linking player on the wing, Lever seemed reluctant to peel off and give him much latitude, meaning his marking game wasn't at full force. While the Dees interceptor was able to work his way back into the game late on, it was the early jump of Carlton that sewed up the win for the Blues, a time when Lever was being out-pointed by De Koning. Other teams would have taken note. - Sarah Black


B: 17 Brodie Kemp 23 Jacob Weitering 2 Lachie Cowan
HB: 39 Alex Cincotta 11 Mitch McGovern 24 Nic Newman
C: 4 Ollie Hollands 9 Patrick Cripps (c) 13 Blake Acres
HF: 21 Jack Martin 10 Harry McKay 20 Elijah Hollands
F: 44 Matt Owies 30 Charlie Curnow 12 Tom De Koning
Ruck: 27 Marc Pittonet 18 Sam Walsh 7 Matt Kennedy
Interchange: 37 Jordan Boyd 5 Adam Cerra 46 Matthew Cottrell
19 Corey Durdin
Substitute: 29 George Hewett
Coach: Michael Voss
Emergencies: 28 David Cuningham 14 Orazio Fantasia 33 Lewis Young

Substitute: George Hewett (replaced Adam Cerra in the third quarter).

In: Ollie Hollands, Brodie Kemp, Jack Martin, Mitch McGovern
Out: Zac Williams (glute soreness), David Cuningham, Orazio Fantasia, Lewis Young (all omitted).


250 Goals: Charlie Curnow

Interesting Fact

1. Last time Carlton kept Melbourne scoreless in the first quarter was Round 10, 1942.
2. In their past eight games, the margins between these two teams have been 2, 4, 17, 5, 26, 1, 5, and 1 points. This equates to an average 7.5-point final margin.
3. Neither of these teams have scored more than 80 points in these battles since 2021.

Front Runners

Elijah Hollands 15.2km
Matt Cottrell 15.1km
Harry McKay 14.8km


10 - Christian Petracca (MELB)
7 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
6 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
5 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
1 - Alex Neal-Bullen (MELB)
1 - Ed Langdon (MELB)

Brownlow Votes

Best and Fairest Votes


Round 8 | Round 10
Contributors to this page: Bombasheldon , molsey , Jarusa and blueycarlton .
Page last modified on Monday 13 of May, 2024 21:03:33 AEST by Bombasheldon.

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