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2018 Pre-Season

JLT Series.
The AFL’s pre-season tournament was slightly different this season due to AFLX, the teams play only two JLT Series games, spread across three weeks. There were fewer rule changes, which the AFL had hoped made the JLT Series better reflect the home and away season — enabling better preparation for Round 1.

Format: For the fifth straight year, the AFL’s pre-season competition did not crown a winner. Each team played two matches across a three-week period in the JLT Series, with the competition to be used entirely as warm-up matches for the regular season. Each side had a week off in the first fortnight of the JLT Series, culminating in a final weekend of matches where all 18 sides take part.

Rules: There were no nine-point Super Goals in the JLT Series. The rules were simplified this season, better reflecting the home and away campaign. In each club’s first match, quarter lengths will be 20 minutes — but with no time-on for the first 15 minutes of each term. In each club’s second match, normal time rules were applied. There were no interchange cap for either match, with clubs enabled to pick a squad of up to 26 players — with four emergencies. For both matches, up to eight players were allowed on the bench.

Game 1

Carlton 5.3 33 8.4 52 11.6 72 13.11 89
St Kilda 1.0 6 4.7 31 7.10 52 9.13 67
Venue: IKON Park
Date: 28th February, 2018 (7.10 pm)
Result: Won by 22 points
Crowd: 8,098
Goalkickers: P. Cripps 2, M. Kreuzer 2, P. Dow 2, M. Wright 2, J. Silvagni, J. Garlett, K. Simpson, L. Casboult, H. McKay 1.
Reports: Nil
Umpires: Margetts, Deboy, Brown, Pannell
Injuries: J. Garlett (shoulder)


Game Review

Blues off to blazing start in JLT win
CARLTON beat a near full-strength St Kilda by 22 points at Ikon Park on Wednesday night, but the best news for the Blues was the form of star midfielder Patrick Cripps, who showed he can help solve their scoring woes. After a tough 2017 season that ended with a broken left leg, Cripps returned in ominous form, booting a couple of goals in the first quarter for last year's lowest-scoring side. The No.3 selection from last year's NAB AFL Draft, Paddy Dow, also gave Carlton fans plenty to be excited about in picking up 13 disposals and booting two goals, with his class and speed quickly apparent. The Blues led from start to finish to seal a 13.11 (89) to 9.13 (67) win in their opening JLT Community Series clash. It seems Carlton coach Brendon Bolton may have another dangerous option in attack with ruckman Matthew Kreuzer showing signs there as well. He bodied his St Kilda counterpart Billy Longer well and nailed a set shot from deep in the pocket to kick the first of two goals, and showcased a clean pair of hands with an excellent pick-up later in the game. St Kilda would have been disappointed after picking a side missing only Jack Billings and Josh Bruce from its best team. Young forward Paddy McCartin looked dangerous in attack and slotted two goals while tough onballer David Armitage made his impact felt from the first bounce, picking up 24 disposals and getting involved in several physical altercations. Match review officer Michael Christian will take a close look at the scuffle in the second term that started after Blues backman Kade Simpson caught Jack Sinclair late but there will likely be no ramification for that incident. Saints captain Jarryn Geary copped a head knock in the second term after a heavy hit from Harry McKay and sat out the second half, while Jarrod Garlett hurt his left shoulder after laying a great tackle on Jack Steven in the third term

What We Learned: There's no reason to be pessimistic about the Blues for 2018. Their list has plenty of young players and there will be inconsistency but Brendon Bolton has shown his teams are often staunch in defence and are competitive most weeks. They should have a deeper midfield, with Zac Fisher showing his prowess in there, while Paddy Dow and Matthew Kennedy looked like they will be handy additions.

New Faces: It's not hard to see why Paddy Dow was selected with the third overall pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft. He looked so smooth, especially when he burst from a stoppage in the third term and drilled Levi Casboult with a perfect pass. He also showed his toughness by playing on despite losing his two front teeth. Former Greater Western Sydney midfielder Matthew Kennedy picked up 15 disposals while spending plenty of time in the guts after a pre-season hampered by shoulder surgery. Jarrod Garlett showed desperation in collecting a first-quarter ground ball and hurt his left shoulder while laying a fierce tackle on Jack Steven. Former Roo Aaron Mullett had 14 disposals and last year's No.10 selection Lochie O'Brien had eight. - Dinny Navaratnam afl.com.au

Team

B:20 Lachie Plowman 14 Liam Jones 25 Zac Fisher
HB: 6 Kade Simpson 22 Caleb Marchbank 7 Matthew Kennedy
C: 18 Aaron Mullett 9 Patrick Cripps 39 Dale Thomas
HF: 28 David Cunningham 30 Charlie Curnow 21 Jarrod Garlett
F: 46 Matthew Wright 41 Levi Casboult 33 Jarrod Pickett
Ruck: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 2 Marc Murphy (c) 35 Ed Curnow
Interchange: 1 Jack Silvagni 2 Paddy Dow 4 Lochie O'Brien
13 Jed Lamb 38 Ciaran Byrne
Emergencies: 31 Tom Williamson 29 Cameron Polson 24 Cam O'Shea
27 Matthew Lobbe
Coach: Brendan Bolton


Milestones

First Pre-Season Game: Paddy Dow, Lochie O'Brien
First Pre-Season Game for Carlton: Jarrod Garlett, Matthew Kennedy, Aaron Mullett,

Game 2

Carlton 3.1 19 6.3 39 14.4 88 16.6 102
Hawthorn 3.5 23 8.12 60 12.14 84 13.19 97
Venue: University of Tasmania Oval (York Park), Launceston Tasmania.
Date: 10th March, 2018 (7.05 pm)
Result: Won by 5 points.
Crowd: 5,405
Goalkickers: D. Thomas 3, Z. Fisher 2, J. Pickett 2, J. Silvagni 2, M. Wright, A. Mullett, J. Lamb, P. Cripps, E. Curnow, L. Casboult, M. Kennedy 1.
Reports: Nil
Umpires: Hosking, Schmitt, Hay
Injuries: Kreuzer (ankle)


Game Review

New-look Blues outgun Hawks
Carlton will be sweating on the fitness of No.1 ruckman Matthew Kreuzer after the big Blue sat out most of Saturday night's five-point JLT Community Series win over Hawthorn in Launceston with a suspected ankle injury. Kreuzer limped to the rooms late in the first term of Carlton's second JLT victory, casting some doubt over his likely availability just 12 days out from the round one clash with reigning premier Richmond at the MCG. The Blues flourished in an eight-goal third term to take a two-point lead into the final quarter and more than held their own in the wash-up, running out 16.6 (102) to 13.19 (97) winners in a frantic finish. "The belief the boys should have got from not playing their best footy but still winning is enormous," Carlton assistant coach Cam Bruce told reporters in Launceston. "I think that's a sign of growth with this group, winning ugly. "The biggest thing was we started to play the way we wanted to play. We weren't giving Hawthorn the game on their terms. "The inside 50 differential was significant (in the first half). We corrected that, improved that, but we still think there's plenty more improvement in our group which is exciting." Led by the impressive young duo of Jacob Weitering and Patrick Cripps, the Blues ran home strongly against a Hawks outfit that effectively played three short on the night by choosing to take a five-man interchange into the match opposed to Carlton's eight-man bench. But as well as the fatigue factor possibly costing the Hawks, they were guilty of being wasteful in front of goal, missing a number of chances throughout the match. "We controlled a lot of the indicators of the game we like which is inside 50s and scoring opportunities and we applied enormous pressure to the Carlton side," Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said. "We were pleased with a lot of things outside of the scoreboard. "By-and-large we just lacked polish in front of goal."

Perhaps surprisingly, the usually reliable Shaun Burgoyne was particularly wayward, registering 0.5 including a couple of close-range set-shots he would normally bury. As it was, the Blues were up for the fight when they eventually overcame their own field kicking woes, a feature of the early stages that led to repeated turnovers and all of Hawthorn's three first-quarter goals. The Hawks led by just four points at quarter time, failing to capitalise on their 19 forward entries, in contrast to the Blues who had also kicked three goals but only went inside forward 50 on eight occasions for the term. While Zac Fisher bobbed up for two majors in the opening quarter, it was the electric pace of Jarrod Pickett that really lit up Carlton’s forward line when he put a late goal on a plate for Jed Lamb to trim the Hawthorn lead to within a kick at the first break. New recruit Jarman Impey enjoyed another impressive night out for the Hawks with three goals from his 18 possessions, but may have some explaining to do following a run-in with Lamb during the third term. The former Port Adelaide flyer appeared to take exception to close attention from Lamb during a contest near the boundary and television replays appeared to show Impey thrusting his head towards the Carlton player as the pair regained their feet. Hawthorn’s lead had extended to 22 points in the third term, but in positive signs ahead of their round one date with Richmond, the Blues refused to throw in the towel and were particularly impressive during an eight-goals-to-four third term that gave them a well-deserved but narrow lead at the final change. Carlton will buoyed by the win but will need to be on top of their game when tackling 2017 premiers Richmond at the MCG in the season opener. - Stu Warren; afl.com.au

What We Learned: There's no end of talent right across the Carlton list and fans will be salivating at the prospect of seeing the likes of Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow, Jacob Weitering and Sam Petrevski-Seton continue to emerge as superstars-in-waiting during 2018.

New Faces: Cam O'Shea was made to wait until the third quarter to return to AFL action for the first time in 567 days, the former Port Adelaide defender playing a role across half-back and is seemingly in with a chance of round one selection.

Best; Weitering, Cripps, Casboult, Thomas

Team

B: 38 Ciaran Byrne 14 Liam Jones 22 Caleb Marchbank
HB: 6 Kade Simpson 23 Jacob Weitering 20 Lachie Plowman
C: 3 Marc Murphy (c) 9 Patrick Cripps 33 Jarrod Pickett
HF: 1 Jack Silvagni 30 Charlie Curnow 2 Paddy Dow
F: 46 Matthew Wright 41 Levi Casboult 25 Zac Fisher
Ruck: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 35 Ed Curnow 7 Matthew Kennedy
Interchange: 18 Aaron Mullett 28 David Cunningham 13 Jed Lamb
10 Harry McKay 4 Lochie O'Brien 24 Cameron O'Shea
39 Dale Thomas 5 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Emergencies: 27 Matthew Lobbe 42 Kym Lebois 29 Cameron Polson
11 Sam Kerridge
Coach: Brendan Bolton


In; J. Weitering, O'Shea, C. O'Shea
Out; J. Garlett (shoulder)


Season 2018 | AFLX