|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|
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 Hartlett ended up getting a late reprieve into the final 22 when Michael Jamison was withdrawn suffering from a groin complaint.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|
|Emg:||28 Cameron Cloke, 40 Michael Jamison, 24 Nick Stevens|
- Adam Hartlett replaced Michael Jamison (groin) in the selected side
Milestones50 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 Votes3. Kade Simpson, Carlton
2. Ryan O'Keefe, Sydney
1. Matthew Kreuzer, Carlton
Best and Fairest Votes41 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
Round 15 | Round 17