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Carlton won a thriller over Richmond at the MCG - nice game but horribly over-umpired

Round 18, 2012

Carlton 4.2 26 7.5 47 10.11 71 14.11 95
Richmond 5.2 32 5.7 35 8.11 59 13.13 91
Venue: MCG
Date: July 28, 2012 Saturday night
Result: Won by 4 points
Crowd: 46,013
Goalkickers: E. Betts 4, B. Thornton 2, D. Armfield 2, M. Murphy,  A. Carrazzo, T. Bell, J. Garlett, L. Casboult, B. McLean 1.
Reports:
Umpires: S. Hay, D. Margetts, B. Rosebury
Injuries:
Ladder: 11 th


Game Review

Traditional rivalry is one thing, but is it really much of a rivalry when one team wins all the time? After eight wins on the trot against Richmond the Blues were aiming to make it nine when the old foes met under the MCG lights on a cold and miserable Saturday night. Despite the lop sided record of recent times the Tigers entered the game as favourites largely due to Carlton's horrendous list of injuries and one major absentee through suspension. The winner of the contest would keep their slim finals chances on the oxygen machine for another week while the loser would almost certainly be condemned to the season 2012 morgue.

What a pleasant change to be welcoming back some old friends rather than bidding them farewell. The most notable inclusion to last week's winning line-up was big man Matthew Kreuzer, having made a sufficient enough recovery from his hip complaint to take the field once again. Alongside him came Zach Tuohy and Marcus Davies (his first call-up for the season). Finally came our young friend Kane Lucas, but just when you thought it was safe to throw him the substitute's green vest, he was a late withdrawal from the side. Nick Duigan got a reprieve in Lucas' place, but Matthew Watson, Jordan Russell and Paul Bower were not so lucky.

Having dried off my seat and attempted to regain the feeling in my toes the game got underway in a flurry of Tiger activity. Their prime-movers got their hands on the early ball and made the most of a scrappy opening couple of minutes, posting the first goal. The long sleeved Bryce Gibbs helped get the Blues on the board with a beautiful long ball to Eddie Betts' advantage in the pocket. Betts didn't claim the mark but got bundled over for a free-kick, then made light of a difficult angle when he bent it through with ease to level the scores. Opposing young guns, Trent Cotchin and Marc Murphy, sqaured-off with the next couple of goals as things remained tight, neither side really able to capitalise when in possession. With Maric making things difficult for Kreuzer the Tigers started to get on top through their onballers with two more goals giving them the advantage. Betts got the nod from a video review after soccering through his second to pinch one back, but Dustin Martin was proving a major handful snagging his third for the term to give the Tigers a two goal break. Nearing quarter time old timer Bret Thornton proved himself more than capable as a forward as he calmly slotted through from the angle just inside 50m after the Richmond runner had gifted the Blues a free-kick. The rain had held off and nine goals had flowed when the siren sounded, the Tigers a goal clear.

You could've been forgiven for spending most of the second quarter making a trip to the conveniences, grabbing a pie and then watching a bit of the Swans vs Suns game on TV in one of the bars whilst sipping a hot coffee or refreshing beer (it's never too cold). The standard, whilst not high to begin with, deteriorated and by the 12 minute mark the game was in desperate need of a goal. Step forward Dennis Armfield. Unable to claim the mark 30m out straight in front, Armfield spun around, swooped on the loose ball and ignited his jets then blasted the ball through from about 20m. 150 gamer Andrew Carrazzo got on the board next courtesy of a shove in the back that earned him a second shot at goal. His set shot from the free was better than his original kick and the Blues had snuck in front. Betts grabbed his third with his preference for the round-ball style soccer goal showing through again, this after the Tigers had controversially had a similar one disallowed at their end when a sleepy Bryce Gibbs almost buggered up what should have been the simplest of rushed behinds. The Tigers remained goalless for the quarter with Michael Jamison giving Jack Riewoldt a lesson, while Marc Murphy and Brock McLean got plenty of the ball in the middle. The Blues had eeked out a 10 point lead at the main break.

The good work the Blues had done in the latter part of the second term was slowly unravelled during the third term. The Tigers got back on top despite the influence of Cotchin, Martin and Newman being well curbed by the Blues run with players. Richmond kicked the opening three goals of the term to take back the ascendency and the all important momentum of the game was theirs. It took a strong mark and goal from the small man with the big game, Eddie Betts, to steady the ship and slowly turn it around. It's hard not to like what you get from Tom Bell. A powerfully built, tall and solid midfielder with a big tank, what he lacks in polish he makes up for with grunt, and tonnes of it. Playing only his second game, it's safe to say his wonderful juggling mark and subsequent goal from a tight angle would be the career highlight to date. To top off the come-back just before three quarter time Thornton pulled something from the party tricks manual when Betts' bouncing ball bobbled towards him. Instead of taking possession Thornton deftly tapped the ball double-handed over his head and that of his defender into the path of Jeff Garlett who steamed towards the open goal for the easiest and most amusing goal of the evening. Thornton's post-goal grin said it all. Getting back on top in the latter part of the term Carlton took a handy two goal break to the last change.

Richmond jumped out of the blocks in the final term seemingly desperate to avenge the last quarter fade-outs from their previous two games. Carlton's narrow lead had been eroded by the seventh minute and as the rain started to fall it was starting to look ominous. With the conditions getting slippery, simple footy was the order of the day, but one clearing hack from the Tiger defence was too much when it landed square in the arms of big Levi Casboult just 30m out on a slight angle. Casboult's technique is not as pretty as some, but it was nothing if not effective as he slotted his first AFL goal and then endured the onslaught of head-rubs and back-pats that resulted. The lead was only momentary as the Tigers answered with two telling goals, one from their skipper and a second from ex-Blue Shaun Grigg who somehow squirted one through out of major congestion. When Tuohy conceded a free-kick to Cotchin straight in front, their third straight looked to spell curtains for the Blues. But with 23 minutes gone and the game slipping from Carlton's grasp, Kreuzer palmed to Murphy who somehow managed to find Armfield free inside 50 with a looping handball that put him into space and his clinical finish on the run was a beauty. After coming up empty handed from the next surge forward, McLean simply hacked the ball into dangerous territory near the top of the square where Thornton was lurking, When he was held off the ball the resulting free-kick and goal made it anyone's game with five minutes still to play. The last few minutes were heart-racing, edge of the seat stuff. Heath Scotland was as clean as a whistle as he repelled several Richmond forays, while Betts and Garlett threatened to pounce on the loose ball on more than one occasion but simply couldn't find enough space. The game reached its zenith with a minute to play when the Tiger defence hacked clear under immense pressure from Betts only to see it drift out on the full beyond the 50m line. Brock McLean is not a noted long range kick, but when Garlett found him unmanned just outside 50m he simply bombed it towards Casboult who was one-out in the square. Casboult and his defender charged towards the incoming ball only to see it clear them both and bounce through for the unlikeliest of goals from the unlikeliest of heroes. The remaining 40 seconds seemed to take an eternity, but when the siren finally sounded with the Blues four points to the good, their season was still alive, if only barely. Take a bow Brock McLean.

Subs: Frazer Dale replaced Nick Duigan during the last quarter.

Team



B:45 Aaron Joseph 40 Michael Jamison 31 Marcus Davies
HB:13 Chris Yarran 26 Andrew McInnes 29 Heath Scotland
C: 35 Ed Curnow 14 Brock McLean 4 Bryce Gibbs
HF: 27 Dennis Armfield 32 Bret Thornton 38 Jeffery Garlett
F:19 Eddie Betts 41 Levi Casboult 16 Andrew Collins
Ruck: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 44 Andrew Carrazzo 3 Marc Murphy (Acting Captain)
Interchange:28 Tom Bell 34 Nick Duigan 42 Zach Tuohy
Substitute: 39 Frazer Dale
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 2 Jordan Russell , 9 Kane Lucas, 46 David Ellard


-*Nick Duigan replaced Kane Lucas in the selected side

Milestones

150 Games: Andrew Carrazzo
Last Games: Bret Thornton and Frazer Dale
First Goal: Levi Casboult
Record in Guernsey #32: Bret Thornton, with his 188th game in this guernsey became the games record holder.
Guernsey Games Record: Eddie Betts equalled Ian Collins's record of 161 games in guernsey 19.

Brownlow Votes

3. Marc Murphy, Carlton
2. Shane Tuck, Richmond
1. Andrew Carrazzo, Carlton

Best & Fairest Votes

Marc Murphy 40, Michael Jamison 38, Eddie Betts 36, Brock McLean 33, Heath Scotland 30, Dennis Armfield 26, Andrew Carrazzo 22, Jeffery Garlett 22, Ed Curnow 16, Matthew Kreuzer 6

Ladder


Pos 2012 Rd 18 Plyd W L D For Agst U/D Strk % Pts
1 Sydney 17 14 3 0 1787 1181 +0 W 8 151.31 56
2 Hawthorn 17 13 4 0 2078 1298 +1 W 8 160.09 52
3 Adelaide 17 13 4 0 1817 1404 -1 L 1 129.42 52
4 Collingwood 17 13 4 0 1731 1398 +0 W 1 123.82 52
5 West Coast 17 12 5 0 1819 1394 +0 W 1 130.49 48
6 Geelong 17 11 6 0 1652 1436 +1 W 2 115.04 44
7 Essendon 17 11 6 0 1726 1524 -1 L 2 113.25 44
8 North Melbourne 17 10 7 0 1869 1690 +0 W 3 110.59 40
9 Fremantle 17 10 7 0 1425 1333 +0 W 4 106.90 40
10 St Kilda 17 9 8 0 1805 1481 +0 W 1 121.88 36
11 Carlton Blues 17 9 8 0 1562 1491 +0 W 2 104.76 36
12 Richmond 17 7 10 0 1607 1522 +0 L 3 105.58 28
13 Brisbane 17 7 10 0 1416 1608 +0 L 1 88.06 28
14 Port Adelaide 17 5 12 0 1282 1570 +0 L 1 81.66 20
15 Western Bulldogs 17 5 12 0 1182 1634 +0 L 6 72.34 20
16 Melbourne 17 2 15 0 1185 1858 +0 L 5 63.78 8
17 Gold Coast 17 1 16 0 1109 1926 +0 L 2 57.58 4
18 GWS 17 1 16 0 913 2217 +0 L 10 41.18 4

Game
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Agst Rich Bris Coll
Ess
Frem Gws St.Kilda Adel Melb Port Geel
W.Cst
Carl
125
154
122
79
65
110
98
55
107
54
85
69
Opp
81
63
62
109
57
43
122
124
49
99
97
79
Ladder
4
2
2
4
3
2
4
7
6
7
9
9
% 154.3 193.7 194.6 152.3 146.51 157.8 140.2 122.2 128.8 118.6 115.3 113.1
Game
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Agst BYE Haw Coll N.Melb W.Bull Rich Sydney Bris Ess G.Cst St.Kilda
Carl .
70
85
96
84
95
Opp .
120
62
149
102
91
Ladder
9
:10::
9
12
11
11
% 113.1 107.1 108.7 103.7 104.7 104.7



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Round 17 | Round 19

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