|Date:||Sunday, August 23, 2015. 3.20 pm|
|Result:||Won by 23 points|
|Goalkickers:||A. Walker 4, M. Kreuzer 3, P. Cripps 2, A. Everitt 2, M. Watson 1.|
|Umpires:||J. Armstrong, N. Foot, S. Hay, H. Ryan (4 umpires for 2nd game in a row)|
|Injuries:||L. Casboult (knee) replaced in selected side by M. Watson, T. Menzel (shoulder), M. Murphy (shoulder), M. Jamison (concussion), M. Kreuzer (back)|
Game ReviewInspired by an emotional pre-game farewell to retiring champion Chris Judd, an injury-ravaged Carlton team withstood a strong second half from the Melbourne Demons to hang on and win by 26 points on this Sunday afternoon at the MCG. Coming at the end of another tumultuous week in the worst year in memory for the Blues, Carlton’s fourth victory of the season lifted the team off the bottom of the ladder – but it came at a heavy price when captain Marc Murphy dislocated a shoulder and brought a premature end to his 2015 campaign.
Only a few days earlier, the Blues had been rocked by the defection of versatile big man Lachie Henderson, who had asked to be traded to another club at the end of the season. Henderson was immediately suspended by the club, and became the first of three changes to the team that had been humiliated by the Brisbane Lions on the previous weekend. Clem Smith and Nick Holman were also omitted, making way for Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel and Jason Tutt. However, Casboult’s troublesome knee didn’t settle as expected, so Matthew Watson was recalled when Levi was a late withdrawal. David Ellard was named as the Blues’ substitute.
Chris Judd’s lap of honour, with his young family beside him and past and present players from rival clubs watching on, was a poignant prelude to a game with little at stake - apart from pride - for either side. Acclaimed once more and thanked with generous applause from just about every one of the 34,000 fans on hand to farewell him, Carlton’s former captain’s presence alone was enough to inspire the Blues. They blasted from the blocks in an electrifying start and kicked the first goal of the match through Andrew Walker, before a Melbourne player had touched the ball.
Tackling with real intent, and running hard, Carlton dominated the first half, with Marc Murphy, Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps and Walker leading the way. Particularly pleasing was the resurgence of Watson, who was providing a viable marking target at half-forward as his confidence grew. A six-goal first quarter by the Blues paved the way for a 47-point break at half-time, and suddenly, the skies above the MCG were a couple of shades bluer.
What could have been the turning point of the match occurred early in the third term, after Walker had kicked his fourth major and stretched Carlton’s lead to 53 points. Murphy reached out to tackle an opponent, and the skippers’ left shoulder was wrenched from its socket. In pain and obvious distress, Murphy was helped to the bench and soon substituted out the game. From that moment on, Melbourne began their resurgence and posted four of the next five goals to trail by 30 points with a quarter to play.
Ten minutes into the final term, Carlton’s advantage had shrunk to 18 points and alarm bells were ringing. But the Blues dug deep, with Cripps, Kade Simpson, Ed Curnow and Zach Tuohy standing tall. And when Blaine Boekhorst won a ground level contest and sent a neat pass to Cripps 20 metres out from goal, the Demons were finally vanquished and Carlton was off the bottom of the ladder – at least temporarily.
Outstanding for the Blues in this game were Murphy (until injured) Kreuzer, Cripps, Curnow, Walker and Tuohy – who kept former Blue Jeff Garlett near kickless all match. But overall, the most pleasing aspect of this win was that it came from a team effort. Everyone in Navy Blue contributed, and did what they had to do – just when such an effort was so desperately needed.
|B:||15 Sam Docherty||40 Michael Jamison (VC)||17 Sam Rowe|
|HB:||7 Dylan Buckley||42 Zach Tuohy||6 Kade Simpson|
|C:||12 Blaine Boekhorst||44 Andrew Carrazzo||22 Jason Tutt|
|HF:||3 Marc Murphy (C)||33 Andrejs Everitt||28 Tom Bell|
|F:||10 Matthew Watson||1 Andrew Walker||2 Troy Menzel|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||9 Patrick Cripps||35 Ed Curnow|
|Interchange:||18 Kristian Jaksch||24 Mark Whiley||31 Matthew Dick|
|Substitute:||46 David Ellard|
|Emergencies:||20 Nick Holman||25 Clem Smith||41 Levi Casboult|
ChangesIn : Levi Casboult, Troy Menzel, Jason Tutt.
Out : Nick Holman, Lachlan Henderson, Clem Smith.
Late Change : Matthew Watson replaced Levi Casboult in the selected side.
Subs: David Ellard replaced Marc Murphy during the third quarter.
Interesting Fact : This was Carlton's last win until round 5, 2016, when only 9 of the above Blues were still in the side.
Brownlow Votes3. Matthew Kreuzer, Carlton
2. Patrick Cripps, Carlton
1. Andrew Walker, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesPatrick Cripps 8, Matthew Kreuzer 8, Zach Tuohy 8, Ed Curnow 7, Sam Docherty 5, Tom Bell 4, Andrew Walker 4, Sam Rowe 3, Kade Simpson 2, Andrew Carrazzo 1, Michael Jamison 1, Marc Murphy 1, Jason Tutt 1
Round 20 | Round 22