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Carlton broke a 18 year old hoodoo by defeating the Swans by 16 points at the SCG. Yes, in NSW!

Round 6, 2011

Carlton 3.1 19 3.6 24 8.9 57 12.15 87
Sydney Swans 5.2 32 5.8 38 8.8 51 10.11 71
Venue: SCG
Date: April 29, 2011 (night)
Result: Won by 16 points
Crowd: 28,081
Goalkickers: Betts 4, Garlett 2, Walker 2, Waite, White, O'hAilpin, Joseph 1.
Reports: Nil
Umpires: R. Chamberlain, S. Jeffery, M. Stevic
Injuries: Nil
Ladder: 3rd


Game Review

As I strolled towards the gates of the SCG in semi-darkness and light rain the thought did briefly run through my mind “what the hell are you doing here?” That thought stemmed largely from Carlton’s previous umpteen unsuccessful visits to the Harbour city dating back to 1993 and less to the inclement weather. That said, arriving at my seat to discover ours was the last row still unprotected from the rain was the omen that told me we might be in for a long night.

Illustration: http://www.samcrook.com
With a week’s worth of rain saturating the SCG turf during the lead up to the round 6 clash it was of some surprise to see the Blues nominate an unchanged team. As the rain continued to pour it wasn’t a huge shock when Shaun Hampson was one of two late changes. The other came courtesy of the unresolved tightness in Chris Yarran’s hamstring. Into the side came veritable mudlark Setanta O’hAilpin (more accustomed to these conditions than just about anybody) and the straight ahead run of Dennis Armfield as substitute.

Having sneakily moved into the vacant row of seating behind, out of the rain’s reach, all was in readiness. Shortly after the umpire tossed the ball aloft the slipping and sliding began, but to the surprise of most the first quarter turned out to be something of a goal feast (eight in total). It was the Swans with the opener but Eddie Betts equalised for the Blues soon after, benefitting from Heath Scotland’s long bomb over the pack. It was old fashioned football from the Swans, minimising their handball, going long when clear and off the deck when in congestion. The Blues tried to stay true to their short-game and probably over used handball a little, but both sides found avenues to goal early. Midway through the term Betts was involved again as Jarrad Waite’s goal off the ground brought the Blues level, before the Swans kicked away to an early 13 point lead. The rain and hard slog continued until Aaron Joseph dragged one back in the 30th minute before a heart-breaking 33rd minute goal to the Swans restored their lead to 13 points as the quarter ended.

The rain had largely stopped by the time play resumed in the second quarter, but the correlation you’d expect with the improvement in conditions and scoring never eventuated. Both teams had their chances but neither was able to make them count. Even without a goal the contest was intriguing. Both teams simplified their footy, the Swans sooner than the Blues, as they adapted to the terrible conditions. Setanta O’hAilpin’s efforts in the ruck were winning praise and when combined with Chris Judd’s strength at stoppages and his telling clearances they were giving the Blues enough chances. In defence Michael Jamison continued to showcase his new found confidence to run, deliver long, penetrating kicks and surge further forward than we’re accustomed. Despite their influence, goals were elusive and in the wash up the Swans’ six behinds eclipsed the Blues’ five and Sydney hit the sheds with a 14 point lead.

Andrew Walker began to back up his outstanding game last week when he opened the third quarter with a couple of shots at goal. The first saw him on the end of a string of handballs before missing a very gettable shot from close range. He redeemed himself a short while later, after a Swans mistake lead to a turnover, with Betts and Simon White involved before Walker capitalised from about 40m. Judd’s dominance continued early but sadly his inaccuracy at goal did too, with a bad miss from close range when a goal was there for the taking. When the Swans goaled half way through the quarter their lead was out to 17 points and my pessimistic mate felt the Blues were gone. That three goal lead was probably worth six in good conditions and the Blues had simply not taken their chances when they presented. It’s widely documented that football is a funny game and it was Eddie Betts who was laughing after a five minute purple patch netted him three consecutive goals and the lead for the Blues. The first came from a free-kick awarded for a lovely tackle. The second resulted from subtle use of the body, a low centre of gravity and sure footing, while the third (a set shot from about 30m) came after Marc Murphy had the boldness to take two bounces before dishing to Jeff Garlett who found Betts one-out with his defender. The strong contested mark and true finish gave the Blues a one point lead before controversy struck. A dreaded interchange infringement gifted O’hAilpin a goal from straight in front and out of nowhere the Blues were in front by seven points. After that flurry of goal scoring activity, normal service resumed until late in the quarter when Sydney got one back to reduce Carlton’s lead to a solitary point at three quarter time.

It wasn’t until the ninth minute when the arm-wrestle started to lean Carlton’s way. Jeff Garlett swooped on the crumbs from a big-pack, swung onto his left boot and kicked truly around the corner for his first. White had offered something after having been thrown forward, but his first shot at goal had missed as he tried to kick the cover off the footy. His second chance came in much more favourable circumstances as he ran onto Walker’s dribble forward and into an open goal, though he did seem to take an eternity to pick up the ball and slam it through. Garlett’s second came after a strong lead and mark, the resulting kick from outside 50m a beauty. Walker, not to be outdone, jagged his second a minute or so later when he snapped the ball over his shoulder after it popped out of congestion into his hands making the lead a seemingly comfortable 23 points. Chris Judd played no small part in Carlton’s final term surge. His centre bounce clearance work was at a level rarely seen and underscored why he is arguably the best clearance player in the competition. Time and again he got first hands to the ball and found an avenue out of congestion or to a teammate and drove the Blues forward. It was an absolute pleasure to behold and went a long way to ensuring the Blues’ first win in Sydney in 18 years.

The final margin was a mere 16 points but judging by the apparent satisfaction shown by Brett Ratten after the siren and in post match media it was worth substantially more than the four premiership points awarded. It was the Blues best win of the season and who could argue. Hopefully in three or four months time we’ll look back on the win as a season shaping one.

Aaron Joseph was subbed by Dennis Armfield at the 19 minute mark of the 3rd quarter.

Team


B:44 Andrew Carrazzo 40 Michael Jamison 43 Simon White
HB:15 Jeremy Laidler 4 Bryce Gibbs 34 Nick Duigan
C: 2 Jordan Russell 5 Chris Judd (C) 6 Kade Simpson
HF: 38 Jeffery Garlett 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín 3 Marc Murphy
F: 19 Eddie Betts 30 Jarrad Waite 1 Andrew Walker
Ruck:11 Robert Warnock 29 Heath Scotland 35 Ed Curnow
Interchange:12 Mitch Robinson 45 Aaron Joseph 46 David Ellard
Substitute: 27 Dennis Armfield
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 13 Chris Yarran, 22 Shaun Hampson, 42 Zach Tuohy

-*Late Changes: Setanta Ó hAilpín & Dennis Armfield replaced Shaun Hampson & Chris Yarran

Milestones

50 Goals: Andrew Walker
Interesting Fact: This was Carlton's first victory in Sydney since 1993!
Interesting Fact: Carlton's last two victories against Sydney have been when Sydney have worn 'special' jumpers, in 2009 when they worn the red sash (for the 1909 premiership) and 2011 the red hoops (for 25 years partnership with current sponsor. (QBE insurance))
Games Guernsey Record: David Ellard broke John Warden's record for most games played in guernsey #46

Brownlow Votes

3. Chris Judd, Carlton
2. Ben McGlynn, Sydney
1. Jarrad McVeigh, Sydney

Best & Fairest Votes

Chris Judd 47, Michael Jamison 40, Eddie Betts 37, Marc Murphy 33, Andrew Walker 22, Ed Curnow 21, David Ellard 16, Jarrad Waite 16, Kade Simpson 15, Jeremy Laidler 12

Ladder


  2011 Rd 6 P W D L Bye For Agn % Pts
1 Collingwood 6 6 0 0   773 434 178.11 24
2 Geelong 5 5 0 0 1 457 320 142.81 20
3 Carlton 6 4 1 1   600 467 128.48 18
4 Fremantle 5 4 0 1 1 463 411 112.65 16
5 Essendon 6 3 1 2   695 484 143.60 14
6 Hawthorn 5 3 0 2 1 492 416 118.27 12
7 West Coast 5 3 0 2 1 467 411 113.63 12
8 Melbourne 5 2 1 2 1 454 452 100.44 10
9 Sydney 5 2 1 2 1 408 433 94.23 10
10 Richmond 6 2 1 3 1 557 676 82.40 10
11 Western Bulldogs 5 2 0 3 1 438 399 109.77 8
12 Adelaide 5 2 0 3 1 394 418 94.26 8
13 St Kilda 5 1 1 3 1 386 445 86.74 6
14 North Melbourne 5 1 0 4 1 478 547 87.39 4
15 Port Adelaide 6 1 0 5 1 493 696 70.83 4
16 Gold Coast 5 1 0 4 1 334 750 44.53 4
17 Brisbane Lions 5 0 0 5 1 382 512 74.61 0

Game
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Agst Rich G.Cst Coll
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Adel Sydney St.Kilda BYE Geel Melb P.Adel
Bris
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% 123.8 202.2
146.6
135.0 129.5 128.4 . . . . .  
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Agst Sydney W.Cst Rich W.Bull Coll Ess N.Melb Melb Frem Haw Bye St.Kilda
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