|Venue:||Sydney Olympic Stadium|
|Date:||2.40 pm, Sunday, September 5, 2010|
|Result:||Lost by 5 points|
|Goalkickers:||Waite 3, Walker 3, Garlett 2, Henderson 2, Warnock 2, Murphy 1.|
|Umpires:||S. Jeffery, S. McBurney, S. McInerney|
Game ReviewWith a semi-final berth up for grabs, everything was on the line in this Elimination Final between Carlton and Sydney. The Swans started firm favourites with the bookmakers at their (distant) second home, and it was always going to be a tough ask for the Blues. After ending the home and away season with two consecutive losses, Carlton limped into their second successive finals campaign light on form. Even so, the visitors seemed to have gained some confidence somewhere, because the match ebbed and flowed throughout. The Blues took it right up to the Swans, and an epic second half battle was fought. A five-point loss is what the pages of history will reveal, but only those who watched the contest unfold will appreciate just how gut-wrenching it was for the vanquished.
After he sat out the final three quarters of round 22 with hamstring tightness, there were serious doubts about Andrew Carrazzo’s fitness. The nine-day break between games must have been a godsend for Andrew, and with some light training under his belt and a searching test passed, he retained his position when the squads were announced. The luckless Shaun Grigg was not considered due to an injured calf, while Shaun Hampson and Chris Yarran both felt the blade of the selectors' axe. The out-again-in-again Richard Hadley was in again this week, and joining him were Sam Jacobs and Andrew Walker - all three having shown enough in the VFL Elimination Final a week earlier.
The long, narrow expanse of ANZ Stadium was not supposed to favour the Swans, but apparently nobody mentioned that to them. They flew out of the blocks with the first four goals, and with a 24-point lead established by the 12th minute, it was looking like a case of how far Sydney. Andrew Walker’s second shot at goal finally stopped the Swans run, and got the Blues on the board. With Sydney's momentum slowed, the Blues went about playing catch up. Sam Jacobs shouldered most of the early ruckwork, and when he started giving the Carlton midfielders first use of the ball, things started to turn. Lachie Henderson was covering a lot of ground, and eventually got on the end of a good pass from Jeff Garlett for the Blues’ second. Shortly after, Jarrad Waite got our third to bring us within five points. Sydney responded with their fifth, only for Waite to snag another and keep the Blues within reach. As the quarter dragged on we could have sworn that the time-keepers had nodded off. In fact it was the Blues' defence that seemed to nod off when, in the 34th minute, they conceded the Swans sixth for the term after Sydney had peppered the goals without success for several minutes. That goal stretched their lead to 15 points, in what had been a closely fought, up and down quarter for both teams.
The second quarter had a very similar script to it. The Swans jumped out early with the first two majors of the term, and extended their lead to an alarming 27 points by the 10th minute. Enter a tall man. 206 cm tall. Goes by the name of Warnock, Robert Warnock. Lurking deep in the forward line he bobbed up with a five minute cameo that netted two almost identical goals after strong marks over dwarfed defenders about 20 metres out dead in front. The Swans got one back against the run of play, before the Blues came again through Garlett’s first. Kade Simpson had been well held by Brett Kirk (your worst nightmare) but he got off the chain briefly with two shots at goal both of which resulted in behinds, one shaving the post. Then those time-keepers drifted off and again the Blues defence drifted with them. Goals to the Swans in the 30th and 35th minutes were super-costly, and at the main break their lead was out to 24 points. The Blues needed a major turnaround to get back into the game.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The man this day was Chris Judd. With Carlton teetering on the ropes after a let off from an easy miss by the Swans’ McVeigh, a massive change came over the game. Almost single-handed, Judd dragged his team mates out of the mire with one of the most eye-catching, team-lifting quarters you would care to witness. Time and again he got clear at stoppages, and sprinted forward to launch attack after attack. He got the Blues going in the third after picking out Walker close to goal. The second was a little piece of Marc Murphy magic, shrugging off the defence and snapping truly. Walker’s third came from an Eddie Betts give - after another Judd inside 50 - and the lead was somehow back to seven points. Just when it seemed he could do no wrong, Judd blew past the defence, and from close range on an angle, somehow missed what he should have taken - although the deficit was reduced to one straight kick. Kade Simpson then set up Garlett for his second major, and the scores were level with the small but loud mass of Carlton faithful going off. When Waite marked and goaled from about 40 metres, the Blues had put on five majors while the Swans went goalless, and the shoe was well and truly on the other foot. Sydney had been unable to respond to Carlton’s lift in intensity after half-time, and was hanging on by a fingernail. A 31-point turnaround gave the Blues a seven-point break at the last change.
With the Swans’ necks on the chopping block, chance after chance to drop the guillotine went begging in the crucial opening moments. First Simpson missed what for him was a gettable shot, and then Waite charged into an open goal only to inexplicably find the woodwork. With the lead out to nine points, the Swans slowly picked themselves up off the canvas, first with a flurry of points and then finally the answering goal to level the scores. Taking some of the polish off his superb third term, again Judd missed from close range, to give the Blues the narrowest of leads. As the quarter edged towards time-on, the Swans levelled and then went ahead through Ryan O’Keefe who had otherwise been extremely well held by Jordan Russell. With the clock ticking down Dennis Armfield took off on a characteristic line-breaking run, only to be dragged down from behind and penalised. The resulting kick at goal sailed through, and the game looked over for the Blues, with the Swans two goals clear in the 26th minute. Just when all appeared lost, Henderson dropped his umpteenth mark, this time right in the square. In the ensuing scramble, he lunged, and somehow got his big toe on the ball. When it rolled through, the game was suddenly alive again. At six points the difference and with no time to waste, Carlton surged forward again. Henderson got one to stick right on the 50 metre arc, and instinctively dished off to Garlett streaming past. Jeff’s shot at goal on his non-preferred left went wide, and with the margin at five points in Sydney's favour, the siren blared to call time on Carlton’s 2010 season.
For the Blues, it was a devastating blow for the second year running; exiting after a narrow Elimination Final loss. Only this time it was made all the more painful because of the numerous shots at goal missed by experienced players in good positions. A long summer lay ahead for the team, as they reflected on what could have been.
|B:||18 Paul Bower||40 Michael Jamison||45 Aaron Joseph|
|HB:||27 Dennis Armfield||2 Jordan Russell||29 Heath Scotland|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy||10 Richard Hadley||46 David Ellard|
|HF:||6 Kade Simpson||30 Jarrad Waite||38 Jeffery Garlett|
|F:||1 Andrew Walker||23 Lachlan Henderson||11 Robert Warnock|
|Ruck:||39 Sam Jacobs||5 Chris Judd (c)||4 Bryce Gibbs|
|Interchange:||12 Mitch Robinson||19 Eddie Betts||31 Marcus Davies|
|44 Andrew Carrazzo|
|Emg:||13 Chris Yarran, 15 Steven Browne, 26 Joe Anderson|
MilestonesFirst Final : Jarrad Waite, in his 131st game!
50 Goals / Goals Records : Jeffery Garlett kicked his 50th goal for Carlton, and overtook Rohan Welsh as Carlton's leading goalkicker in Guernsey 38
Last Game : Richard Hadley
Last Game (Carlton) : Sam Jacobs
Losing Records : This result continued Carlton's 17-year losing streak in Sydney
Best & Fairest Votes42 Chris Judd, 40 Jordan Russell, 37 Sam Jacobs, 34 Marc Murphy, 29 Andrew Carrazzo, 5 Robert Warnock, 4 Jarrad Waite, Jeffery Garlett
Round 22 | 2011