|Date:||Friday night, June 7, 2013|
|Result:||Lost by 5 points|
|Goalkickers:||J. Waite 7, E. Betts, L. Casboult, M. Murphy 1.|
|Umpires:||S. Jeffery, S. Meredith, B. Rosebury.|
Game ReviewIn this remarkable game of Friday night football at the MCG, Carlton led Essendon by 31 points half-way through the third quarter, only to falter under sustained pressure to be beaten in a grandstand finish. Despite a dominant performance by full-forward Jarrad Waite – who kicked five majors in the first half, and finished with seven - the Blues missed a number of scoring opportunities at vital stages of the game, and paid dearly.
Sitting fifth and sixth on the ladder respectively, Essendon and Carlton drew another massive crowd of more than 82,000 on a night when the Bombers celebrated the 140th anniversary of their entry into the VFL. They didn’t miss the opportunity to parade their 16 Premiership Cups either, in a less than subtle reminder to the Carlton masses that they had joined the Blues as the most successful clubs since the foundation of the VFL/AFL in 1897. Carlton, too had a milestone to celebrate. Long-serving stalwart and 2012 Best and Fairest Heath Scotland brought up his 200th match in navy blue, in his 14th season of AFL football.
Both sides went into the match with strong line-ups. Carlton recalled Chris Judd and Kane Lucas after each recovered from minor injury, and rushed back Eddie Betts from suspension. Tom Bell, Troy Menzel and Josh Bootsma were the unlucky trio omitted. In a surprise, Chris Yarran was wearing the substitute’s yellow vest when the Blues burst through their banner onto the ground, and Matthew Kreuzer got proceedings underway when he found Judd at the opening bounce and sent Carlton straight into attack.
Essendon stood firm however, and the ball rebounded between the respective half-back lines until the Bombers drew first blood with a goal to their hard-running defender Hocking, after four minutes of play. Their full-forward Hurley then added a second, before Jeff Garlett was controversially denied a reply. In a curious decision, the goal umpire awarded Jeff one point - for a kick off the ground that television replays later showed was clearly a goal.
In the wake of that incident, the Blues lifted their intensity, and were rewarded when Waite outmarked his opponent Carlisle and kicked truly from 35 metres to bring up Carlton’s first major after 22 minutes. Dennis Armfield then slammed a shot into a goal-post and Carlton were getting right on top when the siren went at quarter time, with Essendon ahead by three points.
The Blues ramped up their pressure after the break, when the second term belonged to Jarrad Waite. His agility, aerial skill and pace off the mark brought him goals at the 4, 9, 16 and 19 minute marks of the quarter, before he dished off a perfect handpass to Marc Murphy for another. Running hard and playing determined football, the Blues had forged away to lead by 19 points at half-time, and were travelling like winners.
However, during the long break, the Essendon coaches made a number of positional changes, including the pivotal move of Carlisle to full-forward, and Hurley to full-back on Waite. Still Carlton maintained their intensity through the early stages of the term, and stretched their advantage to 31 points after goals to Waite and Betts. Essendon clawed one back through their lively forward Crameri, then the turning point of the match arrived when Lucas ran into an open goal for Carlton and somehow missed from 5 metres out.
Essendon seemed to gain inspiration from that reprieve, and as Carlton started to lose their poise, the Bombers ratcheted up the pressure. Bomber goals at the 17 and 24-minute marks cut their deficit to 14 points at the last change, and momentum was definitely with the red and blacks. Suddenly in need of fresh legs, Carlton coach Mick Malthouse replaced Mitch Robinson with Chris Yarran during the break.
When play restarted for the final time, Yarran was immediately involved in a chain of possessions that culminated in Levi Casboult snapping a clever goal from right in front. That gave the Blues some breathing space, but an unforgiveable missed tackle – one of several in the second half – resulted in a mark and answering goal to Carlisle. Essendon’s half-time changes had energised the Bombers, and after being soundly beaten in the first half, Patrick Ryder was coming back hard at Kreuzer in the ruck. Hurley was giving Waite a real contest in the air, while Carlisle had regained his confidence and was marking everything that came his way.
In the next nine minutes, Essendon kicked 4.2 to hit the front by five points. Chris Judd then won a clearance and kicked long to a contest between Waite and Hurley. Jarrad leapt early and dragged down his 14th mark for the game, before slotting his seventh major in a brilliant solo performance. Carlton was back in front by 5 points, but could they hold on against the tidal wave of Essendon’s confidence?
Sadly for all Blues fans, the answer was no – although even in the final minutes of the contest, Carlton still could have snatched victory. Had Eddie Betts been paid what seemed a regulation free-kick for a trip, or had Bryce Gibbs and Brock McLean not missed gettable snap-shots, Bomber Jake Melksham’s long goal with less than two minutes on the clock might not have been decisive. And we Bluebaggers would not have had to endure repeated renditions of one of the silliest of all club songs.
The postscript to this game is a conundrum. How could a team that was clearly superior for most of the game, dominant in all of the key performance indicators, and equipped with a full-forward who kicked seven goals - still somehow lose?
Surely it was a psychological problem - one that had to be solved before it sent our supporters barking mad!
Subs: Chris Yarran replaced Mitch Robinson at three quarter time.
|B:||42 Zach Tuohy||40 Michael Jamison||23 Lachlan Henderson|
|HB:||6 Kade Simpson (vc)||1 Andrew Walker||43 Simon White|
|C:||29 Heath Scotland||5 Chris Judd||35 Ed Curnow|
|HF:||3 Marc Murphy (C)||30 Jarrad Waite||38 Jeffery Garlett|
|F:||19 Eddie Betts||41 Levi Casboult||12 Mitch Robinson|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||4 Bryce Gibbs||37 Jaryd Cachia|
|Interchange:||9 Kane Lucas||14 Brock McLean||27 Dennis Armfield|
|Substitute:||13 Chris Yarran|
|Emergencies:||2 Troy Menzel||17 Sam Rowe||21 Josh Bootsma|
Milestones200 Games (Carlton): Heath Scotland
Interesting Fact: On this day one of Carlton's treasures Harvey Dunn jnr passed away
Interesting Fact: Jarrad Waite matched his father Vin Waite's achievement by booting seven goals in a senior game. Vin notched up his 7 majors against Melbourne in Round 22, 1974.
Brownlow Votes3. Jarrad Waite, Carlton
2. Jake Carlisle, Essendon
1. Andrew Walker, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesJarrad Waite 11, Jaryd Cachia 8, Ed Curnow 5, Levi Casboult 4, Lachie Henderson 4, Marc Murphy 4, Zach Tuohy 4, Andrew Walker 4,Dennis Armfield 3, Bryce Gibbs 3, Kade Simpson 2
|8||West Coast||11||6||5||0||1135||987||+2||W 1||114.99||24|
|11||Port Adelaide||10||5||5||0||x||946||885||+0||L 5||106.89||20|
|12||Gold Coast||11||5||6||0||959||999||+1||W 1||96.00||20|
|13||North Melbourne||11||4||7||0||1148||1033||-1||L 1||111.13||16|
|14||Western Bulldogs||10||3||7||0||x||789||1027||+0||W 2||76.83||12|
|16||St Kilda||11||2||9||0||x||900||1049||+0||L 4||85.80||8|
Round 10 | Round 12