|Venue:||TIO Stadium, Darwin, NT.|
|Date:||Friday 21st August, 2020 (7.50 pm AEST).|
|Result:||Won by 33 points.|
|Goalkickers:||H. McKay 2.4, M. Gibbons 2.0, E. Betts 1.1, E. Curnow 1.0, J. Newnes 1.0, M.Murphy 0.2, L.Casboult 0.1, P.Cripps 0.1, T.DeKoning 0.1, J. Martin 0.1, S.Walsh 0.1, rushed 6.|
|Umpires:||Curtis Deboy, Robert Findlay, Craig Fleer|
Game ReviewInaccurate Blues Cruise Home in Darwin. - Rose Zarucky, Carlton Media.
The Blues got their pressure game going early and moved the ball just as quickly. Carlton’s defence was busy early, with Sam Docherty and Tom Willamson holding out Gold Coast from snatching an early goal. Sam Walsh and Eddie Betts were impactful early in moving the ball down the line with Michael Gibbons snapping the Blues only goal for the quarter. Carlton had the territory in the first term, playing the majority of the quarter in their forward half, but a few opportunities went begging in front of goal. However, at the other end, the Blues kept a team scoreless in the opening term for the first time since 1997.
Walsh and Jack Martin took charge in sending the Blues forward, while Marc Murphy was the best player on the ground in the opening stages. Liam Jones and Kade Simpsons played their regular intercepting roles in the defensive half, keeping the ball out of the Sun's forwards’ hands. Harry McKay made use of his set-shot opportunities, scoring his first goal for the game after a clever set-up from Betts. The Blues’ marking was the pillar of their first half game despite slippery conditions, almost doubling Gold Coast’s tally. The Suns started to ramp up the pressure late in the second half, kicking two goals in a row, but some fast footwork from Zac Fisher led to a wonderful goal from Betts. while McKay and Gibbons slotted their second.
Both teams started the quarter with intensity, moving the ball from end to end but struggling to score. The conditions kicked in as both teams struggled to gain clean possession, with the Blues having a few looks early but unable to capitalise on scoring shots. Carlton moved the ball quickly and with confidence, with Levi Casboult taking a few handy contested marks. The Suns snagged the first goal of the quarter with three minutes remaining, but Ed Curnow responded immediately with a goal of his own down the other end. Carlton’s backline out-muscled the Gold Coast forwards, with Jacob Weitering keeping Ben King to one kick after three quarters.
Carlton continued their fast-moving game, opting to kick short and quick down the line. Patrick Cripps was strong in the contest, moving the ball confidently out of trouble, while Tom De Koning and Marc Pittonet had the majority of the hit uts in the ruck. Tom Williamson and Lachie Plowman provided strong pressure across half back while McKay provided a tall marking option in the forward half. For the second straight week, Jack Newnes kicked Carlton’s final goal of the game - this time a clever soccer goal off the ground - as his team finished with a 33-point win. The Suns' first goal didn't come until halfway through the second term and they struggled in the midfield battle, being overcome by the weight of Carlton onballers, including Marc Murphy (28 disposals), Patrick Cripps (22) and Jack Martin (21) against his former side. Michael Gibbons had an excellent first half and finished with two goals from 19 disposals for the Blues in the front half, while Harry McKay was also influential in attack but missed his chance at a haul of goals by kicking 2.4.
The Betts buzz
There was no doubt who was the crowd favourite on Friday night. Any time Carlton veteran Eddie Betts went anywhere near the ball TIO Stadium erupted, especially in a busy second term. In a tangle with Suns defender Charlie Ballard, and pinned up against the boundary line, Betts tapped the ball through Ballard's legs and earned a free kick. That time his shot from the pocket missed, but moments later he was the beneficiary of Zac Fisher's good work. In a show of his zip and smarts, Fisher bounced three times before handballing to Betts, who slotted the goal from close range. He ran off the field to the roar of Blues fans and Territorians. Post-game he swapped jumpers with Suns young gun Izak Rankine.
Murphy winds back the clock
The slippery conditions didn't suit everyone but Marc Murphy adapted better than most. The former Carlton skipper produced his best game of the season, gathering a season-high 28 disposals in a dominant midfield showing. Murphy was the busiest midfielder on the ground, also picking up five clearances and 11 score involvements – the most of any player. Murphy recently turned 33 but has played every game this season and has committed to another year in 2021. Friday night showed he's still got a bit left.
Moment of the match: Carlton could’ve been in trouble when Gold Coast kicked two consecutive goals after the Blues dominated the entirety of the first half. Enter Zac Fisher. Streaming inside 50 with a clean possession, Fisher took three bounces, drew his opponent and handed off to Eddie Betts who delighted his adoring fans in the Top End. The Blues kicked two more quick goals and were out of sight at half time.
Three things we learned:
1. Jack Newnes can do more than kick clutch goals. Newnes had a huge impact through the midfield, gathering the ball and setting up goals for his team.
2. Jack Martin was a welcome addition to the side, providing speed and class through the corridor, producing score involvements aplenty and proving a menace against his old side.
3. Jacob Weitering kept his outstanding 2020 form line ticking along. Weitering kept the dangerous Ben King scoreless for the entirety of the game, with the Gold Coast forward collecting his first kick in the final minute of the third term. It was a comprehensive shutout performance from a man who did who All-Australian chances no harm.
Best: M. Murphy, J. Weitering, M. Gibbons, J. Martin, L. Jones, J. Newnes, S. Walsh, H. McKay.
|B:||31 Tom Williamson||14 Liam Jones||20 Lachie Plowman|
|HB:||15 Sam Docherty (c)||23 Jacob Weitering||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||18 Sam Walsh|
|HF:||25 Zac Fisher||41 Levi Casboult||21 Jack Martin|
|F:||27 Marc Pittonet||10 Harry McKay||19 Eddie Betts|
|Ruck:||12 Tom De Koning||43 Will Setterfield||35 Ed Curnow|
|Interchange:||6 Kade Simpson||32 Jack Newnes||40 Michael Gibbons|
|46 Matt Cottrell|
|Emg:||4 Lochie O'Brien, 29 Cam Polson, 36 Josh Honey, 47 Callum Moore|
In: Jack Martin, Marc Pittonet
Out: M. Kennedy (Quad), J. Honey (Omitted)
Milestones and FactsInteresting Fact: This was the first time that the Blues has held a team scoreless in the first quarter since Round 21, 1997 when they played the Sydney Swans.
Interesting Fact: This was the first time that the Gold Coast Suns has been held scoreless in the opening quarter against any team since its inception in 2011.
Interesting Fact: This score of 27 points kicked by the Gold Coast Suns was the lowest total by an opponent since Geelong kicked that score in Round 22, 2001.
Interesting Fact: Percentage. After 12 matches the Blues have now registered 6 wins and 6 losses for a points total of 756 For and Against, giving them precisely 100.00%.
The goal chase: 3 more Blues hit double figure goals this week, with McKay & Gibbons (2) plus Newnes (1) joining Casboult, Betts and Martin up there. A tight race for the Leading Goalkicker award!
Indigenous Round: The Blues wore a white clash jumper with a navy blue concentric circle dot design representing its current six AFL/AFLW Carlton indigenous players.
AFLCA Votes10 - Marc Murphy (CARL)
4 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
4 - Jack Martin (CARL)
3 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
3 - Liam Jones (CARL)
2 - Harry McKay (CARL)
2 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
1 - Michael Gibbons (CARL)
1 - Jack Newnes (CARL)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 12 | Round 14