|Venue:||Giants Stadium, Sydney NSW.|
|Date:||Saturday 19th June, 2021 (7.25 pm).|
|Result:||Lost by 36 points.|
|Goalkickers:||H. McKay 3.2, M. Owies 2.2, T. De Koning 1.0, M. Pittonet 1.0, L. Fogarty 1.0, Z. Fisher 1.0, J. Silvagni 0.2, E. Betts 0.1, A. Saad 0.1, P. Cripps 0.1, N. Newman 0.1, Rushed 0.2.|
|Reports:||Toby Greene (GWS) reported for striking Nic Newman (Carlton) in the third quarter, he was fined $2000.|
|Umpires:||Ray Chamberlain, Andre Gianfagna, Jacob Mollison.|
|Injuries:||L. Parks (back)|
Game ReviewGiants' win raises pressure on Blues, but Toby in trouble
GWS on door of top eight as Carlton again comes up short - Martin Pega / Rose Zarucky.
The heat on Carlton is sure to rise again after a third successive loss in a game in which it offered little resistance till it was too late, going down to Greater Western Sydney 16.6 (102) to 9.12 (66) at Giants Stadium on Saturday night. As desperate as the Blues should have been to win, the result was just as important for the Giants who now sit two points outside the eight and well in finals contention with an injury list shortening by the week. No doubt David Teague will be feeling disappointed in his charges who, despite trailing at half-time by 30 points on the scoreboard, 38 in possessions and 11 in clearances, also sat way behind - 45 to 20 - in tackles. GWS led from the first minute of the match and was never headed, although four Carlton goals in five minutes late in the third term suggested a comeback was on the cards as the margin narrowed to 12 points. However, a quick reply from Jeremy Finlayson steadied the Giants' ship, and when threatened again in the last it was Toby Greene who rose to the task with a big mark and clinch goal. From that point it was all GWS, running away to the 36-point win, Carlton's biggest loss of the season. Greene was at his enigmatic best throughout, typified by an amazing torpedo goal from inside the centre square after the first-quarter siren. To round out the equation, he then had his number taken for striking Nic Newman in the third term and will also come under scrutiny for touching the reporting umpire. Eddie Betts tallied just five touches and was held goalless, while former Giant Zac Williams had just 11 touches. Owies kicked two goals, the fifth time this season he has booted two or more in a game.
It was the Giants which took the early ascendancy, opening proceedings with the first three goals of the game while the Blues struggled to get their hands on the footy. Patrick Cripps led from the front in getting his side back into the game early, providing physical pressure while also having an impact in the air. Liam Jones was busy in the back half, while it was Matthew Owies who got the ball rolling on the scoreboard with Carlton's opening goal. Lachie Fogarty kept the Blues in it with his first goal, but it was a 20-point lead to GWS at quarter time after a Toby Greene torpedo on the siren.
The second term followed the roadmap of the first, with GWS able to dictate the pattern of play before a Harry McKay goal - his 39th of the season - was badly needed for the Blues. Carlton was looking to press in the first half of the second term, but a Giants goal sapped the visitors of any momentum as the home side got the game on their terms. It was the Giants' pressure which the Blues couldn't match, ultimately trailing by an even five goals at the main break.
Things didn't look good for the Blues when the Giants opened the scoring in the third term, with the margin ballooning out to a game-high 39-point lead after a Kieren Briggs goal. A sprint through the middle of the ground from Adam Saad and Liam Stocker was the impetus Carlton need, with Owies' second goal not only breaking a scoring drought but kickstarting a Carlton run. As has been the case so often in 2021, Harry McKay was the danger man in attack with two quick majors, before a close-range Tom De Koning major after clever work from Jack Silvagni had the Blues within two kicks. The work of Matthew Kennedy - who spent time up forward, inside the contest and on a wing throughout the course of the evening - was a major positive for the Blues, while it was Marc Pittonet's work at the centre bounce which got the ball going Carlton's way. Carlton kicked four quick goals and got within 12 points in the third quarter and closed to the same margin again in the fourth, but fell away badly in the final stages, a depressingly familiar pattern for fans. Key forward Harry McKay, who didn't touch the ball in the first quarter and just twice to half-time, was prominent in the Blues fightback, kicking 3.2 a few days after the Coleman Medal leader signed a contract extension.
It was Pittonet who answered Jeremy Finlayson's late third-quarter goal to potentially kickstart things for the Blues, once again pushing to within two goals of their opponents. However, Carlton's task got much more difficult when Finlayson and multiple goals to Greene pushed the margin out to five goals. With the Blues needing to go at the game late, Adam Saad used his speed and penetrating kick to provide rebound from defence, while Jack Newnes found his way into the contest after being subbed on for the injured Luke Parks. A late Zac Fisher goal was nothing but consolation as the Giants piled on the late goals to end the game with a 36-point win.
It’s not easy being Greene
Few can play the hero and the villain in one game as well as Toby Greene. When the Giants’ stand-in skipper marked outside the 50m arc and the siren sounded for quarter-time Greene went back, lined up his shot and let fly with a torpedo that sailed 67.6m for his second goal. But as much as he’s known for his brilliance, Greene is known for his brain fades too and he was reported in the third term for a round arm blow to Nic Newman’s stomach. He had another bizarre moment when he acknowledged the report by tapping the umpire on the chest, a glancing knock that is likely to be looked at by the MRO. The superstar forward finished with four goals.
When Harry met Buckley
Harry McKay might’ve expected to start his new deal with Carlton by lining up next to the Giants’ former captain Phil Davis in his first match since round three. But Leon Cameron instead trusted Jack Buckley to take on another opponent’s key forward target. The Giants’ defender had the better of McKay early, keeping him possession-less in the opening term and watching as the Blues spearhead wasted one of his few first-half opportunities with a bad bounce that dribbled over the boundary when he was clear and on his way toward goal. But McKay had the better of the battle late, kicking two goals in the third term as he led the Blues’ comeback and finishing with 3.2 and six contested marks. This is unlikely to be the only time Harry meets Buckley.
The Blues fail to tackle the critics
Carlton came into the match having won the tackle count in only two matches this season – the worst record in the competition – but with the club under the blowtorch across the bye it was expected to come out firing. Instead the Blues dished up a damp squib, going into half-time with only 20 tackles to the Giants’ 45 and bringing a noticeable lack of pressure. An incredible 12 Blues failed to lay a tackle in the first half, compared to only two Giants who hadn’t wrapped up an opponent. The Blues matched the Giants’ tackling intensity in the third term but dropped away late to finish with 78 tackles to 41.
Best: P. Cripps, M. Kennedy, H. McKay, J. Weitering, S. Docherty.
|B:||6 Zac Williams||14 Liam Jones||24 Nic Newman|
|HB:||26 Luke Parks||23 Jacob Weitering||42 Adam Saad|
|C:||15 Sam Docherty (c)||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||35 Ed Curnow|
|HF:||25 Zac Fisher||1 Jack Silvagni||21 Jack Martin|
|F:||19 Eddie Betts||10 Harry McKay||44 Matt Owies|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||18 Sam Walsh||2 Paddy Dow|
|Interchange:||7 Matthew Kennedy||8 Lachie Fogarty||12 Tom De Koning|
|13 Liam Stocker|
|Medical Substitute||32 Jack Newnes|
|Emergencies:||4 Lochie O'Brien||33 Sam Ramsay||41 Levi Casboult|
Medical Substitute: J. Newnes replaced L. Parks in the last quarter.
In; Luke Parks, Matthew Kennedy, Lachie Fogarty
Out: Matthew Cottrell (omitted), Marc Murphy (omitted), Will Setterfield (fractured hand)
Milestones50 Games: Paddy Dow
20th All Time AFL Games Played: Eddie Betts played his 342nd to equal Kade Simpson to move up to equal 20th on AFL/VFL games played.
AFLCA Votes10 - Toby Greene (GWS)
7 - Jacob Hopper (GWS)
6 - Jeremy Finlayson (GWS)
3 - Lachie Whitfield (GWS)
3 - Tim Taranto (GWS)
1 - Nick Haynes (GWS)
Brownlow Votes3 - Toby Greene (GWS)
2 - Jeremy Finlayson (GWS)
1 - Jacob Hopper (GWS)
Best & Fairest VotesMatthew Kennedy 9, Harry McKay 7, Jacob Weitering 6, Matt Owies 4, Adam Saad 4, Marc Pittonet 3, Sam Docherty 3, Patrick Cripps 2, Liam Jones 1, Zac Fisher 1
Round 13 | Round 15