Carlton smash top 2 team Port at home by 50 points, to win 4 on the trot

Round 18, 2023

Carlton 3.6 24 9.8 62 14.10 94 18.14 122
Port Adelaide. 2.2 14 4.7 31 9.9 63 10.12 72
Venue: Marvel Stadium.
Date: Saturday July 15, 2023 (4.35pm)
Result: Won by 50 points
Crowd: 34,306
Goalkickers: J. Silvagni 4.1, J. Motlop 4.0, C. Curnow 3.3, M. Cottrell 2.0, P. Cripps 1.3, L. Fogarty 1.1, J, Martin 1.1, D. Cuningham 1.0, N. Newman 1.0, J. Boyd 0.1, M. McGovern 0.1, H. McKay 0.1, Rushed 0.2.
Reports: Jordan Boyd was suspended for three weeks for his tackle on Power's Darcy Byrne-Jones, which left the player concussed.
Umpires: 18 - Ray Chamberlain, 28 - Cameron Dore, 24 - Craig Fleer, 33 - Brent Wallace.
Injuries: H. McKay (right knee)
Ladder: 10th

Game Review

Blues brilliant in 50-point win

Carlton has ended Port Adelaide's unbeaten streak with a big win. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.

Carlton has continued its brilliant run of form with a 50-point win against Port Adelaide. The Blues were brutal in all facets of the game against the in-form side of the competition, leading from start to finish in the 18.14 (122) to 10.12 (72) victory. The home side was dealt a double blow early, with Matthew Owies out of the game minutes before the bounce due to calf tightness, while Harry McKay was subbed out in the first term following a knee injury. However, in their absence, career-best four-goal hauls from Jack Silvagni and Jesse Motlop led the way in attack, while the Blues were brilliantly defensively to celebrate Jacob Weitering’s 150th game with a win.

Quarter one
Channelling the form displayed in previous weeks, Carlton’s start was ferocious, outhunting a strong contested unit to get the game on its terms from the outset. The Blues had 10 of the first 15 inside 50s under the roof, stopping their opponents at the source to see the play live in their forward half early. After some half chances went begging, it was Jack Silvagni who electrified the Carlton faithful, soccering home from close range before marking strongly and converting minutes later. Brodie Kemp and Jacob Weitering were intercepting well behind the ball, but the Blues soon found themselves a key target down at the other end: after landing awkwardly on his right knee, Harry McKay was subbed out of the game for Paddy Dow. It coincided with a shift in momentum towards Port, who got right back into the game in the contest and on the scoreboard. A late inclusion for Matthew Owies, Jesse Motlop calmed things down with a goal from a free kick, giving the Blues a 10-point buffer at the first change.

Quarter two
It was that man Motlop who lit up the second quarter, and what a way to do it. By the six-minute mark of the second term, Motlop - playing his first game against the team where his dad played - had a career-high four goals, wreaking havoc inside the Blues’ defensive 50. He wasn’t alone, as in the absence of McKay, Charlie Curnow was forced to be the lone figurehead: as such, Carlton turned to its smalls. Matthew Cottrell, David Cuningham and Jack Martin all got in on the act as the team surged to a 40-point lead at one point. The Blues’ midfielders were brutal, registering seven inside 50s - for a return of four goals - to none, with five of Carlton’s nine goals coming from midfield possession chains in the first half. Blake Acres and Mitch McGovern typified Carlton’s approach, aggressive in defence, which deprived Port Adelaide of any marks inside the opening 20 minutes. Similar to the first term, the highly regarded Power surged again, but the Blues’ defence held firm to take a 31-point lead into the main break.

Quarter three
The second half started in the same manner as the first — with a Jack Silvagni goal. It set the tone for what would prove to be a chaotic quarter, with neither team able to wrestle the ascendancy in an end-to-end term. The margin stayed between 30 and 40 points for the entirety of the term, with both teams trading five goals apiece in an at times feisty affair under the roof. Forced to fight through significant attention in an undersized forward line, Curnow finally got some scoreboard reward, while Patrick Cripps willed himself and his team over the line at a critical time. First, he snapped truly from a set shot, before a desperate smother ended in Silvagni kicking a career-high fourth goal. There was not a dominant ball winner for the Blues (the Power had the top-three disposal getters at half time), but it was their tenacity in defence and efficiency going forward which were the highlights for Michael Voss’ side.

Quarter four
The opening minutes of the final quarter were crucial: the last time the two sides met, the Blues nearly let a 50-point lead slip, so nipping Port in the bud was paramount. The player who did exactly that was Lachie Fogarty, bringing up the ton on the scoreboard as the Blues put their opponents to the sword. Sam Walsh well and truly got going in the final term, having seven disposals inside the opening 10 minutes. McGovern continued to shine in the back half, turning defence into attack with a game-high nine intercepts, while Nic Newman got in on the offensive act with a last-quarter goal. The Blues iced the game from there, emerging 50-point winners.

Best: J. Silvagni, M. McGovern, P. Cripps, B. Acres, N. Newman, S. Docherty, T. De Koning.

Three things we learned
1. Has anybody ever seen Nick Duigan and Jesse Motlop in the same room? There were more than a few similarities with Motlop’s performance and that of the Carlton cult hero in the 2013 elimination final. Only included in the team as the Blues were running out (Matthew Owies experienced calf tightness in the warm-up), Motlop kicked four goals, all coming inside the first six minutes of the second term. Matching Duigan’s scoreboard haul, it was some way for Motlop to mark his senior return, particularly with dad Daniel in the crowd.
2. The way Carlton’s attack stood up in the absence of Harry McKay would’ve pleased Michael Voss to no end. With McKay going down, the Blues had Curnow as their focal point, Silvagni supporting and a series of smalls at the fall of the ball. All of them got involved, both on the scoreboard and in the pressure stakes. Silvagni played a starring role with four goals, but alongside Motlop, the other forwards in Cottrell (two), Cuningham, Fogarty and Martin all registered majors.
3. On face value, Carlton’s ability to kick 18 goals was the key on the day. However, the flip side was the Blues’ brilliance in defence. Despite conceding more inside 50s than the potent Power, Carlton’s backs held firm, led by the brilliant Mitch McGovern. After sustaining a cork in the west six days ago, McGovern showed no ill effects, finishing with 21 disposals, 10 rebound 50s and nine intercepts.

Harry's diagnosis could make or break Carlton's season
Carlton kicked its second-highest score of the season against Port Adelaide on Saturday night despite losing Harry McKay in the opening minutes. However, Michael Voss will still be sweating on the key forward's return given big Harry holds a chunk of the Blues' finals chances in his dinner-plate hands. It's been an often frustrating year for McKay but he had been returning to his best in recent weeks, not coincidentally at the same time Carlton has started winning. Voss was upbeat about McKay's injury, but if the former Coleman medalist is done for the year, then the Blues just might be too. - Howard Kimber

Voss credits team performance... but still improvement to come

Michael Voss summed up the Round 18 win over Port Adelaide. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media

Plenty to celebrate, but far from the finished article.
AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss said his side's commitment to the plan was first rate against Port Adelaide, but there were still a number of elements the Blues needed to tidy up. Carlton led from start to finish in the 50-point win over the in-form team in the competition, with ruthless efficiency going forward and standing up with backs to the wall when called upon. This is what Voss had to say.

On Harry McKay:
“He’s hobbling around in the change rooms, but we’ll obviously wait until Monday to get the scans and follow it up from there. “I’m not even too sure what the initial prognosis is, so we’ll wait to get it scanned before we assess what the damage. Early diagnosis, no not worried about high severity, but we’ll wait to get the scans and full information.”

On Jack Silvagni’s performance:
“He was a standout. To be able to hit the scoreboard the way that he did and the role we’ve asked him to play, it’s a tough role to be able to do that, playing second ruck and compete there as well as going forward. He was certainly one of those guys.”

On Jesse Motlop’s impact:
"It was pretty impressive. Port defenders were trying to support in the aerial contest, so Charlie had to take his turn to get the ball to ground. They were able to do that, but some of the smalls got to work and were able to hit the scoreboard. “We had a lot of different types of goalkickers in there, and a shoutout to ‘Mots’ for being late in the team and having the impact he did in the first half. He wouldn’t have dreamed of that being what his night looked like! He got very energised by it. To be able to bring that pressure in the front half when we needed to and have that presence when the ball hit the ground, it was an important part of the game. "The next man in did a role for us, and that’s what we’re asking our players to do: to come in, have an impact with their role and make sure they contribute with somebody else and the role they’re able to do. His last couple of weeks in the VFL have been pretty strong, so there’s no hesitation in bringing him in."

On the selflessness of Charlie Curnow:
“We’re all sharing the load better and we’re clearer on the roles we need to get done, and we’re buying into others. We’re prepared to take a back seat if we need to. I’ll highlight Charlie’s effort tonight: he wasn’t sharing in the goals, but his ability to control the drop and get the ball to ground to bring others into the game was a real highlight. “Port defenders were trying to support in the aerial contest, so Charlie had to take his turn to get the ball to ground. They were able to do that, but some of the smalls got to work and were able to hit the scoreboard.”

On Matthew Owies’ pre-match withdrawal from the team:
“It’s his calf, it tightened up in the warm-up. “He was on the ground and he couldn’t get going for whatever reason, he felt like he was tightening up. Like anything, it’s probably not going to get better when you start in the game, so we had the emergency there and a like-for-like replacement, so we went with it. “

On what the numbers said:
“In terms of the numbers themselves, we were down a couple in the end at centre bounces but midfield-wise, we were quite strong. That tells me given the overall number, we lost the bookends. “We were able to change up what we needed to, they got going in the back end of the second quarter. Houston, Rozee and Butters were becoming quite damaging. Thankfully, it was for a short period of time: they always looked threatening, but we were able to get in an arm wrestle and fight our way back. “In the last quarter, we really needed to get that territory on the field, and that was a really important part of the game.”

On elevating performance against a formidable opponent:
“The last few weeks we’ve been playing some good footy, but clearly when you’re playing against a side that has won 13 in a row, that’s another level. They’ve overcome plenty of challenges throughout those 13 games, so to be emphatic with the way we played was important. What we walk away from the game with is understanding that there’s still work to be done within our system. “We had 59 inside 50s which we can’t complain about, we’ve kicked a winning score, but we’ve had 62 inside 50s against us. It’s not the number we want to be fighting again. Their efficiency was quite low on the night and ours was pretty good. Tables have turned a little bit when it comes to that considering where we were five or six weeks ago. “There were a lot of facets we were really pleased with, but with some of those numbers, there are still things we need to get to work on.”

On the impact of David Cuningham, Lachie Fogarty and Jack Martin:
“It’s tough to nail it into three, but it’s safe to say they’ve made a significant difference. “’Fogs’ is really smart and he’s bought into the role we’ve asked of him, so it’s been pleasing to see him step. ‘Cunners’ I haven’t seen a lot of until more recent times, because he hasn’t been able to get out and play: it’s been nice to see that burst and acceleration at stoppage. I just think Jack is tough: he gets the footy and there are some people who make others walk taller. “They’ve formed quite a strong relationship with our high-performance team, and they manage them really well: we’re getting great output from them.”

On the reaction to current commentary:
“I hope we give it as much attention to what we gave external noise six weeks ago. The reality is, whether people are saying bad things about you or good things about you, you have to treat it exactly the same. “There’s other things we need to get better at, and there’s more improvement still to come. We stop and acknowledge the changes we’ve been able to make in our game in terms of the style of football we want to play, that’s been crystallised. We’ve still got to get after it. “We played against a quality opposition today and we walk away going ‘that was a fantastic team effort, pressure was great, it was an even performance’. But now we’ve got to dig into the game and see where our next level of improvement comes from.”

Port’s record run over as blistering Blues keep finals hopes alive: 3-2-1 - Catherine Healey and Jono Baruch from Fox Sports.

Port Adelaide’s record 13-game winning streak is over, with Carlton putting an undermanned Power to the sword in a 50-point win. The Blues were dominant from the outset, and kept their finals hopes alive with a 18.14 (122) to 10.12 (72) win at Marvel Stadium on Saturday. The only downside in the crucial Carlton win was the loss of Harry McKay in the first term to what appeared to be a serious knee injury. But even without McKay in attack, the Blues flourished as Jack Silvagni and Jesse Motlop – who was a late replacement – each kicked four goals. Charlie Curnow added three of his own in a brilliant display.

Quarter 1.
The Blues were forced into a late change with Matt Owies (calf tightness) replaced by Jesse Motlop after failing to get through the warm up. Paddy Dow remained the sub, while for Port, it was Ryan Burton. Blue Harry McKay had the first clear shot on goal before Mitch McGovern tried to set sail from outside 50 – both shots pushed wide. Players went end to end in the opening eight minutes with neither side able to find a clear target inside 50. After repeat entries into attack, the dam wall finally broke when Port’s Xavier Duursma tried to push the ball across the line, but didn’t get enough on it. Jack Silvagni pounced to kick the opener, and he had a second goal from the square moments later when he took a big contested grab and walked it in. “The Carlton defence is way on top! We haven't seen anything from Todd Marshall, Ollie Lord, Jeremy Finlayson,” Fox Footy’s Jason Dunstall said. “They don’t look like getting it. ‘They are a little bit shaken by this Carlton start.” The Power were lucky to snare a goal after almost 16 minutes when Todd Marshall snapped truly. Jacob Weitering had attempted to knock it through but the footy bounced back into play – although replays showed it was a marginal call. Carlton’s hopes took a hit when Harry McKay limped from the ground from a contest on the wing where he landed awkwardly. Ollie Lord took a big grab but absolutely sprayed his set shot from 40m – not even scoring across the face of goal. “That’s a horrible miss – that’s missed by a long way,” Dunstall lamented. It took Port star Zak Butters to steer the ship and close his side to within nine points with a “ridiculous” goal. But Port’s goal woes continued when the usually reliable Todd Marshall put his shot forward for a worst-of-the-day contender. “That nearly missed his foot!” commentator Anthony Hudson laughed. By quarter time it was Carlton leading 24-14.

Quarter 2.
The Blues were out of the blocks in the second as Jesse Motlop had three goals in the space of less than five minutes. With the margin blown out to 40 points, Power coach Ken Hinkley had “serious issues” early in the second. Lord again couldn’t find his radar in front of goal as Port’s attack end looked dysfunctional. A dangerous tackle call on Jordan Boyd allowed Darcy Byrne-Jones to break Carlton’s run of five-straight goals. But Marshall couldn’t convert his set shot moments later in a let-off for the Blues. The Power stayed within touching distance thanks to Connor Rozee’s brilliant snap but lost Byrne-Jones to a concussion test as a result of that earlier tackle. By half time, Port had wasted several opportunities to get back in it to trail 62-31.

Quarter 3.
The Power had to activate their sub to start the third with Byrne-Jones failing his concussion test and unable to return to the match. Like the two quarters before, the Blues ran hot in the opening minutes with three quick goals to blow the margin out to 41 points. But again another contentious free kick gifted the Power a shot on goal that Sam Powell-Pepper converted. It was the Blues skipper Patrick Cripps who stepped up to halt any threat of a Port Adelaide comeback from an in-the-back free kick. Both sides traded blows in the third before it was Carlton taking a 94-63 lead into the final change.

Quarter 4.
And the Blues had the hot start in the final term to put the match to bed. Charlie Curnow added some late gloss to the win with a couple of big goals. The margin blowing out to 50 points in a big boost for Carlton’s finals hopes as they now sit just percentage outside of the top eight.

THE 3-2-1 …

Carlton’s hopes of recording an upset win suffered a hammer blow when star forward Harry McKay was subbed off in the first quarter with a right knee injury. McKay presented up the ground before landing awkwardly and immediately signalling for assistance. He was helped from the ground and was subbed out not long after, activating Paddy Dow into the game. “That’s a big story, that’s a huge out,” former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon said. Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall added: “If it’s a nasty knee injury, that could be the season done.” But the loss didn’t seem to rattle Carlton and their attacking setup, as they slotted four goals in the opening four minutes of the second quarter. “As a result of McKay getting injured, the matchup changes,” Lyon exclaimed. “Now Aliir Aliir has to go to (Charlie) Curnow. He can’t now go and play off (as an interceptor). “He’s going to have to play honest on Charlie Curnow and all of a sudden, the matchup with (Jack) Silvagni and (Port’s Tom) Jonas looks OK (for Carlton) and the ground balls are working.” Lyon later added that even without McKay, the Blues have “looked as dangerous as they have”. The unfortunate loss of the big man changed the complexion of Carlton’s forward line as the smaller players lined up for multiple goals. And it was the likes of Silvagni who stepped up with a career-best haul of four goals. “What happens when Harry McKay goes off the ground with a knee injury – one of two things can happen: it can suck the life out of the group or someone puts his hand up and says ‘I’ll take over it’. And this bloke’s done that,” Lyon praised of Silvagni. Jesse Motlop (four goals), Matt Cottrell (two goals), Jack Martin (one goal) and David Cuningham (one goal) all got to work at the feet of Curnow which pleased coach Michael Voss. “We had some great deep entries. Their high forwards are really concise of that 1v1 contest with Charlie so they come off in the air and then Charlie’s job is to just get it on the ground and the smalls can go to work,” Voss told Fox Footy at half time. “They impacted the scoreboard which is great to see.”

It’s been a tough 2023 season for Port captain Tom Jonas. Suspended back in Round 6 and then dropped three games later, the defender was forced to bide his time in the SANFL as his side went on a winning run without him. But an injury to Trent McKenzie opened the door for Jonas’ return to the senior side. Unfortunately for Jonas, he had a tough day at the office – firstly against Charlie Curnow before moving on to Jack Martin. “It’s a big welcome back for Tommy Jonas,” Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon said. “It’s a match up (Jonas and Curnow) that’s going to give (Port coach) Ken Hinkley and the team plenty of headaches because I don’t know what plan B is.” While the injury to Blue Harry McKay freed Aliir Aliir up to take on Curnow instead, Jonas still struggled to find his feet. “Tom Jonas hasn’t played footy in eight weeks,” Lyon said in commentary. “They’ve got to be ruthless here Carlton. If he’s underdone … they should really accentuate the one-on-one (with Jonas). “You want to isolate that and make Tom Jonas feel the loneliest man on the field.” Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall said it was clear Jonas was off his best against the Blues.

Jesse Motlop was heading into the grandstand when the call came he needed to suit up as a late replacement. With Matt Owies suffering calf tightness in the final warm-up, Motlop had to rush to get ready. But it didn’t stop the West Aussie junior from having a day out against one of the premiership contenders. Motlop kicked three goals in the space of just five minutes in the second term in a blistering display. “He didn’t even think he was playing!” commentator Anthony Hudson said. “This is amazing! “He should come in late every week.” Motlop, whose father once played for Port Adelaide, put the Power to the sword with an impressive display that was “beautiful to watch”, according to Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon. “You’ve got to take your opportunity when they present themselves,” Jason Dunstall added. “Nothing more impressive than a man who had to warm up just before they had to run out. “Named as an emergency, you do a late warm up and all of a sudden … he’s getting himself into all the right positions. “But most importantly, he’s making them count. “He’s having an enormous impact. “This has been huge.” Even coach Michael Voss managed a laugh about the whole late call-up ordeal. “I said to him, ‘I hope you didn’t have that meat pie before the game!’,” he laughed on Fox Footy. Lyon said Motlop showed he had the talent to help balance the Blues’ attack end. “For a small forward, this is what you want – to know where the ball is going,” he said. “He’s upheld his end of the bargain. “That whole five-goal run (where Motlop kicked three) was a joy to watch.”

Harry's diagnosis could make or break Carlton's season

Carlton kicked its second-highest score of the season against Port Adelaide on Saturday night despite losing Harry McKay in the opening minutes. However, Michael Voss will still be sweating on the key forward's return given big Harry holds a chunk of the Blues' finals chances in his dinner-plate hands. It's been an often frustrating year for McKay but he had been returning to his best in recent weeks, not coincidentally at the same time Carlton has started winning. Voss was upbeat about McKay's injury, but if the former Coleman medalist is done for the year, then the Blues just might be too. - Howard Kimber


B: 23 Jacob Weitering 17 Brodie Kemp 42 Adam Saad
HB: 37 Jordan Boyd 11 Mitch McGovern 24 Nic Newman
C: 15 Sam Docherty 9 Patrick Cripps (c) 13 Blake Acres
HF: 8 Lachie Fogarty 30 Charlie Curnow 46 Matthew Cottrell
F: 21 Jack Martin 10 Harry McKay 3 Jesse Motlop
Ruck: 12 Tom De Koning 18 Sam Walsh 5 Adam Cerra
Interchange: 1 Jack Silvagni 28 David Cuningham 29 George Hewett
39 Alex Cincotta
Substitute: 2 Paddy Dow
Coach: Michael Voss
Emergencies: 14 Ollie Hollands 22 Caleb Marchbank 44 Matt Owies

-* Jesse Motlop replaced Matt Owies in the selected side (late change)

In: Tom De Koning, Patrick Dow, Jesse Motlop (late change)
Out: Matthew Kennedy, Lewis Young, Matt Owies (late change)

Substitute: Paddy Dow (replaced Harry McKay in 1st Quarter).


150th Game: Jacob Weitering

Interesting Facts

1. First time in Carlton's history that the team has won 4 games in a row by 50 or more points.


10 - Jack Silvagni (CARL)
8 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
6 - Dan Houston (PORT)
2 - Tom De Koning (CARL)
2 - Charlie Curnow (CARL)
2 - Nic Newman (CARL)

Brownlow Votes

3 - Dan Houston (PORT)
2 - Jack Silvagni (CARL)
1 - Blake Acres (CARL)

Best and Fairest Votes


Round 17 | Round 19
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