|Date:||Friday 30th July, 2021 (7.50 pm).|
|Result:||Won by 31 points.|
|Crowd:||Nil due to ban on crowds this round due to Covid.|
|Goalkickers:||H. McKay 5.2, S. Walsh 3.0, J. Honey 2.1, T. Williamson 2.0, P. Cripps 1.1, C. Curnow 1.0, P. Dow 1.0, M. Murphy 1.0, M. Kennedy 1.0, J. Silvagni 1.0.|
|Umpires:||Chris Donlon, Robert Findlay, Craig Fleer.|
|Injuries:||T. De Koning (pectoral)|
Game ReviewBlues somehow in finals mix as Saints' hopes fade away
Harry McKay boots five goals as Carlton destroys a disappointing St Kilda - By Callum Twomey / Rose Zarucky.
Carlton, somehow, remains with a faint hope of playing in the finals. As inexplicable as that may seem following the Blues' disastrous loss to bottom-placed North Melbourne last week, they flipped the script with a surprise belting of St Kilda on Friday night which, in one fell swoop, rendered the Saints' finals chances all but over and resuscitated their own. With their club delivering its football review and their coach David Teague under immense pressure, the Blues comfortably accounted for the Saints at a crowd-less Marvel Stadium, winning by 31 points. The 18.4 (112) to 12.9 (81) win lifted the Blues into 10th position and saw them join the Saints on eight wins, although further dented St Kilda's percentage. As it has been all year, Carlton was led by Sam Walsh and Harry McKay. Walsh furthered his Brownlow Medal stocks with three goals from 26 disposals in a typically classy, hard-working display while Harry McKay can have his name imprinted on the Coleman Medal after kicking five goals.
But this time, it was not just that duo who stepped up for the Blues. It was across the board: Jack Silvagni (25 disposals, one goal) was terrific and had to play as a fill-in ruckman, Paddy Dow (22) continued his good form and Patrick Cripps (26) was busy. It was attitude as much as personnel. Last week, Carlton recorded 45 tackles against the Kangaroos in a deplorable effort. Against the Saints, they had registered 51 in the first half and finished with 80 (to St Kilda's 63). St Kilda's bid for a late run at the top-eight after its ugly start to the season was ended in the flat performancea. Max King, who booted four goals after six last round, and Jack Steele (36 disposals and 13 tackles) were among few winners. St Kilda's three first-quarter goals came via King, who was causing headaches for Carlton defender Jacob Weitering. But the Blues had more avenues to goal, with McKay chipping in for two and their spread helping them to a 12-point lead at the opening change.
After kicking the last three goals of the first quarter, the Blues continued to have their game on their terms with a five-goal-to-two second term. The contributors were everywhere for Carlton: Walsh booted his second with a clever checkside, Matt Kennedy waltzed into an open goalsquare, McKay chipped in with two of his majors and even defender Tom Williamson drifted forward to hit the scoreboard.By the main break the Blues had jumped to a 28-point lead and it was on the back of a defensive lift that clearly was a focus for Teague's side. St Kilda had enough of the ball through the midfield but couldn't capitalise on Rowan Marshall's ruck dominance and were turned around by a vibrant Blues outfit. Any hopes of a second-half comeback were quickly extinguished as McKay booted his fifth early in the third term, with St Kilda also losing Dougal Howard to a hamstring injury. And when Walsh spotted up Dow, who converted his shot, the Blues had the game wrapped up minutes into the second half.
Recording its eighth win of the season, Carlton emerged from Marvel Stadium with a 31-point win over St Kilda. Putting their opposition to the sword in the middle two quarters, the Blues cracked the ton in an efficient performance, having contributors across every line in a pleasing showing for all those in Navy Blue. Playing his first game in two seasons, Charlie Curnow emerged unscathed while kicking a stunning first-quarter goal, while fellow key forward Harry McKay extended his Coleman Medal lead with a five-goal showing.
Max King proved a handful for the Blues in the opening minutes, with the tall forward kicking the Saints' first three goals. However, at the other end, the return of Harry McKay was welcomed, getting the Blues going on the scoreboard. Paddy Dow enjoyed another fast start, moving the ball cleanly from the centre bounce, while successive snaps from Sam Walsh and Jack Silvagni gave the Blues the lead. A lot of the Blues' good work came from inclusion Josh Honey, who provided two direct goal assists in the opening term. Weitering found his groove against King and was able to get his defensive game going, before the moment everyone was waiting for at home happened: after a quick counter attack, Charlie Curnow received possession and launched from one step for a comeback goal to remember.
The term started quietly, with neither side able to lock the ball in their forward half. The end-to-end play resulted in a physical display from Carlton, leading the tackle and pressure count. A classy second goal from Walsh saw the Blues start to widen the margin as their disposal efficiency and ball movement started to clean up. Zac Fisher and Lochie O’Brien provided good running options between the arc, while Honey set up yet another goal, this time for the boot of Matt Kennedy. McKay kept his chances for the Coleman Medal high as he slotted his third and fourth for the day, one with a long bomb from outside 50. The Blues did well to keep the Saints out of their forward 50, with the midfield cutting off the ball before it reached the last line of defence. Despite Tom De Koning spending the quarter off the ground, Carlton still managed to get the better of the stoppages, with Jack Silvagni stepping up as an undersized ruckman.
Another big grab and goal for McKay opened the quarter, followed closely with a Dow goal straight from the centre bounce. Honey got some reward for effort and slotted his first goal at the AFL level while Walsh kicked his third of the day: a career high for the No.18. Fisher started getting involved in the centre, while Jack Martin’s efficiency helped Carlton move the ball forward. Silvagni took on the rucking duties of De Koning, who was subbed out for Marc Murphy, and managed to keep up with the important Rowan Marshall. Weitering’s intercept game was important when St Kilda managed to get the ball forward, backed up by Adam Saad and Williamson. An important captain’s goal from Patrick Cripps saw Carlton almost out of reach of St Kilda heading into the final term.
Tom Williamson continued his impressive form offensively with his second goal of the game, coming from 55 metres after a strong tackle. Josh Honey then brought up the ton with his second goal, before the Saints added some respectability to the scoreboard with four consecutive goals. After having the ascendancy at the stoppages despite the Saints' hitout dominance, Carlton's scoring dried up when its opposition started winning the ball out of the centre. However, a Blues victory was never in doubt, and it was capped off with a goal from veteran Marc Murphy on the full-time siren for their eighth win of the season.
Three things from the game:
1. Carlton’s disposal efficiency lifted, and the benefits were there for all to see. After last week's game was marred by turnovers, the Blues went at 75 per cent disposal efficiency, and perhaps most impressively their best work came in front of the big sticks. From their 22 scoring shots, the Blues went 18.4 in front of goal, making the Saints pay whenever they went forward.
2. Two of Carlton's most-improved players in recent months continued their form line. Forced to play as an undersized ruckman for the entirety of the game, Jack Silvagni's desire shone through with arguably a career-best display: he finished with 25 disposals, nine tackles and a goal. Then, there was his locker neighbour Paddy Dow, who enjoyed a particularly brilliant start. The dynamic midfielder accumulated 22 disposals and four clearances to go with his third-quarter goal.
3. Josh Honey’s VFL development has paid off, with the third-gamer producing an exciting cameo on Friday night. Getting his first run of the season (he was the unused sub in Round 10), Honey had a big impact on Carlton's front six. Kicking his first two goals of his career, Honey got himself into the game with three direct goal assists in the first half.
Moment of the match:
It had to be Charlie. Returning after two years on the sidelines, Charlie Curnow reminded fans exactly why they missed him so much. Kicking a goal from outside 50 off one step, Curnow’s power and precision was a glimpse of his former self and hopefully something he can build on for the remaining games in the season. It wasn't the biggest influence from the returning forward, but it laid down a significant marker for his return, and seeing him emerge unscathed was the cherry on top of the four points.
Welcome back, Charlie
Charlie Curnow had to wait until the 29-minute mark of the first term to get his hands on the ball in his first game in more than two years, but his first disposal was a clear reminder of his phenomenal ability. After a Saints turnover in defence, Curnow swooped from outside 50 and struck his kick perfectly for a long goal off one step. The talented forward, who has endured a horror run of knee injuries, was immediately mobbed by teammates after the spectacular finish. Curnow finished with eight disposals and got through unscathed in a promising showing.
Honey shows sweet signs
In his third game of his career Carlton youngster Josh Honey was an exciting addition to the Blues' side. The speedy and athletic midfielder made his debut last season and played in round 10 this year but was brought back into the Blues' line-up and played a valuable role for Carlton, gathering 13 disposals and kicking the first goal of his career in the third term – after setting one up earlier in the game for Kennedy. He backed up with another goal late and showed he should play out the season for the Blues.
Dow's form run continues
Since returning to Carlton's side in round 12, Paddy Dow has been on the improve with more and more midfield time. Last week he was among the Blues' best with a career-high 24 disposals, and he backed that up with an impressive game against the Saints with 22 disposals and four clearances. He also pushed forward to kick a goal in what was an exciting display. Over the past six weeks, Dow has averaged 20 disposals and is playing with confidence in the latter stages of his fourth AFL season.
Best: S. Walsh, H. McKay, J. Silvagni, P. Dow, M. Kennedy, P. Cripps,J. Weitering.
|B:||24 Nic Newman||23 Jacob Weitering||20 Lachie Plowman|
|HB:||42 Adam Saad||14 Liam Jones||31 Tom Williamson|
|C:||35 Ed Curnow||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||32 Jack Newnes|
|HF:||18 Sam Walsh||30 Charlie Curnow||1 Jack Silvagni|
|F:||25 Zac Fisher||10 Harry McKay||21 Jack Martin|
|Ruck:||12 Tom De Koning||7 Matthew Kennedy||2 Paddy Dow|
|Interchange:||4 Lochie O'Brien||13 Liam Stocker||36 Josh Honey|
|44 Matt Owies|
|Medical Substitute||3 Marc Murphy|
|Emergencies:||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton||17 Brodie Kemp||46 Matthew Cottrell|
Medical Sub.: Marc Murphy replaced Tom De Koning (pectoral) at half time.
In; Charlie Curnow, Josh Honey, Harry McKay, Lochie O'Brien
Out: Zac Williams (hamstring), Eddie Betts (ankle), Matthew Cottrell (omitted), Sam Petrevski-Seton (omitted).
MilestonesFirst Goal(s)!: Josh Honey
50th Time Played Together: Ed Curnow and Charlie Curnow
Interesting Fact: Charlie Curnow had to wait 761 days from his last game to this his return game. The 50th game together by the Curnow boys is now the most by 18 sets of brothers that played together in the same side, as they have finally passed the Kernahan's (Stephen and David in 49 games) followed by Henry and Joe McShane (43 games), Barry and John Gill (38 games), John and Don Nicholls (32 games) and Colin and Aubrey Martyn (30 games).
Interesting Fact: Carlton's scoreline of 18.4 was the second most accurate in their history. It was Carlton's 2nd best accuracy rate at 81.82% and the half time score of 10.1.61 was the same score as Carlton's best accuracy rate that was Round 18, 2021, in the 2nd half Carlton from their 11 scoring shots (8.3.51) dropped to 72.73%.
Odd stat: Tom Williamson had only two career goals in his 39 games until this match when he booted two goals to double his career tally to four goals.
AFLCA Votes9 - Jack Silvagni (CARL)
7 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
7 - Harry McKay (CARL)
4 - Jack Steele (STK)
2 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
1 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
Brownlow Votes3 - Sam Walsh (CAR)
2 - Harry McKay (CAR)
1 - Jack Steele (STK)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 19 | Round 21