|Date:||Friday Night August 15, 2014|
|Result:||Lost by 6 points|
|Goalkickers:||T. Menzel 2, B. Gibbs 2, J. Waite 2, S. White, J. Murphy, C. Judd, C. Yarran, T. Bell 1.|
|Umpires:||B. Hosking, B. Rosebury, J. Schmitt|
|Injuries:||David Ellard (foot), Troy Menzel (shoulder), Dale Thomas (ankle), Brock McLean (calf) replaced in selected side by Dennis Armfield|
round 12, Carlton led Geelong late into the final term on this Friday night at Docklands, before yet another umpiring blunder allowed the Cats to post the last goal of the game and snatch a one-kick win. Carlton’s cause wasn’t helped by worrying injuries to three players during the match, but the Blues took on the challenge with passion and real intensity, and were desperately unlucky to lose.
There was little for Carlton to play for ahead of this contest, apart from the fading prestige of the club. On the other hand, Geelong was emphatically finals-bound, already guaranteed of finishing in the top four. After a solid win over Gold Coast the previous week, senior coach Mick Malthouse named an unchanged line-up to take on the Cats before Brock McLean strained a calf during the warm-up, and Dennis Armfield was called in as a late inclusion as Carlton’s substitute. In front of a big crowd of almost 39,000 on a crisp, late winter night, the early match-ups saw Andrew Carrazzo marking Geelong captain Joel Selwood, and Michael Jamison given the daunting task of matching the Cats’ giant spearhead Tom Hawkins. Blues captain Marc Murphy was hard-tagged by Cameron Guthrie, and Levi Casboult knew he was in for a tough night when Harry Taylor picked him up.
Geelong had the better of the early exchanges and brought up the opening goal of the match with a set-shot from 15 metres by their ruckman Blicavs. Jarrad Waite replied for Carlton when he ran into an open goal, but Selwood’s dominance around the packs and an incident when an opponent fell across Dale Thomas’ left knee were of most concern in the latter stages of the first term. By then Geelong were in front by 10 points, and “Daisy” was limping along the boundary line with his knee heavily strapped.
A big contested mark and goal by Simon White sparked the Blues into the second quarter, as Troy Menzel, Chris Judd and Bryce Gibbs got busy and the intensity around the contest lifted. Gibbs kicked Carlton’s next major from the right half-forward flank after 11 minutes of hard, skilful football, and suddenly Geelong’s advantage was only four points. Three minutes later, Casboult crashed a pack in Carlton’s forward 50, allowing Murphy to swoop and snap truly to put his team in front for the first time. The Blues then suffered another heavy blow when David Ellard was carried off with an ankle strain so bad that he was immediately substituted out of the match. In the meantime, Thomas had returned to the field, and though still limping, kicked long to Menzel behind the pack at the top of the goal-square. Troy ran in and punted the ball high into the stands, and on the half-time siren, Carlton had cut Geelong’s advantage to a slim 4 points.
During the break, the focus of Carlton’s coaching panel rested on the team’s two casualties, and the influence of Selwood, who had already racked up 17 possessions to be the most influential player on the ground. Everywhere else, the Blues were matching the Cats and between them, Carlton’s key defenders Michael Jamison and Sam Rowe had kept Hawkins goalless. Eventually, Malthouse kept faith with Carrazzo, and maintained the match-up on Selwood as the third quarter got underway.
Two minutes into the term, Menzel regained the lead for Carlton when he anticipated that a Geelong defender would bounce a handpass across the goal square, and soccered the ball through with a brilliant interception. Soon afterwards, Thomas’ futile attempt to stay in the game ended when he limped off for the last time, leaving Carlton two men down. Midway through the term, Chris Yarran burst off half-back, took two bounces, and roosted a classic running goal from 50 metres to put the Blues up by 8 points. By then, Carrazzo, Judd, Gibbs and Murphy were ruling the stoppages, and the Blues were surging when Menzel lunged for a mark close to the ground and damaged his shoulder. At three-quarter time, Carlton was still in front by three points, but Ellard, Thomas and Menzel were all finished for the day.
Geelong came out hard early in the last quarter, and the Blues met them head-on. With 19 minutes played, Waite marked 40 metres out and kicked his second major for the match to put the Blues up by 7 points. Geelong substitute Thurlow replied for the Cats, before Carlton’s Sam Docherty and Geelong’s Allen Christensen flew for a mark inside Carlton’s defensive 50 metre arc with less than three minutes remaining.
From 60 metres away, rookie umpire Brendan Hosking blew his whistle and awarded a free-kick to Christensen – ruling that Docherty had chopped the Cat forward’s arm. As Christensen kicked the defining goal of the match, the Carlton masses raged in frustration at a decision that was not supported by umpire Brett Rosebury, who was much closer to the incident. Replays later confirmed that Hosking’s decision was clearly wrong – drawing a public apology from the umpires’ coach Hayden Kennedy – but that was scant consolation for a devastated Carlton team that deserved better.
On a more positive note, the Navy Blues had no passengers in this game, but no luck with injuries either, in one of their better efforts of the season to date. After a torrid first half, Andrew Carrazzo fought back brilliantly against Selwood and kept Geelong’s skipper to just four possessions after half-time. “Carrots” finished the match with 32 disposals at 87% efficiency, 8 clearances and 5 tackles, compared to Selwood’s 21 disposals, 8 clearances and 5 tackles. Bryce Gibbs continued his march toward the 2014 John Nicholls Medal with 25 disposals, 6 clearances, 7 inside-50s and two goals, well-supported by Murphy, Waite, Yarran, Judd, Jamison and Rowe on an evening at Docklands that won’t be fondly remembered by the Carlton faithful.
Subs: Dennis Armfield replaced David Ellard during the 2nd quarter.
|B:||13 Chris Yarran||40 Michael Jamison (DVC)||17 Sam Rowe|
|HB:||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||42 Zach Tuohy||47 Ciaran ‘Gus’ Sheehan|
|C:||35 Ed Curnow||5 Chris Judd||39 Dale Thomas|
|HF:||46 David Ellard||30 Jarrad Waite||2 Troy Menzel|
|F:||43 Simon White||41 Levi Casboult||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)|
|Ruck:||36 Cameron Wood||4 Bryce Gibbs||44 Andrew Carrazzo (VC)|
|Interchange:||15 Sam Docherty||28 Tom Bell||32 Nick Graham|
|Substitute:||27 Dennis Armfield|
|Emergencies:||10 Matthew Watson||14 Brock McLean||45 Blaine Johnson|
* Dennis Armfield replaced Brock McLean in the selected side
Jarrad Waite - 250 Goals
Games Milestones: In completing his 135th game for Carlton, Chris Judd had actually played more games for Carlton than West Coast.
Bryce Gibbs, Carlton
2. Josh Caddy, Geelong
1. Harry Taylor, Geelong
Andrew Carrazzo 8, Bryce Gibbs 8, Michael Jamison 5, Sam Docherty 3, Troy Menzel 3, Marc Murphy 3, Sam Rowe 3, Ciaran ‘Gus’ Sheehan
3, Ed Curnow 2, Jarrad Waite 2, Chris Yarran 2, Chris Judd 1,
Round 20 | Round 22