Carlton were smashed by the Crows in this Round 22 fixture, going down by 72 points at Docklands

Round 22, 2009

Carlton7.24410.5 6512.67816.8104
Adelaide6.33913.78520.11 13127.14176
Venue: Docklands (Etihad Stadium)
Date: Saturday, 29 August Result: Lost by 72 points
Umpires: S McBurney, S Meredith, M Vozzo Crowd: 42,356
Goalkickers: Fevola 5, Stevens 2, Walker, O'hAilpin, Hampson, Joseph, Simpson, Gibbs, Murphy, Carrazzo, Yarran 1.
Reports: Nil Injuries: Nil
Ladder Position: 7th

Game Review

With their first finals appearance since 2001 already secured, the prize of fifth place and a home final was on offer when the Blues met the Crows in round 22. The game started as a free-flowing, high scoring affair but after quarter time it was all Adelaide and the Blues looked a long way from the fifth best side in the competition.

The selection committee meeting on Thursday must have been a busy one with five changes resulting. An off-field incident after the Melbourne game involving Eddie Betts, Cameron Cloke and Jeffery Garlett, a late night, and a subsequent late start to a recovery session, instigated three of those five changes. All three received a single game suspension from the club right at the time when the players and the team could least afford it. Richard Hadley continued his wretched run with injury after he received a broken arm from an innocent looking collision in the previous game, while Joe Anderson was omitted. Into the side came Dennis Armfield, Steven Browne, Shaun Hampson, Chris Johnson and Chris Yarran all given the chance to display their wares in the knowledge that a good showing may offer an elimination final berth as reward.

The opening 17 minutes of play were dominated by Carlton and the game had all the hallmarks of being "one of those days" - everything was looking rosy. Andrew Walker opened proceedings with a nice left footer after a little burst of speed to get himself into the open and four more goals followed in steady intervals to provide a 22 point lead. After that initial shock the Crows steadied the ship and worked themselves back into the game. Their intensity around the ground and particularly in their forward 50 lifted a notch and the Blues found themselves short of time and space. Two goals to Nick Stevens late in the quarter gave the Blues a slight edge at the first break, but given the periods of domination by the Blues the five point lead seemed like a poor return on investment.

Kade Simpson got the Blues off to a flyer within 30 seconds of the resumption but the flickering flame of hope which the goal provided was quickly extinguished by the torrent of Adelaide goals that followed as the Crows poured on seven of the next eight. Once the Crows had the ball inside their forward 50 the Blues simply could not find an avenue out. Several of Carlton’s kick-outs from behinds resulted in direct turnovers and goals. Carlton’s disposal in general was under constant pressure, inevitably leading to turnovers and goals. Twenty points behind at the main break and Carlton’s grip on fifth place had weakened significantly.

The third quarter was a virtual carbon copy of the second. Another seven goals to Adelaide and only two in response from the Blues meant the fat lady had already sung, packed her bag and left the building by the time the deficit hit 53 points at three quarter time. The one highlight for the quarter, for lovers of football in general, was seeing Adelaide’s Brett “Birdman” Burton launch himself for one of his trademark hangers which will be a short-priced favourite for mark of the year honours.

With goals from Brendan Fevola, Andrew Carrazzo and Marc Murphy early in the last briefly providing the possibility of some scoreboard respectability, normal service resumed and Adelaide’s unexpected offensive dominance continued with six of the last seven goals of the match. The Carlton supporters leaving the stadium started as a trickle but by the 15 minute mark it had become a steady stream. Adelaide’s final score was the highest by any team for the season and inflicted Carlton’s biggest losing margin for the season, 72 points. Their dominance should give them plenty of confidence going into the first week of finals. The Blues, on the other hand, have plenty of soul-searching to do in the coming week and need a major form reversal to stand any chance when they fly north to Brisbane for an elimination final.

Adelaide scored their highest score and their greatest winning margin against Carlton in this match, they also broke their record score in a quarter against Carlton in the 3rd and last quarters. With Brisbane also winning by 8 points means that Carlton has lost the change to play a home final in the first week of the finals and now has to go to the Gabba to play Brisbane in a knockout elimination final. At least Fev won the Coleman Medal for 2009 with 86 goals at the end of the home and away season, 8 goals ahead of Jonathan Brown.

The average age of this Carlton team was 24 years and 15 days, with an average League experience of 91.0 games per player. Nick Stevens was the oldest, at 29 years and 238 days and the most experienced with 230 games. Chris Yarran was the youngest at 18 years and 253 days old and the least experienced with 6 games.


B: 34 Simon Wiggins 32 Bret Thornton 18 Paul Bower
HB:27 Dennis Armfield 2 Jordan Russell 33 Ryan Houlihan
C: 1 Andrew Walker 5 Chris Judd (c) 24 Nick Stevens (vc)
HF: 3 Marc Murphy 45 Aaron Joseph 6 Kade Simpson
F: 17 Setanta O’hAilpin 25 Brendan Fevola 29 Heath Scotland
Ruck: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 4 Bryce Gibbs 44 Andrew Carrazzo
Interchange:9 Chris Johnson 13 Chris Yarran 15 Steven Browne
22 Shaun Hampson
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 7 Adam Bentick, 14 Brad Fisher, 39 Sam Jacobs


Coleman Medal: Brendan Fevola
50 Games (As Coach): Brett Ratten
Greatest Losing Margin / Score Records: Adelaide scored thier highest score and their greats winning margin against Carlton in this match.
Losing streaks: Adelaide extended their record run of 7 wins over us in this match
Interesting Fact: This game would end a record run of 176 games played by the Blues without a Final

Brownlow Votes

3. Bernie Vince, Adelaide
2. Andrew McLeod, Adelaide
1. Chris Knights, Adelaide

Best and Fairest Votes

26 Brendan Fevola, 24 Bryce Gibbs, 17 Andrew Carrazzo, 16 Jordan Russell, 14 Heath Scotland, 2 Kade Simpson, 2 Nick Stevens

The Ghost article that week

Lassie Come Home

Well it is September, the air is warmer, the cloud-free skies are as blue as a swimming pool and it is a homecoming for all of us Bluebaggers. How to explain to the kids who have only known spring as that time of year when they are asked to pack away the footy gear, that time of year when the losses have accumulated to unbearable heights and the only solace is to start to think about the beach-drenched days that are only a few months off?

The best I can do is use the Lassie analogy. Lassie Come Home. Carlton Comes Home.

Somewhere in our journey, Carlton fell out of the car, or maybe got left at a distant ranch chasing the white rabbits, O'Reilly or Mansfield, McGuane or Charles, while the rest of the league packed up their troubles in their old kit bags and left us for dead. They stocked up on draft picks, we scattered them to the four winds. They sacrificed the present for the future, we gave up our future for the here and now.

Like Lassie in those films, as the new day dawned and she found herself alone, we knew we'd missed the boat. While other teams stockpiled kids, we bickered, got caught with our fingers in the jar and then had the precious early picks plucked from us. We were the dogs of the AFL, the curs. Everyone, it seemed, had the right to kick us, to sink the boot in, to wave wooden spoons like daffodils in the spring air. And we, we just gave 'em the big doleful Lassie eyes while secretly chewing the old bone of what we once were.

Think of the Rumble in the Jungle but with Foreman winning in a first round knock-out, or better yet, Jezza flying on Jenkins' back in 1970 only to spill the mark. Things were out of whack. We became the littlest hobbo, we lost our Rin Tin Tin attack, we became Lassie, lost, far from home, the smell of September a distant echo in the doggie nostrils of memory.

The thing about Lassie, though, is that no matter where she is lost, or how distant and hard the trek, she knows how to find her way home. That's the journey we are on, that's the secret to the slogan this year. We know where we belong. We know that as the air turns warm, as the days begin to linger and the breeze stirs blossoms and flowers, that time when dusk is set aside for play, when young boys stand outside the back doors of their mates' houses calling 'EEE-yan, Commmm-ing out to Plaa-ay!' that's the time Carlton comes out to play.

And so, finally, we are home. We've crossed the Atlantic, we've conquered the Himalayas, we've rescued babes and battled baddies, and we are back. We are in the finals. Sure we buggered up on the weekend and now must travel to Brisbane to play, but listen here kids who've never known better, come closer, lend us an ear. You see, young 'uns, we are back. It is spring, it is the time of the year set aside for finals and we Bluebaggers haven't packed away our football gear. The duffel coat's still waiting like a dog at the front door, the scarf is still beside it, coiled, asleep, peacefully purring until this weekend.

It's September and we are in the action. We have reached that part of the Lassie film where Lassie turns into the home street, the family car is parked out front, the lights are on, the kids are playing on the front lawn and suddenly someone yells out 'look it's Lassie', and amid laughter and cheers, everyone comes running.

So come running Bluebaggers, come running into the streets, it's Spring, it's September, it's finals and the game's still on! The losses are forgotten, the wins are now meaningless, they have done their job, this is a brand new season. It is Finals football; there are no 'next years', no excuses, no 'if onlys', there is only this week.

This week. against the lying Lions trying to camouflage themselves and turn our dearest into deers, who apparently are saying their whole team is injured and they'll be fielding a little league team – how easy is that! But Ratts is not fooled by no Voss Goss. We'll plan for Black and the rest. We plan to travel up to the tropics and bring them some good old fashioned Melbourne 'make hay while the sun shines'.

Fev will strut the finals stage, he'll bag seven or so while those downhill skiers in Judd & Co run amok, reminding everyone why Teflon Terry no longer coaches that Tsunami of downhill skiing sides in Richmond.

It will be no easy task, Carlton have lost their finals experience. Not many of our blokes have been around this late into a season, but the club, the club is Lassie, the club will not forget, it knows the way home in finals.

So my advice to the players is to enjoy this week and to remember it, cos the hard work, the 22 games, the training sessions, the aches and pains, the bruises and bloodied paws (oh wait, that was Lassie) are all for this, all so that the team can strut their stuff in Spring. Blues by 27 points!

Fev for 7

AJ to turn off the Power

Hampson to hammer Clark

Judd for BOG

Go Blues!

Mike and Dan

Walker’s Run and Goal

Mixed emotions this week – the massive shock of the second half of our loss to Adelaide versus the sheer exhilaration of once again playing Finals Football!! Sure there’s always positives to a loss, but after time we couldn’t see many. Instead we went to the dashing first quarter where there were brilliant goals aplenty – Nick Stevens, Hammer’s run forward and goal, but also a lovely left foot stab on the run from the happily returned Andrew Walker. For Round 22 we talked to Number One about his left foot and other body parts….

Andrew, you win this week's Play of the Week for finishing that lovely Blue play in the first and nailing the goal.

Thanks, it’s always nice to slot one early.

How come we couldn't do that after quarter time?

Gee, good question first up. Yeah, we were chasing their tail for most of the day, their pressure was huge, probably forcing us into making too many mistakes. I think as bad as we played, the Crows played equally as well.

Is there anything more you can tell us about the game? The Crows seemed to have difficulty clearing it from defence until about 20 minutes in, but then SHAZAM….They kicked a lot of goals from directly in front.

Yeah you’re right, we got off to a pretty good start and really it probably didn’t show on the scoreboard. Our start against them earlier on in the year was awful, probably similar to the end of the game this time around.

When Brett Burton went up for that huge mark on Saturday did it whet your appetite to try one of your own?

Yeah, it was a great grab, it doesn’t surprise you when he takes massive hangers, but that mark was probably the best I’ve seen.

Back to your goal, are you a better kick on your left than your right? Could that be from only having a functional left arm for so long?

I think my right is still better, but you’re probably right, as most people would know, if you have one of your arms out of action for a while your strength tends to build up on the other side of your body.

How are you feeling out there - more comfortable?

Yeah a lot better, the more game time I get the better I feel. It’s not that you don’t feel comfortable, I think it’s just more confidence in your body and the more hits you get and tackles you lay the more confidence you get.

Have you had the chance to test your shoulder with that tractor you were talking about?

I think I have tested it every way possible!

Has Campbell Brown ever accused you of anything?

Haha, no not yet!

There's a lot of talk about how the game is changing from less physical to more athletic. Do you feel that's the way things are going?

Yes and no, I think the AFL has been cleaning the game up, but I don’t think it is any less physical. But there are aspects of the game that certainly are an advantage to the more athletic players.

Have the blokes who played for the Bullants been strutting about this last week? - that's two huge wins in a row for them and a double chance in the finals. Who is likely to come in this week?

Haha, yeah they strutted in on Monday morning. To be honest it’s great for the Ants boys and it keeps the pressure on the guys in the ones. The three boys who missed last week through suspension would be a chance as would Shaun Grigg and Adam Bentick.

It’s obviously a pretty significant milestone to play your first final. How much does playing finals mean to players like yourself who have been around for a few years and seen the abyss?

It means a lot, it’s obviously great for the members and supporters to have their team in the finals. But from a players point of view it’s just another step for us. It’s a mini accomplishment I suppose but Carlton is a successful Club that made its name in September. David Parkin spoke to us this week about Finals and Carlton, its great to be in it, but it’s just another step on the way to what we want to achieve.

What is the mood like heading into Saturday night's final against Brisbane? How much was our confidence shaken by the heavy defeat against the Crows?

We had a dinner after the game on Saturday and one of the things I took out of it was that, that was the end of the Home and Away season and a new season “The Finals” starts this week. We had a good training session earlier in the week and everyone was on their toes.

Was anyone late to the recovery session on Sunday?

What are the travel plans for this week? Do you arrive a couple of days early, and do you actually get to train on the ground?

We head up on Thursday afternoon and will have a run on Friday at some stage.

Judd said we probably wouldn’t win the flag. Fev said we would. Who should we believe?

Haha, Juddy no doubt has the more level head, but Fev is also right. At the start of the season 16 teams could win it, now only 8 can . . . it’s a funny month September.

Well as the Blues assume their rightful place in football, Andrew Walker assumes his rightful place in our first 22 kicking goals and providing that run we all need. Here’s to the Blues playing finals footy again this week!

Round 21 | Three Blues Suspended | Elimination Final
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , molsey , WillowBlue and snakehips .
Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 22:37:27 AEDT by Jarusa.

Online Users

80 online users