|Date:||Saturday night, April 13, 2013|
|Result:||Lost by 16 points|
|Goalkickers:||S. Rowe, C. Yarran, K. Lucas, B. McLean (2), H. Scotland, D. Buckley, J. Garlett, C. Judd, M. Murphy, S. Hampson, D. Armfield (1).|
|Umpires:||J. Dalgleish, S. McInerney, M. Nicholls|
|Injuries:||Kreuzer (thumb) Davies (hamstring)|
Game ReviewCarlton remained winless after three rounds, and suffered a big blow to the club’s finals aspirations when Matthew Kreuzer broke a thumb in this 16-point loss to Geelong on a warm Saturday night at Docklands. Taking on a confident, unbeaten Geelong side that had already claimed the scalps of 2012 finalists Hawthorn and North Melbourne was always going to be a tough ask, especially since Carlton had never beaten the Cats at Melbourne’s indoor stadium. Still, for the third week in a row, the game was in the balance until late in the last quarter.
On the previous Thursday night, Carlton’s match committee made four changes to the team run down by Collingwood in round two, omitting Jeremy Laidler, Levi Casboult, Tom Bell and Josh Bootsma. Into the side came Heath Scotland, Shaun Hampson, Aaron Joseph and 20 year-old first-gamer Dylan Buckley – son of three-time Carlton Premiership star Jim Buckley.
After the teams ran out to a rapturous reception from the 43,000 fans packed in under the closed roof, Buckley was handed the substitute’s green vest. Blues captain Marc Murphy won the toss to get proceedings underway, and as expected, Andrew Carrazzo picked up Geelong’s skipper and playmaker Joel Selwood. Geelong countered by putting a hard tag of their own on Murphy. Other tactical moves included Chris Yarran starting in attack, with Andrew Walker loose across half-back.
Curiously, the early part of the first quarter seemed devoid of intensity, although Bryce Gibbs’ heavy bump to Travis Varcoe’s shoulder knocked the dangerous Cat out of the match before it had really begun. Both teams seemed over cautious, intent on not making a mistake, and avoiding kicking to a contest at all costs. So six minutes of circle work ensued, before some good lead-up work by Chris Judd got the ball to Heath Scotland, and he steered through Carlton’s first major. Barely a minute later, Kane Lucas kicked long for Carlton’s second, and suddenly, the game burst open.
Geelong put their first goal on the board through their ruckman Trent West, only for Matthew Kreuzer to cleverly palm the ball to Brock McLean for Carlton’s third. Meanwhile, Andrew Walker was picking up possessions at will by pushing up into the midfield, and the Blues were looking good until Kreuzer got up from a contest showing concern about his right hand. He was quickly ushered off the ground, and the injury was diagnosed as a broken thumb.
While the medicos were at work, out on the oval Sam Rowe took a big contested mark and kicked truly, giving Carlton a 17-point advantage with four minutes remaining in the term. Yet again however, the Blues’ concentration lapsed at a critical moment, and Geelong slammed on four unanswered majors - the last two kicked by Murphy’s tagger Taylor Hunt. Noted for his endurance, Hunt had landed a couple of telling psychological blows on Carlton’s captain, and as the teams headed for their respective huddles at quarter time with the Cats ahead by eight points, the Geelong boys were giving Murphy plenty.
Both teams called on their substitutes to start the second stanza. Buckley replaced Kreuzer for Carlton, while Caddy came on for Varcoe at Geelong. And inside the first minute, the fresh-faced youngster in navy blue brought at least half of the crowd to their feet when he scooped up the football and goaled with his first kick; a beautiful left-foot snap from deep in the left forward pocket.
The next 25 minutes was a smorgasbord of hard, gutsy football from both sides. The umpires seemed happy to let play continue, and the tackling was frenetic. Murphy, Judd and Mitch Robinson bored in for the Blues and their tenacity was rewarded by goals to Rowe (after a lucky free-kick) Jeff Garlett ( who played on to advantage and bombed a ripper from outside the 50-metre arc) and McLean (who was pushed in the back and kicked truly from 30 metres on a tight angle). After 9 minutes Carlton had re-established a margin of 17 points, but from then on the Cats exerted their authority, registering seven of the next eight majors to lead by 19 points at the long break.
The third term opened with a pack-busting left-foot goal to Chris Judd, quickly answered for Geelong by Hunt. Both sides were relentless, although a string of missed shots by Yarran (twice), Rowe and Simpson were golden opportunities squandered. McLean and Murphy combined cleverly to kick Carlton’s second for the term, before Yarran and Murphy each missed again and Geelong finished the off the quarter even further in front. Having added 5.1 to Carlton’s 2.5, the Cats changed ends for the last time with a 33-point advantage.
To the brief but futile joy of the blue and white masses, Carlton played some of their best football in the last quarter, outscoring the Cats 4.3 to 1.4 to be beaten by 16 points. Yarran, Judd, Shaun Hampson and Dennis Armfield all added goals to the scoresheet, and near-misses by Murphy and Yarran in the closing minutes might have changed the result, had Steven Motlop not kicked the sealer with a big bomb from outside the 50 with less than four minutes remaining.
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse summed up the feelings of many supporters afterward when he said; "The three sides we've played have given us some food for thought. I'm not disappointed in the attitude, or the effort. I think that where we have let ourselves down in is in five-to-seven minutes a quarter or half. That's what happened. The pattern has been the same over three games, we've just allowed the opposition to take a firm hold of those vital minutes. We'll get better because of it."
Best for Carlton on a night when it was hard for philosophical acceptance to overcome despair at the result were Andrew Walker (33 possessions), Marc Murphy (who, despite his opponent’s 3 goals, was excellent in the second half, and finished with 27 disposals, 4 marks, 6 tackles and a goal). Chris Judd, Bryce Gibbs and Brock McLean all led by example, while Andrew Carrazzo restricted Geelong captain Joel Selwood to five kicks and nine handballs in another super defensive effort.
Subs: Dylan Buckley replaced Matthew Kreuzer at quarter time
|B:||45 Aaron Joseph||40 Michael Jamison||42 Zach Tuohey|
|HB:||31 Marcus Davies||23 Lachlan Henderson||1 Andrew Walker|
|C:||6 Kade Simpson (vc)||5 Chris Judd||9 Kane Lucas|
|HF:||38 Jeff Garlett||17 Sam Rowe||27 Dennis Armfield|
|F:||13 Chris Yarran||22 Shaun Hampson||44 Andrew Carrazzo (vc)|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||4 Bryce Gibbs||3 Marc Murphy (C)|
|Interchange:||12 Mitch Robinson||14 Brock McLean||29 Heath Scotland|
|Substitute:||7 Dylan Buckley|
|Emergencies:||21 Josh Bootsma||28 Tom Bell||41 Levi Casboult|
MilestonesDebut, First Goal & Goal with First Kick: Dylan Buckley . Remarkably, there are four other players currently on Carlton's list who also goaled with their first kick at senior level. They are Bryce Gibbs, Matthew Kreuzer, Jeffery Garlett and Luke Mitchell.
Last game: Marcus Davies
Brownlow Votes3. Andrew Walker, Carlton
2. Mathew Stokes, Geelong
1. Harry Taylor, Geelong
Best & Fairest VotesAndrew Carrazzo 8, Andrew Walker 8, Chris Judd 5, Brock McLean 5, Zach Tuohy 4, Lachie Henderson 3, Michael Jamison 3, Marc Murphy 3, Mitch Robinson 3, Sam Rowe 2, Chris Yarran 2
|2||Port Adelaide||3||3||0||0||385||241||+0||W 3||159.75||12|
|9||St Kilda||3||1||2||0||299||257||+5||W 1||116.34||4|
|10||West Coast||3||1||2||0||355||339||+5||W 1||104.72||4|
|12||Western Bulldogs||3||1||2||0||273||300||-4||L 2||91.00||4|
|13||Gold Coast||3||1||2||0||255||285||-2||L 2||89.47||4|
|16||North Melbourne||3||0||3||0||287||346||-4||L 3||82.95||0|
|17||GWS Giants||3||0||3||0||222||380||-1||L 3||58.42||0|
Round 2 | Round 4