Not one to watch on replay - the Blues eke out a 10 point win in this low quality game in NSW

Round 3, 2023

Carlton 4.6 30 7.11 53 7.16 58 9.20 74
GWS Giants 5.3 33 6.5 41 7.9 51 9.10 64
Venue: Giants Stadium, Sydney NSW.
Date: Saturday April 1, 2023 (4.35 pm).
Result: Won by 10 points.
Crowd: 9,691
Goalkickers: C. Curnow 2.3, M. Owies 2.0, J. Motlop 2.0, C. Durdin 1.1, S. Docherty 1.0, J. Silvagni 1.0, E. Curnow 0.2, P. Cripps 0.2, L. O'Brien 0.1, H. McKay 0.1, T. DeKoning 0.1, B. Acres 0.1, Rushed 0.8.
Reports: Blake Acres was suspended for one week for rough conduct with a high bump of GWS's Bret Daniels, it was rated as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.
Umpires: 13 Nicholas Brown, 24 Tom Bryce, 26 Craig Fleer, 28 Cameron Dore.
Injuries: M. Owies (hamstring), B. Acres (shoulder)
Ladder: 3rd.

Game Review

Misfiring Blues survive scare to scrape past spirited Giants

Carlton held on late in the final term to record a 10-point win over Greater Western Sydney - Alison O'Connor.

Carlton has overcome a spirited challenge from Greater Western Sydney to seal a 10-point triumph at Giants Stadium on Saturday afternoon. While Charlie Curnow kicked the last major of the match with fewer than three minutes remaining to secure the win, it was captain Patrick Cripps who stood up when it mattered, amassing a career-high 42 disposals in the 9.20 (74) to 9.10 (64) win. The Blues were almost made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal, especially after they only managed five behinds from 15 inside-50s in the third term to leave the door open for the Giants.

GWS kicked three consecutive goals either side of the last change to claim the lead until the Blues were awarded a controversial free kick in the goal square when Stephen Coniglio disputed a decision. Jesse Motlop made the most of the umpire's contentious call to put the Blues back in front at the 15-minute mark as the teams battled it out between the arcs until Curnow's final intervention. Cripps and Giants young gun Tom Green went head-to-head for much of the contest in an enthralling duel between the on-ball master and apprentice. Cripps was superb for the Blues with game-highs for disposals (42), clearances (13) and score involvements (11), while Green all but matched him around the ball with 34 touches and seven clearances. The Blues' (2-1) runners and clean ball-users Sam Docherty (39 disposals, one goal), Adam Cerra (28 disposals) and Adam Saad (23) were also influential, but Nic Newman arguably had even more of an impact on the result. The half-back clamped down on Toby Greene to restrict the Giants captain to only five disposals and one goal while gathering 24 touches himself.

Matthew Owies slotted two of the Blues' early majors but was subbed out in the second term due to a hamstring injury, while Curnow also finished with two. The Giants were boosted by the return of Josh Kelly (30 disposals, one goal) and Lachie Whitfield (27) from concussion, while Coniglio (29) will be disappointed by the late call against him but continued his superb start to the season. On a tough day for tall forwards in blustery conditions, the Giants' Jake Riccardi kicked his first two goals of the season, while Jesse Hogan also booted two.

Opening term shootout
It was an old-fashioned shootout in the opening term as both sides traded blows in a goal-for-goal rhythm throughout the quarter. GWS spearhead Jesse Hogan and Blues forward Matt Owies both snagged two majors as the sides combined for nine goals in an entertaining opening term. Owies' scintillating start was abruptly ended when he was subbed out early in the second term with a hamstring injury.

A rare quiet day for Toby
It's not often GWS skipper Toby Greene is humbled, but Saturday afternoon was one of those rare occasions. Greene was well held by Nic Newman throughout the game, managing just five disposals for the day while Newman collected 24. Greene's day was brightened somewhat after taking a strong contested mark and converting for the first goal of the fourth quarter. On the other hand, opposing skipper Patrick Cripps found it at will, raking up a career-high 42 disposals including 20 contested possessions.

Best: P. Cripps, N. Newman, S. Docherty, A. Saad, A. Cerra.

Blues steal victory over Giants

Carlton have held on for a narrow win over the GWS Giants in Round 3. - AFL Media.

Carlton have made in two wins in a row recording a scrappy victory over the GWS Giants in Round 3. The Blues had plenty of opportunities to blow the game open throughout the day, with inaccuracy in front of goal allowing the Giants to stay in the game for much of afternoon. Charlie Curnow's second goal pinned against the boundary late in the final quarter would ultimately give the Blues the win and hand them their second win for the 2023 Toyota AFL Season. Captain Patrick Cripps inspired with a career-best 42 disposals, while Nic Newman played his role on the dangerous Toby Greene - restricting the Giants captain to just five disposals and one goal in a superb defensive display.

Quarter one:
It was as free-flowing as football gets in the opening term, with both the Giants and Blues going goal-for-goal over the course of the first quarter. It was Carlton’s small forwards who did the damage on the scoreboard in an otherwise wasteful first term for the visitors: Corey Durdin opened proceedings, Jack Silvagni converted truly and Matthew Owies kicked two from the goal square. The Blues struggled to deal with the Giants’ offensive transition, despite the best efforts of captain Patrick Cripps (13 disposals) at the contest. Blake Acres and Ollie Hollands got up and back on their respective wings, but only unable to convert from four of their 10 scoring shots for the term, the Blues trailed by three points at the first change.

Quarter two:
The Blues were forced to make an early change, with Owies - after his bright start - subbed out of the game for Lochie O’Brien in the opening minutes of quarter two. Despite Jake Riccardi opening the scoring, it was a more assured defensive showing from the Blues, with scoring drying up at both ends. The recipient of a 50-metre penalty, Sam Docherty converted truly from long range in a similar manner to the team’s last trip to Giants Stadium. It proved to be the catalyst for the Blues, whose renewed sense of vigour and physicality paid dividends in the second half of the term. Adam Saad and Mitch McGovern were aggressive against their direct opponents, Adam Cerra accumulated 10 second-quarter disposals while Jesse Motlop laid a crunching tackle against Stephen Coniglio before converting the set shot. The moment of the half was saved for the final minute, where Ed Curnow found brother Charlie — the Coleman Medallist did what he does best from 55, giving the Blues a two-goal half-time buffer.

Quarter three:
A busy opening to the term saw Cripps motor to 30 disposals for the game, after 25 to the main break. Cerra was stationed largely across half-back in the third term, providing a cool head behind the ball as well as setting the Blues up with his offence. The first 10 minutes largely lived in Carlton’s forward half, but in a similar vein to the opening two quarter, the visiting team was unable to put the score on the board in a meaningful way — the Blues could only muster five behinds in the opening 18 minutes. Save for a Riccardi goal late in the quarter, the Blues were able to quell the majority of the damage, still holding a seven-point lead into the last break.

Quarter four:
After holding the Giants at bay for the second half, the Blues found themselves behind inside the opening 12 minutes after back-to-back goals from Toby Greene and Brent Daniels. Losing their shape forward of the footy, Carlton was in desperate need of a response after what had been a goalless second half for the Blues up until that point. That was left to Motlop, who enjoyed another great personal night at Giants Stadium after last year’s debut. Carlton’s backline stood up under heavy pressure, not least Nic Newman, who was one of Carlton’s very best opposed to Giants captain Greene. Lewis Young had some big moments on centre wing as the Giants looked to press, with his intercept leading to a mark, snap and goal from the tightest of angles via the boot of Charlie Curnow.

Three things we learned:
1. When the Blues need a lift, you can always rely on the captain. This might not so much be a new learning, however, it was definitely a reminder of how important Cripps is to the Blues' midfield mix. The captain lifted at several stages throughout the game, proving to be too much for the Giants' midfielders at times. The midfield bull registered career-best figures of 42 disposals, 20 contested possession and 13 clearances in an inspiring display.
2. Defenders don't often get the credit they deserve. Today is not that day. Nic Newman played a starring role in a scrappy affair at Giant Stadium. Given the tough job of playing on one of the most dangerous players in the league in Toby Greene, the smart defender held his own effectively shutting the Giants' captain out of the game. Newman managed to restrict the usually lively Greene to just five disposals and one goal.
3. Carlton's small forwards add much-needed depth to the Blues' forward mix. The combination of Jesse Motlop, Corey Durdin and Matt Owies add energy, poise and pressure while also hitting the scoreboard when required. The trio combined for four goals, 17 score involvements and eight tackles. While the injury to Owies will hurt the groups' dynamics, it does open the door for another for someone else to join the mix.

Best: P. Cripps, N. Newman, S. Docherty, A. Cerra, B. Acres, J. Motlop.

Blue's 'exceptional effort' on GWS skipper, free kick controversy.

Blues defender Nic Newman clamped down on Toby Greene, while GWS won't blame a controversial free kick for the loss. - By Alison O'Connor.

GWS Skipper Toby Greene had booted four goals in each of the opening two rounds to kickstart his season, but Carlton defender Nic Newman was having none of that in the Blues' round three bout with the Giants. Despite his blistering start to life as his side's standalone leader, the 29-year-old was unable to emulate that early-season form, managing just five disposals for the day under Newman's watch. The reliable defender collected 24 disposals himself to be one of the Blues' best in the hard-fought 10-point win at Giants Stadium on Saturday afternoon. "I think Newman did a terrific job on him," Giants coach Adam Kingsley said. "We tried to do a couple of different things to get him into the game, but it was just one of those games where he didn't have his usual impact but he'll regroup and get ready for Essendon next week. "We spoke about him paying in the midfield and he went into quite a few stoppages in that third quarter particularly ... but his opponent just had a really good day on him."

Blues coach Michael Voss was full of praise, saying Newman played "an incredible game". "To be able to play against Toby - who we rate really, really highly; he's a very, very good player - so to be able to minimise his influence on the game the way that he did was an exceptional effort," Voss said. GWS kicked three consecutive goals either side of the last change to claim the lead, until the Blues were awarded a controversial free kick in the goal square when Stephen Coniglio disputed a decision. Jesse Motlop converted to put the Blues back in front and the lead was never surpassed. Kingsley wouldn't be drawn on whether the free kick was there, but said his side would move on quickly. "It's hard for me to comment because I don't know what was said," he said. "Clearly we don't want to be giving away free kicks in front of goal. "Guys know when they make mistakes of that nature. It is what it is, we move on. Everyone makes mistakes."

It was the Giants' second consecutive loss after a thrilling round one win over Adelaide, but Kingsley remains upbeat about his young side and said there's plenty of positives to take out of the match. "I'm clearly frustrated with parts of our execution, but the reality is we've been in every game we've played, we were able to win round one in a close game and obviously we were on the other side of the ledger today, so I think the system and our competitiveness and fight has been really strong," he said. "We've got to be able to continue to try to execute it better to give us a chance to finish our work, defend a little better, defend a little stronger ... but I see a lot of moments when we're doing it really well, we've just got to have more moments."

Blues coach Michael Voss said it was "grit" that got his side over the line in the end - the Blues' third close result in as many games. "There wasn't a whole lot of method when we were going forward so we made that really hard for us," he said. "We had plenty of opportunities in the third quarter and I guess those missed opportunities probably energised them a bit and kept them in the game and they were good enough to be able to bounce back. "I'm just really pleased the boys have gone to work on finishing our games because we needed it and I guess I'm just really pleased we closed out the game the way we did ... we found a way to win on the road, we don't underestimate how big that is when you travel and come away with the four points." Carlton remains unbeaten after three rounds, with a Good Friday clash with North Melbourne to come this week.

The Blues have found a way in the close ones

Last week wasn't a fluke - Carlton can hold on in the tight ones. The Blues have left their fans heartbroken in recent times, coughing up their final two matches last season by less than a kick and drawing with Richmond in round one this year, despite leading all three matches in the dying minutes. But Michael Voss' men finally executed under pressure and ended their horror run in tight contests to claim victory when challenged late against Geelong last week, and managed it again against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday. The Blues' inability to close out games cost them a finals spot in 2022, but they have reversed the trend in the past two weeks and are sitting pretty in the top four. - Alison O'Connor


B: 24 Nic Newman 33 Lewis Young 23 Jacob Weitering
HB: 11 Mitch McGovern 15 Sam Docherty 42 Adam Saad
C: 14 Oliver Hollands 9 Patrick Cripps (c) 13 Blake Acres
HF: 3 Jesse Motlop 30 Charlie Curnow 44 Matthew Owies
F: 19 Corey Durdin 10 Harry McKay 1 Jack Silvagni
Ruck: 12 Tom De Koning 35 Ed Curnow 5 Adam Cerra
Interchange: 25 Zac Fisher 26 Lachlan Cowan 27 Marc Pittonet
29 George Hewett
Substitute: 4 Lochie O'Brien
Coach: Michael Voss
Emergencies: 36 Josh Honey 20 Lachie Plowman 2 Paddy Dow

Substitute; Lochie O'Brien (replaced Matt Owies in second quarter).

In: George Hewett.
Out: Matthew Kennedy (calf).

Interesting Facts

1. Patrick Cripps had a career-best 42 disposals, which included 20 contested possession and 13 clearances in an inspiring display.
2. Nic Newman held GWS Captain Toby Greene to 5 disposals which is Greene's lowest ever for a completed game by the GWS champion.
3. This was our third win on the trot against the Giants; the first time we've ever had 3 in a row against the newbies.
4. The Carlton side didn't contain any players that had previously played with GWS.
5. Sam Docherty had a career-high 17 handballs, and 30 ucontested possessions in this game.
6. Jesse Motlop had a career-high 12 kicks, and equalled his career-high of 17 disposals.


10 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
8 - Nic Newman (CARL)
4 - Sam Docherty (CARL)
3 - Adam Cerra (CARL)
2 - Sam Taylor (GWS)
2 - Josh Kelly (GWS)
1 - Jack Buckley (GWS)

Brownlow Votes

3 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
2 - Sam Docherty (CARL)
1 - Josh Kelly (GWS)

Best and Fairest Votes


Round 2 | Round 4
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , Bombasheldon , molsey and WillowBlue .
Page last modified on Thursday 21 of March, 2024 01:13:15 AEDT by Jarusa.

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