|Date:||Saturday 17th April, 2021 (7.25 pm).|
|Result:||Lost by 28 points.|
|Goalkickers:||L. Casboult 2.1, H. McKay 1.2, M. McGovern 1.1, J. Newnes 1.1, M. Cottrell 1.0, M. Pittonet 1.0, L. Fogarty 1.0, S. Walsh 1.0, Z. Williams 0.2, P. Cripps 0.1, M. Gibbons 0.1, T. Williamson 0.1, Rushed 0.4.|
|Umpires:||Robert O'Gorman, Jacob Mollison, Brent Wallace.|
Game ReviewPower in cruise control as Blues disappoint again
Port Adelaide has cruised to a comfortable win over Carlton - Riley Beveridge / Rose Zarucky.
It had been a while since Port Adelaide graced the MCG, but on Saturday night's evidence it might want to get used to playing there. Stepping onto the iconic ground for the first time in 637 days, its 28-point victory over Carlton was both a demonstration of its finals quality and of its determination to soon return to the home of footy for that last Saturday in September. The Power were ruthless in their 15.6 (96) to 9.14 (68) win, with their array of potent weapons in the forward line providing the ammunition to put a lacklustre Blues outfit to the sword. Tall timber Mitch Georgiades and Charlie Dixon marked everything in the air and combined for five goals, while the mosquito fleet of Robbie Gray and Orazio Fantasia proved just as dangerous on ground level to share five more between them. All the while, Ollie Wines (32 disposals, seven clearances) and Travis Boak (29 disposals, seven score involvements) did the damage from midfield as Port Adelaide improved its record on the season to 4-1 with relative ease.
Sam Walsh (29 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) battled hard. But for Carlton, this was a brutal reality check after successive wins over the last fortnight had briefly rekindled some positivity. Even before the fight had been sapped from the Blues, their foot hold in the match had appeared on shaky ground. On multiple occasions in the first half, the Power looked threatening without stretching their advantage much beyond three goals. But a 50m penalty against co-captain Patrick Cripps enabled Scott Lycett to finally convert Port Adelaide's control over the contest into dominance on the scoreboard, extending the advantage to 23 points at half-time. Carlton's problems were compounded when key defender Jacob Weitering was forced off for an extended period in the third term with a head knock, allowing Georgiades and Dixon to continue having their way with an outgunned Blues backline. Weitering eventually returned, but four straight Port Adelaide goals to finish the third quarter had put Carlton out of touch. It meant that while Matt Cottrell's stunning snap to start the final term wowed supporters, it mattered little to the final result. Magnets were flipped, with Mitch McGovern going back and Tom Williamson moving forward, but by that stage the only thing the Blues could win was respectability on the scoreboard on what was an otherwise comfortable night for the Power. Trailing at every change, the Blues were outclassed by a superior Port, despite the best efforts from Sam Walsh in the middle and Adam Saad in defence.
It was an even contest to begin with, as both sides struggled to convert their inside 50s into goals. Carlton’s ball movement into the forward line was solid, with Sam Walsh getting busy in the contest early. Port got the first goal on the board through Charlie Dixon, with its midfield able to provide clean movement through the corridor. Lachie Fogarty got the Blues on the board after a fantastic chasedown tackle from Adam Saad at the other end of the ground. Aliir Aliir gave Carlton trouble in their forward 50, with his contested marking making it difficult for the forwards to get their hands to the footy. Walsh’s work-rate was capped off with a set-shot goal. Two late goals gave Port some breathing room, before an individual effort from Levi Casboult saw the Blues within a kick at the first change.
Saad was pivotal in getting the ball moving from the defensive end as the Blues otherwise had difficulty getting the ball into their forward line. Port Adelaide set up well behind the ball, leaving Carlton scrambling to cover opposition players when the ball was moved quickly. Sam Docherty and Liam Jones were put under the pump with Port’s repeat forward entries, but a Harry McKay assist for Casboult's second kept the Blues within touching distance. Patrick Cripps continued to control the clearances out of the middle and provide a physical contest, but inaccuracy and inefficiency was to Carlton’s detriment as Port Adelaide capitalised on a bevy of Blues errors.
McKay gave the Blues the start they desperately needed, slotting a goal in the first minute of the term. Port answered quickly with two goals in a row, as the visitors began to control the ball out of the middle. When Carlton did get the ball into their forward line, accuracy in front of goal was an issue. Mitch McGovern kicked an important goal to give the Blues some momentum, but it was one of just two Carlton goals from seven scoring shots. It was all Port in the second half of the term, capitalising on their opportunities on the back of clean ball movement around the ground to extend the lead to 43 points at the final change.
Carlton buckled down in the defensive half, attempting to minimise the effect of Port Adelaide’s forwards. Docherty and Plowman put up a fight, before a goal from Matthew Cottrell gave Carlton a bright spark in the closing stages. McGovern played at both ends of the ground as the Blues looked to stem the flow on the scoreboard. With the sting taken out of the contest, late goals to Jack Newnes and Marc Pittonet brought some respectability to the scoreboard, but it was otherwise too little, too late for the Blues.
Three-headed beast has Port firing
Port Adelaide has long flirted with unleashing Charlie Dixon, Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades together for a consistent period and was afforded the opportunity to continue their partnership on Saturday night. It proved a masterstroke, with the key forward trio working strongly in tandem and each hitting the scoreboard in a resounding win. Georgiades provided the high-flying, kicking three goals from 15 disposals. Dixon provided the brute force, clunking a series of big marks and finishing with two majors. Marshall then provided the link between midfield and attack, with his one goal complementing 19 disposals and nine marks. Try stopping this forward line as it continues to develop and improve.
Blues keep McGovern on his toes
A head knock to Jacob Weitering, which forced Carlton's reigning best and fairest winner from the field in the third quarter, made for a tricky 20 minutes for the returning Mitch McGovern. Playing his first game for the year, McGovern had spent the first half playing forward before being shifted into a defensive role on Todd Marshall when Weitering was undergoing a concussion test. It made for a mildly amusing scene at the three-quarter time huddle, when McGovern joined the defensive group only for Weitering to trot from the rooms and motion to his teammate to go back to the forwards meeting. McGovern finished with one goal from 13 disposals and five marks on his return from hamstring and back issues, continuing to push into the backline even after Weitering returned.
Three things from the match
1. With pre-match commentary focussing on Port Adelaide's contested ball-winning ability, the Blues matched Port in the contest. With the Blues falling seven behind in contested possessions and recording more clearances and tackles than the opposition, it was the uncontested side of the game where the Blues were stung: the Power managed +58 uncontested possessions and +16 marks.
2. In his 100th game for the Club, there was nothing surer than Sam Docherty would put his body on the line for the team. Finishing with 25 disposals, Docherty - who's been through his fair share of battles in recent seasons - ended the game with heavy strapping on his shoulder after going back with the flight against a marauding Charlie Dixon.
3. Matthew Cottrell is slotting into the line-up nicely. After a slow start possession-wise, Cottrell used his running power to build into the contest in the second half, finishing with seven disposals and kicking a memorable goal in his first outing on the MCG.
Best: S. Walsh, P. Cripps, A. Saad, S. Docherty, L. Casboult, J. Weitering.
|B:||31 Tom Williamson||14 Liam Jones||23 Jacob Weitering|
|HB:||15 Sam Docherty (c)||20 Lachie Plowman||42 Adam Saad|
|C:||46 Matthew Cottrell||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||32 Jack Newnes|
|HF:||8 Lachie Fogarty||11 Mitch McGovern||18 Sam Walsh|
|F:||41 Levi Casboult||10 Harry McKay||19 Eddie Betts|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||6 Zac Wiliams||35 Ed Curnow|
|Interchange:||3 Marc Murphy||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton||7 Matthew Kennedy|
|40 Michael Gibbons|
|Medical Substitute||2 Paddy Dow|
|Emergencies:||28 David Cuningham||43 Will Setterfield||44 Matt Owies|
In; Zac Williams, Mitch McGovern, Tom Williamson
Out: Jack Silvagni (shoulder), L. Parks (hamstring), W. Setterfield (omitted), P. Dow (omitted - then selected as the Medical Substitute).
Milestones100 Games (for Carlton): Sam Docherty
50 Games (AFL): Matthew Kennedy
Indigenous Games records: Eddie Betts will match the great Andrew Walker's record of 202 games in Navy Blue
Interesting FactThis was the largest crowd between these two clubs played in Melbourne, previous record was 29,936 in Round 8, 2013.
AFLCA Votes8 - Ollie Wines (PORT)
7 - Darcy Byrne-Jones (PORT)
5 - Aliir Aliir (PORT)
5 - Karl Amon (PORT)
4 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
1 - Todd Marshall (PORT)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 4 | Round 6