|Date:||Saturday (twilight) April 26, 2014|
|Result:||Won by 3 points|
|Goalkickers:||J. Garlett 3, J. Waite 2, L. Henderson 2, M. Robinson, R. Warnock, M. Murphy, B. McLean, Z. Tuohy, D. Buckley, T. Menzel 1.|
|Umpires:||N. Foot, T. Pannell, A. Stephens|
|Injuries:||David Ellard (thigh) Andrew Carrazzo (back spasm) replaced in the selected side by Dylan Buckley and Troy Menzel, Chris Yarran (hamstring)|
Game ReviewFor the second week running, Blues skipper Marc Murphy inspired his team to victory when a depleted Carlton team surged home to beat West Coast in this Saturday evening classic at Docklands. Four goals adrift after 12 minutes of the last quarter, the Blues sent the crowd into rapture by kicking five unanswered majors, then withstanding a late rally by the Eagles to win by three points. In a triumphant result for coach Mick Malthouse, Carlton was more intent and more efficient than the Eagles, who lost despite having seven more scoring shots.
After their desperately-needed round 5 victory over the Western Bulldogs, the Blues had to make six changes to the team for this next assignment against the fourth-placed Eagles – all but one because of injury. Chris Judd, Ed Curnow, Tom Bell and Patrick Cripps came out on selection night, replaced by Brock McLean, Michael Jamison, Jeff Garlett and Mitch Robinson. Between then and the first bounce on Saturday evening, David Ellard and Andrew Carrazzo withdrew, so Troy Menzel and Dylan Buckley were called in as late replacements. Once again, Menzel was named as Carlton’s substitute.
Beforehand, the most obvious problem facing Malthouse and his team was the Eagles’ height advantage in attack. West Coast’s forward line (tagged The Land of the Giants) included three imposing forwards in Kennedy, Darling and Lycett, augmented by two of the biggest and best ruckmen in the game in Cox and Natanui. To limit their opportunities, Carlton simply had to seize and hold control of the midfield – which is precisely what they did for much of the first term, and indeed for the game.
The Blues opened the scoring within the first minute of play, when Buckley dashed off half-back and kicked long to the goal-front. The ball spilled off the pack to (of all people) Robbie Warnock – who showed surprising agility and goaled with a neat left-foot snap over his shoulder. Carlton was playing the same run-and-gun style of football that had been so effective against the Bulldogs, and rattled on another three unanswered goals to kick away by 24 points after 15 minutes of frantic action. However, the Eagles soon found their breath, and responded with four majors in the remaining 16 minutes to nose in front by one point at quarter time.
Two goals to Jeff Garlett in the first four minutes of the second quarter – the second of which came from a brilliant solo effort, finished with a lovely snap-shot off the outside of his right foot – restored the Blues’ advantage. The teams then swapped goals through to half-time, when Carlton was back in front by a slim five points, largely due to the tenacity of Murphy, McLean, Kade Simpson, Chris Yarran, Garlett and Jarrad Waite. Warnock was effective under intense pressure in the ruck, and his deft palming of the football was damaging every time he got his hands to the ball. In defence for the Blues, Michael Jamison, Simon White and Sam Rowe were holding their own against the Eagles’ tall timber, and Lycett was the only one of the Eagles’ big three who had troubled the scorer by the long break.
During the early stages of the third term, the intensity from both sides lifted a notch as the Eagles threatened to break the game open. But Carlton refused to buckle, and with Murphy leading by example, the Blues’ pressure forced the Eagles into repeated mistakes, especially around the goals. Ten minutes in however, Chris Yarran (who had been so effective with his run and carry off half-back) limped from the ground with a leg injury, to be replaced by Troy Menzel. Carlton seemed to falter, and in the last seconds of the quarter, former Blue Josh Kennedy snapped a lucky goal to give West Coast a 14-point advantage.
The Eagles sustained their momentum when the last term got underway, and should have wrapped up the match after twelve minutes of domination. But their return of 1.4 from as many very gettable opportunities left the door ajar for Carlton. Even so, a few pessimists were already heading for the stadium exits when Heath Scotland found Garlett with a neat pass 40 metres from goal after 14 minutes of play, and Jeff kicked truly to keep the Blues slim hopes alive.
Two minutes later, Zach Tuohy was paid a mark on the defensive side of the centre square. When his opponent tried to run the clock down by holding on to the football, the umpire pounced, and a 50-metre penalty brought the bearded Irishman to within 40 metres of goal. Zach’s kick speared through the middle, and suddenly, the Blues were back in the contest – especially because the roar from a parochial crowd of 31,000 was becoming more than a breeze at Carlton’s back. As the clock ticked past 19 minutes, Garlett swept into the thick of the action once more when he sprinted through the centre and passed to Lachie Henderson, who hauled down the mark 40 metres out. Lachie’s kick split the posts, getting the Blues to within one straight kick of the shell-shocked Weagles. Next, Warnock cleverly palmed the ball to Kane Lucas, who hand-balled on to Buckley for Carlton’s fourth straight major and incredibly, scores were level.
Then, with almost 22 minutes gone, Simpson’s long shot hit the post to put the Blues just in front. Still, West Coast weren’t quite done. They found space down the wing, and a chain of passes brought a shot on goal which just missed to tie the contest up again. A draw loomed large for everyone, until Murphy burst from half-back and kicked long to a contest inside Carlton’s forward 50. In the defining moment of the game, the ball cleared the pack and fell into the path of Menzel, who swooped, and goaled with precision off his left foot to put the Blues on the brink of victory. With the stadium in near pandemonium, the Eagles attacked relentlessly during the last two minutes and could have snatched back the win - but a poster by Kennedy, followed by two more near-misses preceded a triumphant roar when the final siren sounded.
This match will be fondly remembered by Carlton fans, particularly in light of the club’s abysmal start to the season. Undermanned and under intense scrutiny from all sides, Malthouse and his men responded in the best possible way and achieved a very special victory. Although out-reached and out-rucked, the Blues won the clearances 42-31 and laid 72 tackles to West Coast’s 46.
Marc Murphy was responsible for 11 of those tackles, along with 32 disposals, 5 marks and a brilliant second-quarter goal to be easily best on ground. Alongside his captain, Brock McLean worked hard in close all match to collect 32 disposals, 4 marks and 5 tackles, as did Kade Simpson with 26, 6 and 5 respectively. Others who stood out in a very pleasing, even performance for the resurgent Blues were Bryce Gibbs, Jeff Garlett, Chris Yarran (until injured) Jarrad Waite and Dale Thomas. Overall, Carlton’s defence stood firm, and Robbie Warnock never gave in against heavy odds in the ruck.
Subs: Troy Menzel replaced Chris Yarran during the third quarter.
|B:||17 Sam Rowe||40 Michael Jamison (DVC)||43 Simon White|
|HB:||7 Dylan Buckley||1 Andrew Walker||42 Zach Tuohy|
|C:||9 Kane Lucas||4 Bryce Gibbs||33 Andrejs Everitt|
|HF:||38 Jeffery Garlett||23 Lachlan Henderson||13 Chris Yarran|
|F:||41 Levi Casboult||30 Jarrad Waite||39 Dale Thomas|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)|
|Interchange:||12 Mitch Robinson||14 Brock McLean||29 Heath Scotland|
|Substitute:||2 Troy Menzel|
|Emergencies:||44 Andrew Carrazzo (vc)||10 Matthew Watson||27 Dennis Armfield|
- Dylan Buckley and Troy Menzel replaced Andrew Carrazzo and David Ellard in the selected side and Dennis Armfield replaced David Ellard in the selected squad.
Chris Yarran started off the back of the centre square
Milestones50 Games (Carlton): Brock McLean
Coaching: This was Mick Malthouse's 400th win as League coach in his 694 games; a winning ratio of 58.07%.
Brownlow Votes3. Marc Murphy, Carlton
2. Matt Priddis, West Coast
1. Luke Shuey, West Coast
Best & Fairest VotesMarc Murphy 10, Bryce Gibbs 9, Brock McLean 9, Kade Simpson 8, Simon White 7, Jeffery Garlett 6, Sam Rowe 6, Dale Thomas 5, Jarrad Waite 5, Andrew Walker 5, Robert Warnock 4, Andrejs Everitt 2, Kane Lucas 2, Mitch Robinson 2, Michael Jamison 1,
Round 5 | Round 7