|Venue:||Optus Stadium, WA.|
|Date:||Saturday April 29, 2023 (7.30 pm).|
|Result:||Won by 108 points.|
|Goalkickers:||C, Curnow 9.3, J. Silvagni 3.1, H. McKay 2.1, N. Newman 1.1, C. Durdin 1.1, M. Kennedy 1.0, B. Kemp 1.0, J. Honey 1.0, O. Hollands 1.0, P. Cripps 1.0, A. Cerra 1.0, B. Acres 1.0, Z. Fisher 0.3, S. Walsh 0.1, E. Curnow 0.1, Rushed 0.2.|
|Reports:||Former Blue and current West Coast Eagle Sam Petrevski-Seton was suspended for a sling, copping a week for rough conduct for an incident involving Carlton's Alex Cincotta on Saturday night.|
|Umpires:||7 - Jeff Dalgleish, 13 - Nicholas Brown, 28 - Cameron Dore, 43 - James Strybos.|
King Charles bags nine as Carlton crushes EaglesCharlie Curnow has put on a show as the Blues crushed the Eagles in Perth. - By Nathan Schmook
Carlton star Charlie Curnow could do no wrong in a career-best night, toying with West Coast and kicking nine goals to spearhead the Blues' 108-point win at Optus Stadium. The athletic key forward kicked his goals from all angles and dominated four different opponents as the Blues made a statement in the west, winning 23.14 (152) to 6.8 (44) in a ruthless performance. He was a threat whenever the ball went near him, taking a career-high eight contested marks and 11 inside 50, including a classic grab on Shannon Hurn's shoulders and several strong marks when opposed to Tom Barrass. His brilliant night set a new goalkicking record for Optus Stadium, overtaking the eight-goal bags kicked by champion forwards Lance Franklin in 2018 and Josh Kennedy last season. It took Curnow's season tally to a League-best 30 goals after he entered the round with 21 to his name and in second place on the Coleman Medal leaderboard.
While Curnow was the story, there were positives all over the ground for the Blues, whose deep midfield ran relentlessly all night as the team got its speed and ferocity back after back-to-back losses.
Blake Acres (34 disposals and six inside 50s) was brilliant on a wing, while captain Patrick Cripps (33 and eight clearances) and polished onballer Adam Cerra (30 and five inside 50s) were influential.
The Blues had 12 individual goalkickers and six players who racked up 30 disposals or more in what was ultimately a trouncing on the Eagles' home turf. Brodie Kemp came into the team and was clean all night with 22 touches and 13 marks, with rebounders Adam Saad (25 and five rebounds) and Sam Docherty (24 and five inside 50s) also making seamless returns to the 22. Together, they delivered West Coast its fifth consecutive loss and its heaviest since the 109-point defeat to Richmond in round seven last season. The trend was set early when Harry McKay and Curnow combined for four of the Blues' first five goals in the opening quarter, presenting superbly to their midfielders and converting twice each. The Blues controlled the clearances (13-8) and contested ball (37-26), chiefly through George Hewett, Cripps and Cerra, and it became clear quickly that they had West Coast covered on every line. A pair of crafty first-half goals from fringe midfielder Xavier O'Neill gave the Eagles a small positive as they look for individual development, while Hurn gave a reminder of the stability he provides with a courageous mark running with the flight.
The Eagles got on top at stoppages briefly, winning the clearances 13-6 for the quarter, but they couldn't connect with their forwards for clean entries as Jack Darling and Oscar Allen entered half-time goalless and with one mark each. The question at the main break was whether Carlton had the ruthlessness to put the foot down in the second half and turn a 40-point margin into a more significant win. Curnow provided the answer within 10 minutes, kicking back-to-back goals as the Blues' midfield run went to a new level and set the foundation for a percentage-boosting win. It forced a change from Eagles coach Adam Simpson, who moved Barrass onto Curnow, leaving Josh Rotham to battle with McKay on the last line of defence. By the end of the quarter, however, Curnow had equalled his career-best seven goals and 11 marks, with West Coast substitute Rhett Bazzo becoming his third opponent for the night as the margin moved past 70 points. The final term was all about what damage the Blues – and Curnow – could inflict on a helpless West Coast. They kicked nine goals to three in the run home to record their biggest win since round two, 2011.
Docherty's brilliant return
Carlton star Sam Docherty was expected to miss up to six weeks when scans revealed earlier this month that he required surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Still listed as two to four weeks away from returning earlier this week, he somehow got himself up and was excellent all night. Why wait an extra week was Michael Voss's theory when it became clear he was fit, and it was good timing as a tune-up before a crunch game against Brisbane next week.
Blues use local knowledge
Former Fremantle wingman Blake Acres was playing his first game at Optus Stadium since crossing to the Blues at the end of last season. An important wingman in his final season with the Dockers, he picked up where he left off and shot up and down the wing dangerously all night. Adam Cerra was another former Docker who knows Optus Stadium well, and his ball use was a feature, with the pair combining for one passage in the second quarter when they used the corridor to pierce through the Eagles.
Best: C. Curnow, B. Acres, P. Cripps, A. Cerra, N. Newman, S. Docherty, B. Kemp.
Curnow-inspired Carlton delivers crushing responseCarlton recorded its biggest win since 2011 with a 108-point triumph. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.
Caelron has produced the best response possible in Perth, recording its biggest win since 2011 with a 108-point triumph over West Coast. Leading from siren to siren, the Blues were spearheaded by a brilliant Charlie Curnow, with the reigning Coleman Medallist producing a career-best nine goals in a stunning display. He wasn’t alone on the night, with midfielders Blake Acres, Adam Cerra and Patrick Cripps all having over 30 disposals and a goal, while Alex Cincotta celebrating his first win as a Blue in his second game.
Brodie Kemp wasted no time in making on impact for his first game in 2023, taking two telling intercept marks down back inside the opening minute. It proved beneficial for one Blue in particular, as the team went coast-to-coast and Ollie Hollands finished off some hard running through the corridor with his first career goal. A contested mark to Harry McKay - his 21st for the season - directly from the clearance led to the first of his two first-quarter goals, as the Blues’ midfield brigade got to work. Carlton dominated forward territory and found targets inside 50 - kicking scores from 84 per cent of its inside-50 entries - but could only convert five goals from its 11 scoring shots, as Charlie Curnow’s second goal in immediate response to a West Coast major saw the Blues kick out to a 21-point lead. The team’s willingness to share the ball around and bring their teammates into the game was evident, posting a +43 uncontested possession differential at the first break while recording their most marks in a quarter for the year: George Hewett was the chief instigator with 11 disposals.
It was an unlikely goalkicker that got the Blues rolling in the second term, when Nic Newman drifted forward and converted his set shot from just inside 50: it was the defender’s first major since 2019, when he kicked four goals against the same opponent. A telling contested mark from Curnow ended in his third, opening up a 34-point lead: from that moment on, the Eagles opted for a more open forward line, giving the Blues intercept opportunities but also seeing the scoring dry up. After the game against St Kilda saw Carlton lament its slow ball movement, the team’s willingness to move the ball quickly and get through the corridor was evident. Some half chances went begging for the Blues, with Zac Fisher hitting the post while Corey Durdin’s goal-bound snap was touched on the line, preventing the Blues from kicking out to a bigger lead. In his second game, Alex Cincotta proved he belonged at the level with some crucial one-on-one wins, as the Carlton backline held firm while West Coast pressed. Persistence paid off on the counter attack, with some more aggressive ball movement ending in Adam Cerra finding Jack Silvagni for his first.
Hewett started the second half just as he did the first, winning the contest in the middle of the ground to get the ball rolling for the Blues. Curnow - of the Charlie variety - was the main beneficiary in attack, kicking the first two goals of the quarter to take his tally to six for the game. He had Blake Acres to thank for his sixth, with the former Docker enjoying being back at Optus Stadium: gaining possession in the back pocket, Acres stepped through traffic, brushed off two opponents and had four possessions in the same passage of play to turn defence into offence. Despite the two teams drawing level in clearances, it was the Blues’ transition which stood out, mixing methodical ball movement at times with some line-breaking run and carry. The play lived in Carlton’s forward half, conceding just three inside 50s inside the opening 20 minutes of the quarter. Curnow made it seven from long range, before he turned the provider for Acres on the three-quarter-time siren to mark a happy homecoming for the native West Australian.
It was Charlie Curnow watch officially in the final term, when the reigning Coleman Medallist kicked two goals early in the final term to take his tally to nine. After a goal-for-goal middle portion of the quarter, there was another feel-good moment for the Blues five minutes from the end of the game, when Kemp kicked true after a 50-metre penalty for his first goal in senior football. Cripps kicked his first goal of the season, Matthew Kennedy - after being subbed in for Adam Saad as a precautionary measure - converted from a centre clearance and Jack Silvagni snapped truly to put the margin beyond 100 points. With McKay looking for his great mate to notch up his 10th goal, Corey Durdin bobbed up to kick one on the siren, seeing the Blues record their biggest win in 11 years — and the 13th biggest win in their history.
Three things we learned
1. Charlie Curnow. Nine goals. There’s not really much more that can be said, is there?
2. When Carlton’s team was named on Thursday night, there was the expected sense of hype around the returns of Sam Docherty and Adam Saad as known quantities at senior level. What was less known was the impact of Brodie Kemp, who came in for his first game of the season — and just the sixth of his career. Kemp barely put a foot wrong from the opening siren, recording 22 disposals, 13 marks and the first goal of his career.
3. It was the four-quarter performance which had so far eluded the Blues in 2023. Up by 71 points at the final change, the Blues showed no sign of putting the cue in the rack, kicking nine goals in the final quarter to put the home side to the sword. It came off the back of the Blues’ attack at the contest, recording 452 disposals for the game and fighting until the final siren.
Best: C. Curnow, A. Cerra, B. Acres, B. Kemp, P. Cripps, N. Newman, G. Hewett.
The Blues are getting their midfield mix rightCarlton had its full complement of midfielders available for the first time this season against West Coast, and hard-running wingman Blake Acres and polished inside midfielder Adam Cerra were arguably the pick of them. Together, they have made a strong contested midfield one that can also slice through opponents quickly when in form. Their impact was best captured when they combined late in the second quarter, with Acres hitting Cerra in the corridor, who then turned and set up Jack Silvagni for a running goal. The Blues' midfield depth was aided on Saturday night by the influence of defenders Alex Cincotta and Brodie Kemp, who allowed Sam Docherty to continue playing in the midfield, attending 10 centre bounces. Add Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh, George Hewett, young wingman Ollie Hollands, and substitute Matt Kennedy and there is a significant weapon there for the Blues that should get them rolling again. – Nathan Schmook
Voss on pure team performanceMichael Voss takes stock of the thumping Round 7 win over West Coast - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.
Carlton's trip west marked the team's biggest win since 2011, triumphing by 108 points over West Coast to return to winning form. In a game where the Blues had 167 more disposals, 23 more contested possessions and 19 more tackles, it was no surprise that AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss was quick to laud the team's temperament in their response. This is what he had to say.
On focussing on the performance, rather than solely the scoreboard:
“It was a very diligent performance and a very disciplined performance. I felt like we executed for 120 minutes. I didn’t feel like we strayed from what we wanted to achieve at any time and we were able to maintain that intensity throughout the whole game. “To have a pressure number like that throughout the entire game is pretty impressive: it shows the boys came here to compete right until the end. “The way you play is really important. It’s not so much the win, but the way you go about it. You can have losses and play the right way, and you can live with the loss — but you can have a loss where you don’t go about it the right way and it feels really hollow. We’ve had a couple of those where we’ve had to go back, have some humility and look at our game and go to work on it.”
On, yes, Charlie Curnow:
“It was really impressive. He’s a handful. I’ve watched him and Harry through pre-season: for him to be able to finish his work was important. The forwards have been working pretty hard on their relationships and cohesion - not just Harry and Charlie, but the smalls too - and how we balance our game more. “It’s fair to say they’re a good reason to be one-dimensional, because they can impact the game pretty significantly, but we also have to look at other options. I felt like we got that today. We looked at the other options and maybe that’s when Curnow got some more opportunities because of it. I’m really pleased it was a team effort. “The reality is you can focus on the finish, or you can focus on the process. He got the reward today, but it was through good process and sticking to what we need to execute as a footy team.”
On the players looking for Curnow’s 10th:
“Even if I can sense that’s pretty exciting! Even for a coach that wants to continue to do the right things, I can lower my guard for the last five minutes. The boys came up to me saying ‘I hope you don’t mind’. “By then, there’s the theatre in it of a player trying to kick 10. Clearly West Coast was mindful of that as well.”
On his impassioned three-quarter-time message:
“I’m asking us to finish the game. We’ve had games this year where we’ve won, but we haven’t played the right way at the end and it has almost felt like we’ve lost. Such is the expectation we have of ourselves. It was really important tonight that we finished the game the right way, and walking away feeling like we get the confidence out of the game that we want. “It was really impressive. No one strayed from their roles, no one strayed from the method. We had a couple of skill errors, but that happens in every game — we’re imperfect. We were able to stick at it, and that’s what I was really pleased about.”
On the roles played throughout the night:
“Kemp coming in for his game did great, Cincotta in his second game is growing in his role. “We had our midfield group together for the first time that I can recall, to have them all together and playing all together. They’re forming their cohesion again, so we’ve got to use this as a launching pad for ourselves. Acres was exceptional . . . he has added a real strength to us and has a defensive bias to his game. He’s incredibly loud and loves to have a chat, which is the energy we’re after as a teammate, and we feel like he’s offering us a lot.”
On managing players late:
“There was a determination for us to finish the game the right way. The only one that we were mindful of was we wanted to manage ‘Saady’ off a hamstring. We felt like we got some great gains out of that, and Andrew Russell came up and said ‘what do you think?’ — I was more than happy to go down that path as a priority. “I think it was important for us to come here tonight and finish it the right way, walk away with some real confidence in the way we played and acknowledge some of the things we’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks that haven’t been going right. “To come here, we’re aware of the opposition’s challenges - we have to respect their challenges - but we also have to respect them by playing the right way, bringing our a-game and bringing the best version of ourselves. We were able to do that.”
On accepting and embracing shortcomings:
“I felt like we had a lot more balance in our game. We weren’t as one-dimensional in the way we played, and that was a massive factor in getting the result we were after. “We acknowledged that there were some things we needed to go away and work on, and sometimes it’s really difficult to be able to sit there and say ‘what is it first?’ when you’ve got a fair bit going on. We prioritised the right things and we were able to balance it out more than in previous weeks.”
|B:||33 Lewis Young||23 Jacob Weitering||17 Brodie Kemp|
|HB:||39 Alex Cincotta||11 Mitch McGovern||42 Adam Saad|
|C:||13 Blake Acres||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||14 Oliver Hollands|
|HF:||18 Sam Walsh||30 Charlie Curnow||1 Jack Silvagni|
|F:||19 Corey Durdin||10 Harry McKay||36 Josh Honey|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||29 George Hewett||5 Adam Cerra|
|Interchange:||15 Sam Docherty||24 Nic Newman||25 Zac Fisher|
|35 Ed Curnow|
|Substitute:||7 Matthew Kennedy|
|Emergencies:||26 Lachie Cowan||12 Tom DeKoning||8 Lachie Fogarty|
In: Sam Docherty, Brodie Kemp, Adam Saad.
Out: Jesse Motlop (suspension), Lachie Cowan (managed), Lochie O'Brien (omitted).
Substitute: Matthew Kennedy (replaced Adam Saad at three-quarter time).
Milestones50 Games (AFL): Lewis Young
First Goal: Oliver Hollands, Brodie Kemp
Interesting Facts1. Charlie Curnow 9 goals was a personal best bettering his 7 goals against the Western Bulldogs he kicked in 2019
2. This was Carlton's 13th biggest win of all time
3. This was Carlton's 27th time that they had won by 100 points or more
4. Carlton's last 100 point victory was against Richmond in Round 15, 2011
AFLCA Votes10 - Charlie Curnow (CARL)
7 - Nic Newman (CARL)
5 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
4 - Adam Cerra (CARL)
3 - Blake Acres (CARL)
1 - Harry McKay (CARL)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 6 | Round 8