|Date:||Saturday 25th July, 2020 (1.05 pm).|
|Result:||Won by 7 points.|
|Goalkickers:||D. Cuningham 2, M. Kennedy 2, J. Newnes 2, L. Casboult, M. Gibbons, S. Walsh 1.|
|Reports:||P. Cripps was charged with wrestling during the second quarter - he can accept a $750 sanction with an early plea.|
|Umpires:||Chris Donlon, Paul Rebeschini, Nathan Williamson|
|Injuries:||M. McGovern (hamstring)|
Game ReviewBlues condemn gallant Roos to sixth loss in a row - Michael Whiting.
Carlton holds on for victory at a sodden Gabba despite North Melbourne's second-half charge. Carlton has kept its season afloat with an unconvincing seven-point win over North Melbourne at a sodden Gabba on Saturday. Just six days after losing a post-siren heartbreaker against Port Adelaide, the Blues had to withstand a brave fightback from the embattled Kangaroos to win 9.10 (64) to 9.3 (57). Carlton has moved to a 4-4 record and outside the top eight on percentage, while the Roos remain 17th after their sixth successive defeat. The Blues led by 23 points at quarter-time and looked like running away with an easy win, but North Melbourne showed real fight after, winning the second and third quarters.
Despite trailing by just six points at the final change, the Kangas could never get their noses in front and fell just short. Marc Murphy (22 disposals) was prolific on a wing, while Matthew Kennedy (20 disposals and two goals) and Will Setterfield (20 disposals, six clearances and two assists) were also influential. The Blues dominated around the stoppages but could not shake the pesky Roos. Jared Polec (25) was exceptional, while Bailey Scott (three goals) was lively up front. They will regret some costly mistakes though, including a horror free kick reversal by Jasper Pittard on the three-quarter time siren that cost Polec a shot at goal.
McGovern adds to Carlton's tall woes
Just when it looked like the Blues were getting some continuity in the forward line, they copped not one, but two setbacks. Harry McKay, fresh from three goals against Port Adelaide, was a late scratching after hyperextending his knee at training on Thursday. Then, after a quiet first half, Mitch McGovern watched the remainder of the match from the boundary line after straining his hamstring. It left Levi Casboult as the only recognised tall target inside 50.
Pittard's moment of madness
With North Melbourne on the charge late in the third quarter, Jasper Pittard had a moment he'd rather forget. With seconds ticking down and the Roos trailing by five points, Jared Polec took a mark 30m out directly from goal. He was about to put his team in front. As the siren sounded, Pittard rushed in and gave Marc Murphy a push to the ground, giving away a free kick. It was inexcusable and the sort of act that would infuriate coach Rhyce Shaw.
Q1 breakdown: It was a physical contest from the first bounce, with the Blues moving it quickly out of the middle. Marc Pittonet was confident against Todd Goldstein, with six disposals and three clearances allowing the Blues to move the ball forward. It reaped full reward in the opening term, with Michael Gibbons, Matthew Kennedy and Jack Newnes putting the Blues on the board early. Will Setterfield and Jack Martin were pivotal in moving the ball forward, while David Cuningham didn’t need a second invitation when an errant North Melbourne handball fell in his lap within range.
Q2 breakdown: Kennedy started off the quarter quickly with his second goal, while both teams put on a physical display from the center bounce. Setterfield and Cripps were vital in clearing the ball from the middle and Lachie Plowman put the pressure on down the line. North had gained more territory than the first term, putting the defensive line to the test. An unlucky ball bounce led to North’s third straight goal for the term while North’s pressure mounted. A classy handball chain in the forward 50 led to an important goal from Walsh, lifting Carlton’s momentum.
Q3 breakdown: Keeping in form with the rest of the game, the Blues started with a quick goal through Newnes after a tough contest in their forward half. Both sides struggled to convert on the scoreboard, with the ball travelling from 50 to 50. Carlton missed some chances to gain back momentum, recording four straight behinds while trapping the ball inside their forward 50. Jacob Weitering and Jones restricted the North forwards with intercept marks but a hamstring injury to Mitch McGovern left the Blues a man down. As the Blues looked to wrestle the momentum, three late goals to North Melbourne saw the opponent draw within five points.
Q4 breakdown: The heavens opened at the Gabba which made wet weather football a must, with the Blues adjusting to the conditions early. Walsh was key in the Blues while Plowman was crucial on the last line of defence. Cuningham’s second goal was crucial, turning and converting from outside 50 to give the Blues’ some breathing room. Leaders Sam Docherty and Kade Simpson did everything to thwart North Melbourne’s offence, with the Blues eventually holding on for a scrappy seven-point win.
Moment of the match: Cool, calm and collected. With barely anyone able to get clean control of the ball, an errant Jared Polec handball found its way into the path of David Cuningham. Having kicked an early goal, Cuningham didn't need a second invitation: from beyond 50, Cuningham turned on a dime and sent one sailing over the goal umpire for what was ultimately the sealer.
Three things we learned:
1. Sam Walsh can provide the pressure - and stand up - when his team needs it most. For the second straight week at the Gabba, and despite being only in his second year, Walsh provided his trademark hard running for four quarters on the way to a 21-disposal, one-goal performance.
2. Senior Coach David Teague called for an improved defensive effort, and Lachie Plowman was key in providing that. The 102-gamer had some crucial plays in the final term, producing an impressive defensive performance for the third consecutive week.
3. When Will Setterfield and Matt Kennedy are on form, Carlton's midfield unit looks very strong. The two bulls were fierce at the contest from the outset, collecting 20 disposals each: both were vital in moving and clearing the ball forward as the Blues outclassed the best clearance team in the competition.
Best: M. Kennedy, M. Murphy, W. Setterfield, J. Martin, S. Walsh, M. Pittonet, L. Plowman.
|B:||20 Lachie Plowman||14 Liam Jones||6 Kade Simpson|
|HB:||15 Sam Docherty (c)||23 Jacob Weitering||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||18 Sam Walsh|
|HF:||21 Jack Martin||41 Levi Casboult||11 Mitch McGovern|
|F:||19 Eddie Betts||47 Callum Moore||40 Michael Gibbons|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||43 Will Setterfield||35 Ed Curnow|
|Interchange:||7 Matthew Kennedy||28 David Cuningham||31 Tom Williamson|
|32 Jack Newnes|
|Emg:||10 Harry McKay, 34 Sam Philp, 36 Josh Honey, 46 Matthew Cottrell|
H. McKay (knee) replaced in selected side by C. Moore.
In: Callum Moore
Out: Harry McKay (knee)
MilestonesDebut (Carlton): Callum Moore
100 Games (AFL): Sam Docherty, Captain!
Interesting Stat: Post last week's news that we had a Blue in double figures for goals - Eddie Betts - this week Levi Casboult hit 10 (from 8 games) to be our second Blue in doubles...
AFLCA Votes5 - Marc Murphy (CARL)
5 - Lachie Plowman (CARL)
4 - Matthew Kennedy (CARL)
4 - Jared Polec (NMFC)
3 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
3 - Marc Pittonet (CARL)
3 - Ed Curnow (CARL)
2 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
1 - Luke McDonald (NMFC)
Brownlow Votes3.Jack Martin
2. Ed Curnow
1. Jared Polec (North Melbourne)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 7 | Round 9