Carlton suffers nailbiting, horrifying, deflating and excruciating 2 point loss against the undefeated Cats. We shoulda won!

Round 9, 2011

Carlton 4.3 27 8.6 54 11.10 76 14.16 100
Geelong 2.3 15 8.6 54 12.11 83 15.12 102
Venue: Dome
Date: May, 20, 2011 (Friday Night)
Result: Lost by 2 points
Crowd: 48,429
Goalkickers: Simpson 3, Walker 2, Waite 2, Garlett 2, Murphy, Judd, O’hAilpin, Betts, Duigan 1.
Reports: Nil
Umpires: J. Armstrong, C. Donlon & M. Vozzo
Injuries: Judd (right foot/ankle), Warnock (head/concussion)
Ladder: 5th

Game Review

It was with great anticipation and just a little anxiety that Carlton supporters made their way to Etihad Stadium for the game of the round clash against the undefeated Geelong. The Blues, coming off the bye, were fresh and keen to strut their stuff against one of the few legitimate contenders for the 2011 flag. The result of the game likely to provide further indication of exactly how far the Blues have progressed since last season.

Illustration: http://www.samcrook.com
With an extra week to recover Carlton were able to bring back Jeremy Laidler, and also promoted Brock McLean for his long-awaited return to the senior team. Ed Curnow was out for a few weeks with a persistant shoulder injury, while Aaron Joseph was omitted.

The game started at a lively pace with Carlton making all the early running. The Cats were struggling to get their hands on the footy and when they did it was under duress as the Blues pressured and defended tightly. The Blues’ passing in general play was slick and accurate and after a few moments the opener came through Jarrad Waite after he marked strongly in the pocket. Waite played on quickly, opened the angle slightly and casually banana-ed through a wonderful goal, as though it was the sort of the thing he did every morning after breakfast. Two more goals followed before the Cats had registered a major. The first came from hard-nosed defender Nick Duigan (opening his AFL goal-kicking account) and then some time later from the ever reliable Eddie Betts. The lead had stretched to 20 points before Geelong finally got on the board during the 20th minute. The Blues managed a fourth for the quarter, through Kade Simpson, but for all their possession and forward entries the scoreboard didn’t really reflect a suitable reward as they took a mere two goal advantage to the huddle.

Jeff Garlett opened the second quarter with a goal straight from the first bounce which helped relieve some of the disappointment from the first term, but the relief was short-lived. The teams traded goals for much of the quarter as neither was able to gain any real ascendency. A goal to Setanta O’hAilpin kept Carlton’s nose in front and the second each for Simpson and Garlett kept the scoreboard ticking, but Geelong were certainly doing their share of attacking. As the quarter wore on the Cats started to turn the momentum and finished strongly with the last two goals to make the scores dead level at the half.

The Blues were set back on their heels after play resumed as Geelong’s Travis Varcoe turned on an impressive spell during the first part of the quarter that netted three goals. His treble was spliced by an Andrew Walker goal which came after the Blues sprung the Geelong press through Jeremy Laidler and eventually O’hAilpin’s long kick into space for Walker to run onto and and into the open goal square. The Blues were staying with the Cats courtesy of some tight defence from Laidler and Michael Jamison while Heath Scotland was getting plenty of the ball and using it wisely. When Marc Murphy goaled at the twenty minute mark of the term the gap had narrowed to a single goal and as Walker claimed his second for the term soon after (courtesy of a mysterious 50m penalty) the scores were tied up once again. The Cats regained the lead late in the piece and took a five point lead to the final break.

Chris Judd spent much of the second half as a permanent forward after a sprained ankle had limited his usual output. Despite the clear discomfort he was still able to provide arguably the highlight of the game. With Simpson’s kick toward O’hAilpin spilling to the deck Judd swooped on the loose ball, scooping it up with his left hand as graceful as you like, and curled it with his left boot right through the middle. It was a crowd-pleaser and team-lifter all in one and brought the Blues back within a point. Simpson gave the Blues the lead to the delight of the large crowd after marking strongly from a Judd pass out of a stoppage. Simpson’s natural left foot arc made the shot from straight in front look more difficult than need be, but the result was his third goal and a five point lead to the Blues. With the game on the line Geelong’s old heads just kept finding answers. Three unanswered goals put them in the box seat when it counted, but the Blues weren’t done yet. Eddie Betts managed to create a goal for Waite after a deft toe poke put Waite clear and the margin was back to four points with time still remaining. As an aside, Waite's goal saw him overtake Albert 'Mick' Price to become Carlton's biggest goal kicker for Guernsey #30.

The real drama was just around the corner. Robert Warnock had struggled to land a mark all night and missed out again when a Walker miscue from around 50m nearly landed on his head. It wasn’t the only thing near his head as an errant Cat paw gave Warnock a solid clip behind the ear for the free kick and shot at goal from inside 20m on a slight angle. The dazed Warnock hauled his huge frame to an upright position to take the shot but it skewed off his boot for a behind. The difference was two points and neither team would score again.

The Blues showed a lot on the night and may have earned a little more respect. They won most of the statistical categories they’d set out to win except for the most important one.

As an interesting post-script, Geelong scored the exact same score as Collingwood did in Carlton's other defeat in 2011.

Subs: Mitch Robinson replaced Brock McLean at the 22 minute mark of the 3rd quarter.


B: 34 Nick Duigan 40 Michael Jamison 32 Bret Thornton
HB:13 Chris Yarran 2 Jordan Russell 15 Jeremy Laidler
C: 4 Bryce Gibbs 5 Chris Judd (C) 6 Kade Simpson
HF: 38 Jeffery Garlett 30 Jarrad Waite 44 Andrew Carrazzo
F: 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín 1 Andrew Walker 19 Eddie Betts
Ruck:11 Robert Warnock 46 David Ellard 3 Marc Murphy
Interchange: 14 Brock McLean 27 Dennis Armfield 29 Heath Scotland
Substitute: 12 Mitch Robinson
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 23 Lachie Henderson, 43 Simon White, 45 Aaron Joseph


50 Games: Dennis Armfield
First Goal: Nick Duigan
Guernsey History: Brock McLean became the 4th member of the "McLean Clan" to wear Guernsey Number 14 for Carlton. The previous representatives were brothers Ken and Rod, together with Rod's son Ricky McLean (Brock's uncle).
Goals Records: Waite's second goal saw him overtake Albert 'Mick' Price to become Carlton's biggest ever goalkicker in Guernsey 30.

Brownlow Votes

3. Heath Scotland, Carlton
2. Joel Selwood, Geelong
1. Paul Chapman, Geelong

Best & Fairest Votes

Heath Scotland 40, Jarrad Waite 40, Marc Murphy 39, Bryce Gibbs 33, Jeremy Laidler 30, Kade Simpson 26, Nick Duigan 17,Andrew Carrazzo 15, Michael Jamison 11, Andrew Walker 9


  2011 Rd 9 P W D L
For Agn % Pts
1 Geelong 8 8 0 0 R6 R22 751 543 138.31 32
2 Collingwood 8 7 0 1 R7 R13 970 591 164.13 28
3 Hawthorn 8 6 0 2 R6 R24 801 617 129.82 24
4 Essendon 9 5 1 3 R10 R23 992 745 133.15 22
5 Carlton 8 5 1 2 R8 R23 784 650 120.62 22
6 West Coast 8 5 0 3 R5 R15 828 632 131.01 20
7 Fremantle 8 5 0 3 R6 R16 767 745 102.95 20
8 Sydney 8 4 1 3 R5 R19 662 663 99.85 18
9 Richmond 9 4 1 4 R11 R19 928 1017 91.25 18
10 Melbourne 8 3 1 4 R5 R16 772 735 105.03 14
11 Western Bulldogs 8 3 0 5 R4 R20 708 765 92.55 12
12 Adelaide 8 3 0 5 R2 R16 669 775 86.32 12
13 St Kilda 8 2 1 5 R4 R14 642 714 89.92 10
14 North Melbourne 8 2 0 6 R3 R21 722 830 86.99 8
15 Gold Coast 7 2 0 5 R1 R9 531 996 53.31 8
16 Brisbane Lions 8 1 0 7 R4 R19 637 797 79.92 4
17 Port Adelaide 9 1 0 8 R12 R118 714 1063 67.17 4

Agst Rich G.Cst Coll
Adel Sydney St.Kilda BYE Geel Melb P.Adel
. .  
% 123.8 202.2
135.0 129.5 124.4 124.8 124.8 120.6 . .  
Agst Sydney W.Cst Rich W.Bull Coll Ess N.Melb Melb Frem Haw BYE St.Kilda
Posn . . . . . . . . . . .  
% . . . . . . . . . . .  

Round 8 | Round 10
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