Carlton d Geelong by 32 pts - Kardinia Park. Mike Fitzpatrick's debut game

Round 1, 1975

Venue: Kardinia ParkDate: Saturday April 5, 1975
Result: Win by 32 pointsUmpires: John SutcliffeCrowd: 22,573 Receipts: $17,625
Goalkickers: G.Kennedy 5, T.Keogh 2, B.Walsh 2, R.Walls 2, S.Jackson, R.Ashman
Best: A.Jesaulenko, G.Kennedy, B.Walsh, P.Jones, G.Southby, R.Ashman.
Reports: B.Armstrong (allegedly striking M.Turner) - 2 weeks, B.Crosswell (allegedly striking I.Nankervis) - not guilty
Injuries: B.Armstrong (broken thumb), G.Whitnall (hamstring), M.Fitzpatrick (concussion, corked thigh), V.Waite (suspected dislocated shoulder), G.Towns (hamstring), B.Walsh (corked thigh)

Game Review

The Blues opened Season 1975 with a comfortable win away to Geelong.

Some years after our early 1970's Premierships, the Blues were already looking forward with the debut of Premiership Ruckman Mike Fitzpatrick, the first of 6 debuts for 1975.

Mike Fitzpatrick was 'knocked out' early in the game, but stayed on and played in the forward pocket. Unfortunately, Barry Armstrong's season was disrupted by his suspension for striking Michael Turner of Geelong (who probably deserved it). Tiger Crosswell was exonerated of striking Ian Nankervis.

Although the final scores were not a true indication of the difference in these two sides, the Cats maintained their average opening round scores over the last five seasons - 57 points; 61, 68, 65 and 62, while Carlton showed they should figure higher up the list than last year. The Blues have only lost one opening day match since the 1966 season (1971). - Football Record.

Bruised Blues' brave battle.

"Guts -- and Alex Jesaulenko-- put Carlton back on the premiership trail at Kardina Park on Saturday.
The Blues certainly did not play premiership-style in their 32 point victory over Geelong. But they showed premiership style courage as they battled for the entire second half with only 15 fit players to hold off repeated Geelong challenges and then come away in the finish.
Coach John Nicholls described it as the greatest performance he has seen in 18 years at the club and as Big Nick is not given to lavish praise, the value of the victory can be recognised.
Carlton had centreman Barry Armstrong off the ground at quarter time back pocket Graham Whitnall departed at half-time, and Mike Fitzpatrick, Greg Towns and Vin Waite were passengers on the forward line, nursing injuries that should have put them straight into the medical room.
And then there was the new captain Alex Jesaulenko, who was playing on the half-back flank.
Who said he would be wasted there?
Not only did he beat four opponents, he initiated most of Carlton's attacking moves, backed up to the centre and half- forward lines and somehow found enough time moving around the field to inspire and urge on his team mates.
It was a great display by Jesaulenko and opposing coaches are going to have to find some new tactics for their half-forwards to beat him.
However, the game was not all Carlton's. Geelong had a big chance to grab a winning lead in the first two quarters, mainly through the brilliance of centre-half forward Rex Hunt, and the domination of their three ruck men, Ian Hampshire, John Newman and Rex Deece.
Hunt gave Bruce Doull a thrashing early in the game but haphazard kicking for goal let down the Cats.
When Carlton should have been punctured, in the third quarter, it kicked on.
Brent Crosswell went onto Hunt and put him out of the game. Peter Jones took control of the ruck and Greg Kennedy moved from full-forward so a hiding spot could be found for Waite, dominated on his flank." (Peter McFarline, Age April 07)

Rough Start

"Western Australian champion Mike Fitzpatrick doesn't remember much about his VFL football debut at Kardinia Park on Saturday - and doesn't want to.
When he ran onto the Geelong ground with his Carlton team-mates at 2pm., it marked the end of one of the great clearance fights of recent times.
But 55 minutes later Fitzpatrick was lying unconscious on the Carlton forward line, victim of a heavy collision with Geelong defender John Scarlett.
Trainers battled for 10 minutes to get him back on his feet. At half-time it was clear he could not continue .... until the Blues discovered they had Graham Whitnall, Vin Waite and Greg Towns also seriously injured.
So Fitzpatrick played on." (Age April 07)


B: 7 Graeme Whitnall 20 Geoff Southby 36 Mark Maclure
HB: 25 Alex Jesaulenko (c) 11 Bruce Doull 21 Rod Austin
C: 8 Trevor Keogh 12 Barry Armstrong 26 Ray Byrne
HF: 30 Vin Waite 42 Robert Walls (vc) 5 Syd Jackson
F: 3 Mike Fitzpatrick 16 Greg Kennedy 18 Brian Walsh
Ruck: 28 Peter Jones (dvc) 17 Brent Crosswell 14 Rod Ashman
Res: 9 Greg Towns 15 Phil Pinnell
Coach: John Nicholls


Debut: Mike Fitzpatrick
Last Game (Carlton): Brent Crosswell

1975 | Round 2
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