Carlton defeated Richmond by 17 points - MCG. Bryce Gibbs debuted.

Round 1, 2007

Carlton5.5356.1147 10.177715.25115
Richmond5.23210.464 13.78515.898
Venue: MCG (Twilight)
Date: Sun 1 April, 2007, 5:10pm Result: Win by 17 points
Umpires: Mathew Nicholls, Chris Kamolins, Martin Ellis Crowd: 59,847
Goalkickers: B Fevola 3; J Waite, B Fisher, A Bentick 2; A Walker, B Gibbs, E Betts, A Carrazzo, J Russell, J Kennedy 1
Reports: Nil Injuries: Nil

Game Review

After winning the Pre-season Premiership, the big question for all Carlton supporters was whether it could continue this form into the season proper or see a repeat of 2005, when its Pre-season Premiership was followed up by a loss in Round 1. Fortunately this time it was able to follow up its Pre-season win with a 17 point victory over Richmond in a twilight Sunday fixture at the MCG- a new concept introduced in 2007, which appeared to be well received by the fans, with a crowd just short of 60,000 attending.

The Blues went in with a near full strength line up- almost the same as it had used during the Pre-season, with Anthony Koutoufides the only important player missing, after suffering a finger injury at training shortly before the match. It welcomed 3 newcomers including #1 Draft Pick Bryce Gibbs, while 2006 #1 Draft Pick Marc Murphy would play his first game since Round 13, 2006. Setanta Ó hAilpín would be given the task on Matthew Richardson.

We began well, with a huge roost from Brendan Fevola to open his account - from the centre square no less - and a weight of opportunities, including a goal to Gibbs with his first kick and a superb 50 metre shot from Andrew Carrazzo. But the Tigers fought back to score the last few of the quarter and be just 3 points behind at quarter time.

In the second, the game changed. Richmond, utilising a chip and retain possession game made famous in this decade by the Swans, stacked up the possessions and frustrated the Blues. Both teams would score 7 times but Richmond made the most of their opportunities with 5.2 whilst we scored 1.6. In addition, Fevola missed 3 shots from the forward pocket in the space of 3 minutes, leading to some frustration at half time. We were down by 17 with many of our playmakers well held: the exceptions being Nick Stevens, Andrew Walker and Andrew Carrazzo.

Richmond extended their lead to 27 points in the third but as had been the case throughout the Pre-season, the 2007 Carlton side (unlike in 2006) refused to give in. We became far more direct and enjoyed many centre clearances. The Blues continued to swap their defence around to quell Kane Pettifer, who would kick 4, but our 10 shots on goal demonstrated that the momentum had changed. Our impressive fitness, demonstrated throughout the Pre-season (under new fitmess coach Paul Ford) was again brought to the fore as we didn't stop running all last quarter. Jarrad Waite, now at half-forward after being soundly beaten in defence, would stir the Blues into action and the midfield would run amok. Nick Stevens, with 30 possessions, plus Adam Bentick with 22 and 2 goals led an impressive win against Richmond to bring a warm fuzzy feeling to start the year. The Blues would amass 40 scoring shots and 60 inside 50's, plus a few out of bounds on the full, to Richmond's 23 shots and 41 inside 50's, as a weight of scoring opportunities saw us take the lead in the last quarter and win the game.


B: 33 Ryan Houlihan 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín 32 Bret Thornton
HB: 29 Heath Scotland 30 Jarrad Waite 6 Kade Simpson
C: 1 Andrew Walker 24 Nick Stevens 12 Matthew Lappin
HF: 44 Andrew Carrazzo 8 Lance Whitnall (c) 14 Brad Fisher
F: 5 Josh Kennedy 25 Brendan Fevola 19 Eddie Betts
Ruck: 11 Cain Ackland 7 Adam Bentick 3 Marc Murphy
2 Jordan Russell, 4 Bryce Gibbs, 34 Simon Wiggins, 28 Cameron Cloke
Coach: Denis Pagan
Emg: 16 Shaun Grigg 23 Adam Hartlett 13 Luke Blackwell


Debut: Bryce Gibbs
Debut (Carlton): Cain Ackland, Cameron Cloke
Interesting fact: Gibbs' victory on debut would be the only Carlton victory on debut until Round 7, 2008

Brownlow Votes

3. Nick Stevens, Carlton
2. Chris Newman, Richmond
1. Andrew Walker, Carlton

Best and Fairest Votes

Nick Stevens 25, Adam Bentick 17, Ryan Houlihan 12, Andrew Walker 10, Andrew Carrazzo 5, Brendan Fevola 3, Eddie Betts, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Brad Fisher 1


The Ghost

Delivering the baby!

There is a cosmic link between Nick Stevens and myself. It appears the more he dedicates himself to football and the less to partying the more celebrating I will get to do at the games. Certainly on Sunday I got to celebrate as he carried us along in another great bluebagger win. It seems everyone in this side is maturing – just look at Kouta with his new look, he now appears as the grand old man of this side.

So it was great to watch this side take its first steps on Sunday evening. A win against old rivals warms the cockles of all our old bluebagger hearts and I confess to hating Richmond as much as any old foe – I remember that whack on Southby (only thugs hit from behind) and the tremors in my heart the day Big Nick was felled like a giant eucalypt in a Tasmanian forest.

How great then to see the blueboys show their growing belief in their own skills by coming back from 27 points down! Sunday’s third quarter revival echoes with those great Carlton teams of the past when we’d sit in the glorious rickety old Social club at Princes Park and wait for the barrage of Carlton goals in the premiership quarter. These boys, it seems, are remembering our glorious footballing heritage.

The highlight of the game for me was Tex’s mark at pace between two Richmond players (his eyes never leaving the ball) and then the roadrunner flash and a goal. Apologies to young Gibbs, that handball was worthy of a Bruce McAvaney ‘special’ but the mark and goal of Tex took my breath away.

Someone else who delivered on Sunday was young Clokey, so much so that he should claim an obstetrician’s fees off Stevo & Co. (and hasn’t that a nice ring to it) for the way he gently handed across the leather baby to their eager chests. It was good to see the blueboys have two ruckmen who could win hit outs and get the ball around the ground. Mind you with Aisake, Hampson and Jacobs all waiting in the wings I think we can finally breathe a bit easier about our rucking stocks.

The other stocks that have risen are our defensive socks – sorry stocks. Young Carlos reminds me of Stephen Silvagni – now, now before you start chocking on your coffee (drunk from a Carlton mug purchased at the new look merchandise shop I hope) hear me out. I am not saying Carlos has the ability of Stephen (I still remember a mark S.O.S. took running back with the flight of the ball, watching the opponents eyes and then marking the ball moments before it fell into the forward’s hands, and yes, he did touch that ball in the ’93 final) but he has got that vital ingredient every great backman must have. S.O.S had it, Southby too and Wes Lofts, Bruce Doull rarely showed he had it but had it more than most.

So what the hell am I talking about? Go on guess………Okay you’ve had three goes. For me the most vital ingredient a backman must have is that he must expect to win each and every contest. Now wussie forwards (sorry Fev - and Jezza was never wuss but for the sake of the argument I’ll continue) only need to aim for about a 50/50 record against their opponent. But a backman, no way. 50/50 would be a disaster. Imagine Fev with 8 to 10 shots on goal (exclude Sunday evening for the sake of this argument please). It’d be a disaster. So the backman must have this ridiculous and unshakeable belief that he will win every contest. So if you have any old tapes lying around (like that ’99 prelim final, ahhhh) watch S.O.S’s reaction when he loses a contest – he looks shocked, angry that the cosmos has worked against him and ropeable that the umpire could not see the evil tricks the forward pulled to win the ball. Now watch Carlos. See the resemblance now? Uncanny huh? And yes T-Bird has this belief also. That quality of Carlos is why I have no doubt he’ll be one of the premier backman once he learns just a tad more about the game (that’s called understatement).

And so after a first round win we meet Geelong at The Dome this Saturday evening (oh how I long for those genteel Saturday arvo days) - another feline to skin alive. I have no doubt the Cats will come out waving their handbags harder than the blue rinse Collingwood supporters after another Magpie loss (just ask my brother Pat, he was on the receiving end of one of those as a kid and has never forgiven the black and white rabble).

The Cats have a strong midfield and some very tough bodies. I am sure they will chase our kids with murderous intent for all of three quarters before their efforts to collide only meet with disdain from the steel-veined blueboys. In Scarlet they have a defender who seems to get the better of Fev but they have no Kingsley to play his single great game a year. In fact their forward line is where we’ll win it I reckon. They have Gary Ablett but young Tex can take him and the rest will find it tough against our growing back six. In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they toss in Jumping Jack to try and give their forwards a bit of a spark.

In the end though I think our class and run will prevail. Fish to bag 4, Eddie to nab 3 and Fev to find enough ball to also nab 4. If Lance can get some touch back in his hands and hold a few we’ll win by about 26 points and it’ll be two in a row - a sure sign this young baby blues side is growing up fast!

Go Blues.

Einstein on the Wing

Are the Blues flattering to deceive again this year?

G’day Digs and Bluebells,

The footy’s back in Old Carlton Town. And so are the Blueboys and most of our members who have been having a big kip since the 1995 Grand Final. Wake up you sleepyheads. The sky is blue and so are you.

You haven’t missed a thing since you’ve been gone (well, Collingwood lost a few grand finals but what’s new). It’s time to become a born-again Carlton supporter because we have a whole generation of 12-year-olds who have never seen or celebrated a Carlton premiership. These underprivileged children should be put out of their misery as soon as possible. I can die happy because I’ve seen eight since 1968. But there is always room for a few more…

We welcome all the new boys to the Blueboys. There’s something old, something new, something borrowed – and all of it Blue. We trust there is a messiah in there somewhere. Dick Pratt is El Presidente and he’s sporting a stylish blue jacket that he will wave to stir up the fans. Lance Whitnall is the skip who is full of brotherly love. Greg Swann, the chief exec who broke Eddie’s heart. Steven Icke is the footy manager who brings it all together. Then there’s us: the Digs and Bluebells who love the club and love the colors.

What else is new? Kouta has finger-knack (he should chop it off, we reckon) and five new blokes were selected on Sunday to wear the famous navy blue strip. You can tell them by they way they walk. But after a couple of months of training, they will develop a Geoff Southby-like swagger and start chasing passing cars and mouthing-off at other inanimate objects. It’s the Carlton way.

In Athens, there are two teams called Panathinaikos and Olympiakos who really hate each others’ guts. They play each other in soccer, basketball, dodgem cars and Russian roulette. The other day they played each other at women’s volleyball and in the pre-game touch-up, one fan was fatally stabbed. Women’s volleyball is nice but it is not a cause to die for. As a result, all Greek team sports, including football, have been suspended for 15 days.

If there are two teams in Melbourne that really don’t like each other – that’s players, ex-players, administrators, supporters, their colours, their suburbs, restaurants and everything else about them – than it has to be Carlton and Richmond.

That’s because they once dominated the old VFL in bygone days and loved nothing better than to beat the beejesus out of each other. Richmond won in 1967, Carlton 1968, Richmond in 1969, Carlton in 70, 72, 79, Richmond in 73 74 and 1980, Carlton in 81, 82, 87 and 95.

That Carlton smashed the paper tigers at the MCG “fulfillment centre” before a crowd of 60,000 on Sunday, was indeed, most enjoyable. As the great Ger Loughnane once said: “To some, Carlton beating Richmond is not that important in the great scheme of things. But to Carlton people, beating Richmond IS the great scheme of things.”

My first gold skull cap of the season was going to go young Bryce Gibbs for snagging a goal with his first kick – a singular honour in the Carlton firmament. But I’ve paid it instead to Setanta “Carlos” O’hAilpin, our very own hound of Culainn, who put in a pearler at fullback and destroyed Mary Shelley’s Matty Richardson. Silvers go to Bryce Gibbs, Nick Stevens, Jarrad Waite and all the other new boys.

We’d like to send a big cherrio to Shane Whitnall and all you other beaten Richmond fans who made our evening so enjoyable. On Saturday night we’ve got the Pussycats at the Optus Dome. Be there, or be square.

When we beat Geelong, we will be so high up the ladder that my nose will bleed. Get on the bandwagon while there’s still room. Carna Blues! – TERRY MAHER

Mike and Dan

10 Minutes with Bryce Gibbs: the ‘No-look handball Clinic’

There’s a certain level of excitement attached to interviewing Bryce Gibbs. Not only has he had more articles written about him recently than the Federal Election, but even as far back as this time last year, the 17 year old Bryce Gibbs was in the headlines across the southern states. But unlike David Cassidy or “Willis” from Different Strokes before him, something tells us the transition from child-star to AFL star will be a smooth one for Bryce. We spent 10 minutes with Bryce this week to ask about the media, his debut against the Tigers and to congratulate him about winning the coveted “Mike and Dan” Play of the Week with that handball.

That handball to Waite…. A very early candidate for Mike and Dan’s “Play of the Century”. Was Waite calling for it, did you go into the throw-in contest with the move in mind, or was it just a moment of brilliance?

Yeah, he was calling for it. I saw his man leave Waitey to be around the contest, and he peeled off and was calling to Fev, who took the throw-in, “I’m free”. But when Fev tapped it down to me I wanted to kick the goal myself! But when I took the ball, the pack rushed at me and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a kick off, so I handballed it over to Waitey who I could still hear calling for it.

In the end it was a more memorable move than if you’d kicked the goal yourself.

Yeah, well Waitey had put himself in a great position so it was a higher percentage shot for him.

Tell us about that first kick and first goal. Commentators love to talk about the first kick and first goal “club”. Setanta is also in that club. Did he shake your hand after the match to welcome you in?

Brett Ratten did actually. He came to me after the game and shook my hand and said that his first kick was a goal, at Princes Park. It’s a good feeling. It’s funny because my first kick with the Glenelg seniors in the SANFL was a goal as well, so there was a bit of symmetry there.

Your Dad Ross once tried to kick his 100 goal of a season in country footy after stripping off to wear only his footy boots. That’s a pretty tough benchmark to beat for goal celebrations. Did you consider anything similar after your first major on the weekend?

I thought about it before the game, and I was going to celebrate with a move my mates back home (in Adelaide) would recognise, you know, something for them, but in the heat of the moment I totally forgot and just ran back into position!

When we interviewed Shaun Grigg a few weeks back he told us that you and he have a plan to celebrate with a move he called the “up and down potato”…. Are you saving that for when you both line-up in the side, or did we blink and miss it on Sunday?

No, we’re definitely saving the “up and down potato” for when we play seniors together. Don’t worry, when we bring it out you’ll notice! We reckon the “up and down potato” will be huge. Everyone will be doing it.

You've stated your ambition to play every game this season. On Sunday you played midfield, forward, and also spent time in defence on Kayne Pettifer. What position or role can you see yourself doing a job in 2007? How about beyond?

This season I’m keen to establish myself on a half-back flank changing on the ball. I spoke to Denis and the match committee about that and they believe it’s a good place to start a career. My goal is to find my feet in the backline this season, but really I’m happy to play anywhere I’m required. I played across the park for Glenelg last season, so I’ve got some experience in any position. For my long-term career I want to establish myself as a starting midfielder. That’s what I’m working toward.

Yeah in the game last week Denis asked me to move back in defence and I started on Chris Hyde, but T-bird asked me to move back on Pettifer because it was a better match up.

Pettifer’s become a very good player for Richmond in the last couple of years, did you find it daunting?

Nah I didn’t think about it to be honest. I just wanted to do a good job, I didn’t really think about who he was. I played quite a bit last year in the backline so I was just trying to concentrate on the play.

In recent interviews, your Dad has mentioned that as your junior coach, he wouldn't let you kick to try and bring other players in. Did you ever find that difficult? What was the toughest of your Dad's instructions?

He was really big on me being a team player, but yeah it was a few of us actually that he would encourage to bring other players into the game. In my junior footy we had a few good players in our team and he set those kinds of rules for all of us, because he wanted everyone on the team to get a go and have fun, and he wanted the better players who were serious about footy to learn to play for the team first. I’ve chatted to some of my team-mates from junior footy about this and they reckon he was the toughest coach they’ve played under, but because I lived with him I was used to his ways!

The main thing for me was I didn’t want to seem to be getting a game because my dad was the coach, so I always worked twice as hard to get the respect of my team mates.

Mike and Dan haven't been picked first for anything since "least likely to succeed" at High School. What’s it like to go number 1 and be top of the class?

It’s a great honour, but it didn’t bother me either way. I just wanted to get picked up. A lot of people told us that getting drafted was the easy part, and they were right! All the hard work comes in the pre-season where everyone’s equal.

Rumour has it there were a few of your 2007 draft peers at the Dome for the Essendon game to get a good look at your NAB cup debut. What players in the last draft did you enjoy watching? Who were you glad to see also picked up by the Blues?

Definitely my mate Mark Austin. It was great to have him come to Carlton and share this experience with me. He and I have been mates for years and went to the same school back in Adelaide. We’re also great mates with James Sellar, who was picked by Adelaide. He was only a few picks away from maybe coming to Carlton too! But I was rapt for him to be able to stay in Adelaide.

Of the blokes who were taken by other clubs, Joel Selwood (who was pick 7 and debuted for Geelong on the weekend) really caught my eye as a guy who knows where he wants to go. I meet him last year at the championships with some of the Vic Country guys. He wasn’t playing (he was injured), but he was there to support his team-mates, and he impressed me with his focus on training and working hard. Before my debut last week he actually messaged me on my phone to wish me good luck, which was really nice of him.

I hope this doesn’t mean you’ll go easy on him on the Saturday night if you line up on him!

Nah, he’ll just be an opponent if that happens!

Well, on Mark Austin, when Mike and Dan interviewed him a few weeks back we asked him for some dirt on you, and his answer was: “No, no secrets from me. He’ll look after me when you guys speak to him…”… care to prove him wrong with some secrets about Mark Austin?

Yeah, I can give you something. Let’s just say he’s magic on the dance-floor when the song “Shiney Disco Balls” comes on. He loves it.

He doesn’t do the “up and down potato” does he?

Nah mate. He’s got his own “special” dance he likes to do to that song… I can’t say any more!

Who are your idols at the club? Who do you look up to? I bet having S. Kernahan written on your locker is a pretty inspiring thing. Is there anyone else who "wow"s you?

Definitely Nick Stevens. He’s the sort of player I want to be in the future. With his dedication to training and his behaviour on and off the field, he’s a great role model and I strive to be seen in that sort of way for my career. He’s always doing extra running or weights work at training, and being a starting midfielder which is the role I want to play in the team in future, he’s definitely a great example.

Murph as well because he’s so good at such a young age. And he’s been through the whole pick 1 thing which means he’s a great person I can talk to and learn from.

I actually first met Sticks growing up because he and dad played together for Glenelg, so I’ve known him all my life. It’s a great honour to be playing for the same club as Sticks and to wear his number.

There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with your eligibility to play for Adelaide under the father-son rule. Did that affect you?

Not really. There was a lot of publicity about it and a lot of stuff in the media about it back in Adelaide. I just stopped reading the papers or listening to the radio, it was getting ridiculous. I just placed a big emphasis on getting a kick with Glenelg, and my family and friends helped me stay focussed and not thinking about it anyway.

Well we couldn't do an interview with you without talking about the "go home" factor. Have you met a nice, demanding Melbourne girl yet who would never leave Melbourne and is expecting you to stick around?

Let me just say there are a lot of good-looking women in Melbourne! At the moment I’m concentrating on footy, but you never know what might happen in the future.

After the interview, we were glad we can tick the box on Bryce not only being a great young player, but a decent bloke as well. Mike and Dan are now just eagerly awaiting more trick handballs, and the debut of Shaun Grigg so they can finally unleash the “up and down potato”!

2007 | Round 2
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , molsey , camelboy , true_blue24 and BlueWorld .
Page last modified on Saturday 04 of February, 2023 23:25:33 AEDT by Jarusa.

Online Users

143 online users