|Date:||Thursday March 28, 2013 7.40pm|
|Result:||Lost by 5 points|
|Goalkickers:||Gibbs, Judd, Betts, Garlett, Kreuzer, Murphy (2) Yarran, Hampson (1)|
|Reports:||C.Yarran reported for striking B.Houli|
|Umpires:||S.Meredith, J.Mollison, B.Rosebury|
|Injuries:||M.Robinson (concussion) E. Betts (broken jaw).|
Game ReviewAfter a lead-up that seemed to stretch on forever, and a pair of anti-climactic matches the previous week, the 2013 AFL season began in earnest on Good Friday eve, when almost 81,000 fans streamed into the MCG to see two of the most-hyped teams in the competition clash for round one honours.
Heralding the dawn of Mick Malthouse’s tenure as coach of Carlton, the Blues named a line-up that was markedly stronger than the side that had narrowly beaten Richmond by four points at their previous encounter in round 18, 2012. Judd, Walker, Hampson, Robinson, Simpson, Lucas, Henderson and Bootsma were all included this time, with Aaron Joseph designated as substitute. But facing Malthouse’s team was a focussed, confident Richmond combination that made no secret of the fact that it had set itself for this particular game for months.
Both sides were led out onto the field by new captains; Marc Murphy for the Blues, and Trent Cotchin for Richmond. The MCG was in magnificent condition on a cool blustery Melbourne evening, although the grass was still wet from rain earlier in the day. A huge roar greeted the opening bounce, and both sides attacked the ball with ferocious intent.
Carlton dominated the first thirteen minutes, slamming on goals to Hampson, Betts and Murphy, before the Tigers rallied and drew level at quarter-time. Had their dangerous spearhead Jack Reiwoldt got his boot to the ball a split second earlier, Richmond would have snatched a six-point break right on the bell – however the responsible field umpire ruled that the siren had sounded before Reiwoldt’s boot made contact, and the goal was disallowed. Indeed, the Tigers had been unlucky from the start. A flukey wind blowing to the Punt Road end made scoring doubly difficult, and three of their four behinds had come from posters. When Eddie Betts tackled Richmond’s Brandon Ellis, won the free kick and scored Carlton’s second goal at the seven minute mark of the first quarter, he had broken his jaw, but played on for the rest of the game.
The second term was all Richmond. Despite Matthew Kreuzer’s dominance of the ruck duels, Carlton players suddenly seemed unsure and hesitant, and glaring skill errors and fumbles galore infuriated their fans as the panicked Blues were bustled and blocked out of the contest. Led by Cotchin, the Tiger on-ballers launched attack after attack, adding 7.5 to Carlton’s paltry 1.3, to set up a massive 44-point advantage for Richmond at the main interval. Carlton’s cause wasn’t helped by an ankle injury that took Bryce Gibbs out of the action at a vital time, or the heavy aerial collision that knocked Mitch Robinson out cold, and out of the match.
During the half-time break, Malthouse discarded his defensive game plan and switched to one-on-one football, banking on his stars to drag the Blues back into the contest. But Richmond were kicking to the scoring end, and when Murphy’s tackle on Daniel Jackson didn’t stick and the Tiger midfielder ran into an open goal, Richmond pulled further away. Enter Chris Judd.
In a sensational four-minute burst, Carlton’s former skipper gathered multiple possessions and kicked two terrific two team-lifting goals – only to see his inspirational efforts cruelled by consecutive 50-metre penalties awarded to Tiger forwards. Both brought up full points, and retained Richmond’s six-goal advantage at the last break. Meanwhile, Chris Yarran had been reported for striking - although the offending jab to his opponent’s midriff seemed to have come more from frustration than aggression.
As the last quarter began, the multitude of Blues fans in the stands were praying for a miracle, and they almost got one. Goals to Gibbs and Murphy in the first few minutes sparked a spirited revival, and as the Tigers visibly wilted, Carlton began a scoring spree. When full-back Michael Jamison streamed through the centre and kicked long to full-forward, Matthew Kreuzer flew for a classic pack mark. His goal trimmed the margin to 20 points before Jeff Garlett lit up the MCG with back to back majors – the first from a brilliant right-foot snapshot, and the second from a clever mark and steady kick from 35 metres.
The difference had been cut to less than six points in the dying minutes, and Chris Yarran should have won the game for his team by banging through either of his two golden opportunities on the run. But the first hit the post, and the second just missed. Even in the last minute, Carlton had another scoring chance when Josh Bootsma ran onto a loose ball inside the forward 50 arc, only to be dragged down in a desperate tackle - leaving the Blues five points short of what would have been an unjust victory. Richmond were the better side for two and a half quarters, yet after playing so badly for so long, the disorganised Blues were only beaten by one straight kick. For those searching for encouragement in defeat, there was plenty around after this match.
Best players for Carlton on a night when few were consistent all game were Kreuzer, Judd, Walker, Gibbs and Murphy. Andrew Walker showcased his versatility by spending all of the game across half-back, collecting 26 possessions at 81% efficiency. Gibbs – after a poor second quarter - gathered the football 34 times, including 16 contested possessions. Judd earned 12 hard-ball gets amid his 27 disposals, and Kreuzer was clearly the best big man on the ground. Yarran, Garlett and Betts all flashed into the game in bursts, but overall were well-held by Richmond’s defence.
Substitute: Aaron Joseph became the first sub to replace a concussed player under the AFL's revised rules, when Mitch Robinson was ruled out of the game late in the second quarter.
|B:||34 Nick Duigan||40 Michael Jamison||21 Josh Bootsma|
|HB:||1 Andrew Walker||23 Lachlan Henderson||42 Zach Tuohey|
|C:||27 Dennis Armfield||44 Andrew Carrazzo||9 Kane Lucas|
|HF:||6 Kade Simpson||12 Mitch Robinson||3 Marc Murphy (C)|
|F:||19 Eddie Betts||22 Shaun Hampson||41 Levi Casboult|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||5 Chris Judd||4 Bryce Gibbs|
|Interchange:||13 Chris Yarran||14 Brock McLean||38 Jeff Garlett|
|Substitute:||45 Aaron Joseph|
|Emergencies:||15 Jeremy Laidler||17 Sam Rowe||28 Tom Bell|
MilestonesDebut (as Coach): Mick Malthouse
Debut (as Captain): Marc Murphy
50 Goals: Matthew Kreuzer
Guernsey Records: Guernsey number 22 (worn by Shaun Hampson) became the 23rd number to appear in 1,000 games for the club.
Black Arm Bands: All Carlton players wore a black arm band on the night, to honour recently deceased former star John Chick.
Interesting Observation: With Round 1 being played over two weekends, some field umpires doubled up. Simon Meredith and Brett Rosebury handled the Adelaide-Essendon, then the Carlton-Richmond game, while Matt Stevic was on duty in the Fremantle and West Coast match then the Hawthorn and Geelong clash. In all four of these games, the losing side scored the first 3 goals of the match.
Brownlow Votes3. Trent Cotchin, Richmond
2. Chris Judd, Carlton
1. Brett Deledio, Richmond
Best & Fairest VotesBryce Gibbs 8, Andrew Walker 8, Chris Judd 5, Shaun Hampson 4, Matthew Kreuzer 4, Michael Jamison 3, Eddie Betts 2, Jeffery Garlett 1, Marc Murphy 1, Kade Simpson 1
|1||Port Adelaide||1||1||0||0||133||54||+0||W 1||246.30||4|
|2||Western Bulldogs||1||1||0||0||127||59||+0||W 1||215.25||4|
|7||Gold Coast||1||1||0||0||90||77||+0||W 1||116.88||4|
|12||St Kilda||1||0||1||0||77||90||+0||L 1||85.56||0|
|13||North Melbourne||1||0||1||0||87||103||+0||L 1||84.47||0|
|14||West Coast||1||0||1||0||80||108||+0||L 1||74.07||0|
|15||GWS Giants||1||0||1||0||76||106||+0||L 1||71.70||0|
2013 | Round 2