Carlton defeated Port Power by 39 points - Telstra Dome

Round 11, 2007

Carlton8.35111.5 7120.512522.9141
Port Adelaide4.3275.8389.12 6614.18102
Venue: Telstra Dome
Date: Sat 9 June 2007, 7:10pm Result: Win by 39 points
Umpires: Goldspink, Hendrie, Woodcock Crowd: 29,678
Goalkickers: Waite 4; Fisher, Houlihan 3; Bannister, Fevola, ÓhAilpin, Whitnall 2; Carrazzo, Murphy, Simpson, Walker
Reports: - Injuries: -

Game Review

It was only a few games ago that Port sat proudly on top of the ladder. But since that point they had lost three on the trot, and following on from Carlton's solid win against the Bulldogs in Round 10 there was a lot to like about the Blues chances in the build up to this game.

Port Adelaide started the game dominantly, but their impressive opening minutes only saw them score one goal. Carlton was able to slowly work their way into the game and didn't they do it well - an eight goal opening term, and their second best ever opening quarter against the Power. Jarrad Waite continued his improvement and opened with three majors. Ryan Houlihan got on the board early with two of Carlton's first three goals. Crowd favourite, Setanta Ó hAilpín, showed he has all the tricks with a skilfully snapped goal to continue Carlton's surge. For the Power, Chad Cornes was missing with no possessions thanks to a brilliantly tight Jordan Bannister and Bret Thornton started very well on a woefully out of form Warren Tredrea. Port Adelaide's opening term was as horrible Carlton's was impressive. Yet, they did enough to maintain touch and with some better finishing on goal they might have been right on the Blues heels.

A starker contrast in play in the opening two quarters you could not find. Typifying much of Carlton's style this year the first quarter was free flowing and high scoring. However, it took almost 10 minutes for a goal to be scored in the second quarter in what proved to be a dour struggle. It was pretty ugly footy in parts, but was really the only time that Port was able to take the game up to Carlton. The Blues were able to counteract Port in defence with great effect, but they broke down badly delivering the ball inside 50 rarely putting the ball to advantage. The highligh of this quarter was Brendan Fevola marking just outside 50 and composing himself for a set shot on goal kick from inside the centre square. His kick just cleared the line and contributed to Carlton going into the main break with hard fought 33 point lead.

As noted the second quarter was a bit of a struggle and you got the sense that if Port could get a couple of early goals to start the second half that they would be right back in it. Alas, for them, Carlton played some of their best football for the year and piled on nine straight goals to break their previous record of 8.2.50 for the highest score in the 3rd quarter at the Telstra Dome. It's been a long time coming to see a "premiership quarter" like this one, but the Carlton faithful in the stands were treated to some very bright signs and shown that the medium-long term future of Carlton has some frightful potential. Carlton was on top all over the ground and Port continued their night from hell. Where the Blues could do no wrong--as shown by Waite's almost accidental toe-poked goal - Port Adelaide could do no right. At the three quarter siren the fat lady was well an truly walking to centre stage.

Enjoying a 59-point lead, Carlton was able to start the last quarter with Bentick, Blackwell and Koutoufides on the bench--three of the club's best in traffic ball winners. The final term followed the pattern set in the second quarter and was not as pretty to watch as the first and third quarters. Port Power managed to score some junk time goals and really did have the better of the term. In many respects this was dissapointing for Blues fans as Carlton's lead was as high as 66-points in the third quarter and the Blues really needed, and deserved, a big win to give their percentage and fans a genuine boost. Such was Carlton's overall dominance for the first three quarters one may be excused for cutting this young team some slack for not running over the top of their opponents.

This was Carlton's first back to back wins since the last two rounds of season 2004 and Denis Pagan was very proud of his troops in the post match interviews applaudng their teamwork and commitment.

Bryce Gibbs kept the dangerous Brett Ebert quiet and enjoyed another discplined team contribution continuing his quietly impressive debut season. Jordan Bannister celebrated his 50th AFL game by nullifying Chad Cornes. Andrew Carrazzo had 19 possession to half time and closed out the game with 28 touches. Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Walker, with 26 stats, and Heath Scotland with 23, were also impressive with both highlighting the Blues improved foot skills over the last couple of weeks. Jordan Russell, recalled after one game in the Bullants, also did some pleasing things proving that he is here to stay with 16 stats off the wing. Wiggins would have a day out with 10 marks and 23 stats, just 2 short of his career high also against Port, and finally, for the second week in a row, Fisher and Waite combined for a minimum of 3 goals each, with 7 between them for the game.

As an interesting side note, leading up to the game, the Blues made the sports news pages for a very different reason, with 2 of the boys getting a little heated during a midweek training session. The pleasing thing for Carlton was seeing Ó hAilpín and Ackland walking off the ground after the game arm in arm enjoying a well deserved victory.


B:4 Bryce Gibbs 8 Lance Whitnall 32 Bret Thornton
HB: 29 Heath Scotland 9 Jason Saddington 3 Marc Murphy
C: 33 Ryan Houlihan 7 Adam Bentick 6 Kade Simpson
HF:14 Brad Fisher 30 Jarrad Waite 31 Jordan Bannister
F: 12 Matthew Lappin 25 Brendan Fevola 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín
Ruck: 11 Cain Ackland 1 Andrew Walker 44 Andrew Carrazzo
Interchange: 2 Jordan Russell 13 Luke Blackwell 34 Simon Wiggins
43 Anthony Koutoufides
Coach: Denis Pagan
Emg: 18 Paul Bower 41 Ross Young 38 Ryan Jackson
In: Jordan Russell
Out: Joe Anderson (hamstring)


50 Games (AFL): Jordan Bannister
Interesting Fact: This was the first time Carlton had won successive games since Round 22, 2004.
Score Records: Despite the above fact that this was Carlton's second successive win, it would also be our last for some time, with Carlton about to endure a 14 match losing streak.

Interesting Fact

This was the largest crowd between these two clubs played in Melbourne, previous record was 22,507 in Round 4, 2003.

Brownlow Votes

3. Andrew Carrazzo, Carlton
2. Kade Simpson, Carlton
1. Andrew Walker, Carlton

Best and Fairest Votes

Andrew Walker 24, Andrew Carrazzo 18, Ryan Houlihan 15, Jarrad Waite 11, Simon Wiggins 3, Jordan Bannister 2, Brad Fisher & Bryce Gibbs 1


Mike and Dan

Rd 11 Play of the Week: No Lyin', Ryan!

It's good to be a Carlton fan this week. A comprehensive win over a team that has had our measure, another 20+ goal performance and Collingwood got beaten. After Port bounced out of the blocks, a typical skilful snap for goal by Ryan Houlihan wins this weeks Mike and Dan Play of the Day. In an enjoyable interview Ryan discusses his hometown of Corowa, the good energy around the club and Bryce Gibbs' chances of being the next Dalai Lama.

Ryan, congratulations on winning the Mike and Dan Play of the Day for Round 11 for your snap in the 1st giving Carlton their first goal. Where would you place this award in comparison to the Rising Star nomination and the NAB Cup premiership?

(Laughs) It’s a great honour. Thanks very much. I'd rather win the premiership though.

You started the game on Kane Cornes and ran forward to watch Chad Cornes have a fresh air kick at the ball which Waitey pounced on and you snapped the goal which got us going. Was it satisfying that both Cornes brothers would have walked back to the middle kicking the dirt so early in the game?

Absolutely. They're both great players. I lined up on Kane on the wing. I had to rush back when Port attacked early, so I thought it would be good if I sneaked forward and kicked a few goals on him. It worked out pretty well so I'm happy with that.

The Carlton fans are loving the attacking flowing style the team is playing. Kade Simpson on the weekend said that Saturday was the most fun he’s had on the footy field. Are you as a player and the team enjoying the game more than previous years? Why?

Definitely. I've been through some tough times at the club. But I can honestly say, I have enjoyed playing footy more in the last few months, well the whole year actually, than any time since 2001. The young players bring energy to the place that’s refreshing and it’s great for us older, experienced guys.

Of recent times, Carlton’s wins have been decided in the last few minutes. This one was over in the third quarter. Was it a strange feeling?

Yeah it was. I can't remember the last time I looked up at the scoreboard at three quarter time and thought that we had already had the game won. I thought I should allow myself to soak it in and enjoy the last quarter.

What was the message for the last quarter from Denis?

Just to keep taking the game on. That’s what got us to the position we were in. Not to back off and try to contain the play because when we have tried that in the past, we've got into trouble.

Carlton has the worst defensive record in the AFL but the 2nd highest scoring record. Why is that?

That's a hard question. I don't know the answer. I guess we've got a developing backline which means we can always get exposed.

Are the coaches trying to slowly tighten up the defence or are we going to keep going as we are?

In the last couple of weeks they've brought back some experienced players like Saddington and Bannister to shore it up. Especially once O'Hailpin moved to the ruck we needed some experience.

You are quickly approaching 150 games which is a great achievement, especially for a 5th round draft pick. How do you and the coach see your role in the team at the moment?

At the moment, I'm getting slung around everywhere. This year I've had run-with roles, on Andrew Mcleod, I've played down back on Didak and played up forward also. On the weekend I was freed up playing on the wing. I'm enjoying slotting in wherever the coach and team need me to play. If the team is playing well I am happy playing anywhere. But if I had a choice I enjoy playing midfield probably and up back.

Who’s the hardest opponent you have played on?

I don't want to mention him because I might get him this week but Shane Crawford comes to mind. He and Glen Archer, 2 very different players but both tough.

You have bulked up considerably the last 3 years. Was that to prepare for defensive jobs or necessary whatever job you do?

I made a conscious decision to do that to take my football to the next level. Half-forward is a hard position to maintain for longevity in the game. I decided to bulk up and get fitter so that I could play midfield. I needed to get stronger to win my own contested ball. That was something I wasn't able to do on my own so I needed to change.

Your debut was Round 11, 2000 in the Grand Final replay against the Roos which was the day Kouta teared them apart. What’s your memory of the day?

My memories are of Kouta playing a great game. Also of my own game, I come on halfway through the first and I was running with Byron Pickett. The ball came down to half-forward and the 2 of us were running after it and I thought “My God, whats going to happen here”. Luckily I tackled him well and got the free for holding the ball, which I was happy about for my first touch. So that's my only personal memory of the day.

Kouta is still playing good footy. What’s it like being alongside the great man?

He's a great player and a great guy. He's an inspiration for all the young players and even for me. At 34, he's still able to adapt to the modern quick game. He'll probably go on next year. I just love playing with him.

You debuted in a very good team, then experienced the lows of football. What’s the feeling around the club at the moment especially having consecutive wins which is rare these days?

We've been up all year. There is a great vibe around the place. Even in our losses we've taken something positive away. It’s usually been a bad 10 minutes that has cost us the game. Hopefully we can keep winning and keep the vibe up.

You were the 3rd boy drafted from your family growing up in Corowa?. What was it like being the best football family in the town?

(Laughs) It was good. There's not too many people there so it’s not hard to be the best footy family. I had the pressure of having my brothers playing AFL. Everyone always expected me to make it too. I learned a lot from observing both of them. Watching what they did right and learning from their mistakes. I used to come down to Melbourne and watch Damian at Collingwood and Adam at Geelong so I was familiar with the AFL environment.

Are you more famous back in Corowa or around Melbourne?

I don't get back all that often so when I do, they're happy to see me there. Probably surprised more than anything…

Are you the best Houlihan?

I don't know. We're all good.

Your brother Josh plays for the Bullants. Did you get to his 100th game?

Yeah I did. Me and mum and my brothers got down there to support him in Frankston. He had a good game. We enjoyed the day.

You were touted as a high skilled youngster and over the years you were often the scapegoat when the team played badly. Is that something that affected you?

It did when I was younger. Looking back I learnt a lot from it. I wanted to prove them wrong. I was getting called all sorts of names from fans and especially the media even though I was only 19 or 20 at the time. It probably did affect me but I have hopefully I've proved them wrong.

Did people expect more from you than other players? Do you think the emergence of players like Murphy, Walker, Carazzo, Simpson has helped lessen the load and pressure on you and the more experienced players?

Definitely. You know the lads will always have a crack. It makes your job a lot easier. When I started I had guys like Silvagni, Ratten and Browny to play alongside. It made it easier to get a kick.

The Dalai Lama spoke in front of 20000 people at MC Labour Park. Is it true that in return Denis got him to do the pre-match before the Port game?

I haven't heard that one

Do you think Bryce Gibbs is a chance to be the next Dalai Lama?


We’ve got the Hawks coming up then the mid-season break. What can the fans look forward to from the Blues for the rest of the season?

We play a good brand of footy that's exciting. You can expect 22 guys having a crack for each other.

Did the break come at the worst time for our momentum?

Maybe, I don't know. A few guys need to freshen up and most, including me, look forward to the break.

(At this point Ryan mentioned a 6 letter word that starts with “F” . When Mike and Dan asked him to repeat it, he denied saying it because he didn't want to be looking too far ahead)

Here’s your chance to get a free whack at a teammate. Any player who has a disgusting habit or unusual hobbies or did something embarrassing.

I'd have to say Brendan Fevola who embarrasses us all just by being himself .

Ryan Houlihan has finally delivered the consistency that Carlton fans have been craving. With his sublime skills, buffed up physique and near 150 games of experience, he will prove to be a vital player for Carlton in their quest for their next Premiership.

Round 10 | Round 12
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Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 21:28:40 AEDT by Jarusa.

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