Essendon smashed Carlton by 69 points in front of 83,000 at the MCG.

Round 13, 2009

Carlton2.3157.7 498.9579.1367
Essendon2.4168.55314.9 9321.10136
Venue : MCG
Date : Friday, June 26th (N) Result : Loss by 69 points
Umpires : 3 Stephen McBurney 9 Matt Stevic 22 Stuart Wenn Crowd : 83,407
Goalkickers : E.Betts 3, B.Fevola 2, S. O'hAilpin, C.Judd, K.Simpson, B.Gibbs 1.
Reports : Nil Injuries: Bower (knee)
Ladder Position : Eighth

Game Review

If there was one moment that summed up this gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of a despised rival, then it was surely the smirk on the face of Essendon’s Andrew Lovett, at the eight minute mark of the last quarter in this critical Friday night match at a packed MCG.

Lovett had just waltzed through a tissue-thin Carlton defence, slotted his second goal, and put Essendon 46 points up. By then, the Blues were disorganised, dispirited and beaten, and Lovett and his mates were loving it. In the most important match of the season so far for both clubs, Essendon went on to destroy Carlton by 69 points, and in the process, raised serious doubts about the Blues finals aspirations.

Another huge crowd of 83,407 turned up at the MCG on a fine, cool night and were treated to a good contest until half time. The Bombers led by four points at the main break, but suffered a major setback when their key midfielder Jobe Watson hobbled off with a serious ankle injury and took no further part in the game. This alone made Carlton’s capitulation hard to understand.

The Blues should have been able to capitalise on Watson’s demise, but were outplayed, outsmarted and outrun by a far more committed Essendon team that kicked 13.5 to 2.6 in the second half. On a night when thousands upon thousands of Carlton supporters across the country were plunged back into despair, there were very few positives to ponder.

Captain Chris Judd wore a hard tag all night and still won the ball with class and courage, Marc Murphy worked hard and tackled harder, and Eddie Betts kicked three brilliant opportunist goals. Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Carrazzo had their moments, while Setanta O’hAilpin took a number of good contested marks, despite being ironed out by friendly fire late in the first term.

This was the second time this season that Carlton had been blown away by a team that was no more skilful, yet harder working and better organised. They knew we were coming, all right – but we never really arrived.

While costly, this loss would have been even worse had Hawthorn beaten West Coast - as expected - on the Saturday night at Subiaco. But in an extraordinary game, a gale lashed the ground in the last quarter, and with its help, the Eagles beat Hawthorn by 20 points in a boilover. This left Carlton and Hawthorn equal in 8th and 9th places on the ladder. Our percentage took a hit from our big loss to the Bombers, but it was still 14% better than the Hawks.

The average age of this Carlton team was 23 years, 298 days, with an average League experience of 79.0 games per player. Nick Stevens was the oldest, at 29 years, 174 days, and the most experienced with 225 games. Aaron Joseph was the youngest, at 19 years and 357 days, while Mark Austin had the least experience and was playing in only his eleventh senior game.


B:18 Paul Bower 40 Michael Jamison 27 Dennis Armfield
HB: 15 Steven Browne 21 Mark Austin 44 Andrew Carrazzo
C: 45 Aaron Joseph 5 Chris Judd (c) 29 Heath Scotland
HF: 3 Marc Murphy 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín 6 Kade Simpson
F:14 Brad Fisher 25 Brendan Fevola 33 Ryan Houlihan
Ruck:8 Matthew Kreuzer 31 Jordan Bannister 4 Bryce Gibbs
Interchange:16 Shaun Grigg 19 Eddie Betts 22 Shaun Hampson
24 Nick Stevens (vc)
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 38 Jeffery Garlett 32 Bret Thornton 2 Jordan Russell

  • Brad Fisher replaced Bret Thornton (hamstring) in the selected side


100 Games: Kade Simpson
Last game: Jordan Bannister
Interesting Fact: Exactly 100 years ago, in 1909, this round marked the first time that Carlton’s Total Points For exceeded our Total Points Against. The occasion was the Blues' 226th VFL game (against Geelong at Princes Park) when we won by 60 points. In fact, Carlton has only ever been in the negative for those first 225 games. Our positive margin was at its greatest in game No. 2110 - the 2001 Elimination Final against Adelaide - when our points for exceeded our points against by 22,495 - which is also the League record. Round 13, 2009 was game No. 2278 after which we were in the positive by 18,496 points - a position we have been in now for 2053 games.

Brownlow Votes

3. Andrew Welsh, Essendon
2. Dustin Fletcher, Essendon
1. Angus Monfries, Essendon

Best and Fairest Votes

29 Brad Fisher, 28 Andrew Carrazzo, 27 Eddie Betts, 15 Setanta Ó hAilpín

Mike and Dan

Eddie Betts’ Magic Snap

Well it’s now past the middle of the week and I still haven’t had the courage to talk to anyone about that second half. Well, except for the Essendon fans in the office who keep asking for clarification on the final margin, and whether Lovett’s mark would be Mark of the Year. It’s been a tough old week, even worse to lose to that mob and in that way. It seemed after 2 brilliant efforts to down the Lions and then come so close to the Saints, we expected to turn our recent Bomber hoodoo around. Alas, every week we need a Play of the Week, and this week it was a pretty clear choice. Eddie Betts was yet again in our best, and yet again nailed a miracle goal. We talked to Eddie about the upcoming week…

Q. Eddie, you win this week's Play of the Week for that supreme second half goal - a gather and no-look snap. Was that easy for you?

Thanks. Yes and no, I suppose a bit of it comes naturally to me. But in saying that I work on it a lot so it’s a bit of practice makes perfect.

Q. That makes 30 goals for the year - you could hit the 50 which would be the first time a second forward for Carlton has kicked 50 since 1995 (Brad Pearce). Are you aiming for the 50?

Yeah, I’d love to get to 50. There has always been a lot said about our forward line centered around Fev, so the more goals me, Carlos and Fish, our other forwards and midfielders get the better.

Q. You've kicked a lot of goals this season, but the last two weeks we've seen you in the middle too. Is that the eventual aim - to play midfield?

Maybe, it’s something I enjoy and have been working hard on. The more layers you have that can go through the middle the better. If I can do that it opens the door for Jeffy and Yaz and others.

Q. Watching the second half seemed like a lesson in zoning. Essendon knew how to do it, we didn't. Is that fair? If so, what are you guys working on to make it tighter?

Might have looked that way, in the end the second half was unacceptable. We can’t hide from that. We had a really lengthy and thorough review, Ratts and the coaches asked a lot of question to us as a group, along the line of – is this how we want to play, is this how we are meant to set up, why is this player here and not there.

Q. How has the mood been about the club this week - did you think you'd left such heavy defeats in the past?

We were all disappointed, it was the biggest game for the Club in a long time and we let everyone down. We all felt that. But you have to turn it around - we went to the Collingwood v Fremantle game on Saturday which was really good, it put the loss behind us and we looked forward to this week’s game against the Dockers.

Q. Most forwards are measured - in the public eye at least - by how many goals they kick in a season. How do you measure a performance?

Goals are pretty handy….Defensive pressure is the big one at the moment, goal assists so yeah there are a few, I think if the ball is in your forward line you just have to fight to keep it in there and score.

Q. One of the highlights of watching you play is your ability to enter congested play and get the ball out from the throng. How do you do that - is it quick reflexes or are you just closer to the ground than anyone else?

Haha, I could be closer to the ground. It’s a real bonus to be able to do that, there are some player that are really good at it in the AFL, I try and work hard with our coaches on it and try and lift my contested possessions.

Q. Ratts has said they'll be changes this week - does that make the atmosphere around the club tense, knowing that a couple of blokes are about to get dropped?

No, not tense. I think it has to be expected, the performance wasn’t acceptable so changes should be expected.

Q. Without too much detail can you tell us a bit about the players study trip to the G to watch Freo / Collingwood. Do you have a meeting in the following days to discuss?

We play both teams in the next few weeks. We sat in our groups, forwards, mids, backs, rucks. You don’t get that sort of chance to watch the footy like that, at each of the breaks we discussed areas of the game with the coaches. It gives us a better understanding going in to the next few weeks.

Q. We lost against Freo at Carrara earlier this year in a game most expected us to win. What did you learn from that loss?

We didn’t make the most of our opportunities in that game, especially early and Freo made us pay. When you go interstate its important to get off to a good start, we will need to do that this week.

Q. You will approach 100 games at the start of next year. Is that something that you think about?

Not really, still have a few games to go. It will be a real honour to get to the milestone, it’s a really proud club and I love being part of it.

Q. Adam Bentick got a Brownlow vote in our last win against Freo. Where is he at with his comeback from injury?

Benchy’s pre-season was really interrupted with his injury and he needs game time, he has played matches at the VFL level in the ones and twos. He needs to get time on the ground and continue to build his fitness, hopefully that’s not too far away.

Q. Chris Yarran has struggled to find form this year. As the senior indigenous player in the team, are you involved at all in his development?

Yes a bit, Chris is a really talented player. He is young; people forget it’s a big move to come to Melbourne from where he is from. Not all players are drafted and come into the team from the start. He is working with our development coaches and Ashy but I always see how he is going, have a talk and a kick.

Q. Finally, you would seem to be the only player in the comp who the commentators refer to by both first and surnames….

Haha, I haven’t noticed that, as long as they call it plenty of time I’m happy!

Surely one of the best Pre-Season Draft picks in history, if not the best, Eddie Betts continues to deliver and continues to perform – even when we get smashed. With the 100 game and 50 goal mark on the horizon, big things can continue to be expected from Betts (no, make that Eddie Betts)!

Round 12 | Round 14
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , molsey , WillowBlue and PatsFitztrick .
Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 22:11:42 AEDT by Jarusa.

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