|Date:||7.10 pm, Saturday, June 19, 2010|
|Result:||Lost by 9 points|
|Goalkickers:||Betts 4, Waite 2, Thornton 2, Garlett 2, Henderson 2|
|Umpires:||C. Donlon*, S. Meredith, J. Mollison, (*S. Stewart replaced Donlon in the second half)|
|Injuries:||Murphy (hamstring tightness) replaced in selected side by Armfield, Kreuzer (left knee)|
Game ReviewAfter a painful loss the losers commonly quote the old adage that at least you get the chance to atone for the poor performance the following week. I’m sure that thought crossed the minds of many of the Blues in the lead up to round 13 clash against the Dockers. Here it was, the chance to test yourself against another up and coming side and potentially redeem some lost pride in the process. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Poor disposal, missed opportunities near goal and unwillingness to play on and run at the Dockers ended up costing the Blues dearly in the narrow loss.
Early in the week Brett Ratten had forecast the likelihood of several changes to the side so disappointing against North Melbourne in round 12. True to his word, four changes were announced with Setanta O’hAilpin not coming up from a calf injury, while Dennis Armfield, Mitch Robinson and Steven Browne were all omitted. Returning to the side were Paul Bower (back after a long injury induced lay off), Lachie Henderson, Chris Yarran and Kane Lucas. Armfield ended up getting a lifeline when Marc Murphy was a late withdrawal on game day, reportedly suffering some hamstring tightness.
Carlton’s starts have been such a barometer for their overall performance in a game, so it was a worrying sign when Fremantle sprung out of the blocks scoring twice in the first minute or so. The Blues were certainly on the back foot but they steadied, started to get their hands on the ball and had more than their share of scoring chances in the early going. Half way through the quarter the five behinds on the scoreboard showed little reward for myriad opportunities. Fortuitously, the Blues were not being punished at the other end as Fremantle were having scoring issues of their own. As if a goalless first quarter wasn’t bad enough (Carlton was kept goalless in the 1st quarter and were also kept goalless in the 4th quarter last week making it a long time between drinks), the tragic vision of Matthew Kreuzer’s knee buckling underneath him when landing in marking contest really rubbed salt into the wound. Down a man for the remainder of the game, and for some time to come as it was later revealed, the Blues were looking at the makings of a long night.
When Jarrad Waite kicked Carlton’s opening goal soon after the resumption the difference was a mere three points and a surge of optimism jolted Blues supporters to life. It was short lived though, as the Dockers piled on the next five goals before Bret Thornton (now masquerading as our backup ruckman) got a late one to reduce the half time margin to 22 points. The loss of Kreuzer meant Sam Jacobs was going toe-to-toe with man mountain Aaron Sandilands virtually single-handedly for much of the night and whilst Jacobs’ effort was commendable he was fighting a losing battle.
The Blues started the third quarter with a bang as Jeff Garlett goaled inside the first minute, but they were never able to put together a sustained period of dominance during the quarter. Each time Carlton goaled Fremantle seemed to find a response, the Blues’ accuracy and Fremantle’s lack of it keeping the lead from blowing out. Four goals apiece for the quarter (4.1 to 4.5) with Fremantle comfortably in control sitting on a 26 point lead as they turned for home.
After Fremantle kicked the opening goal in the final term it would have been no surprise to see the Carlton heads drop and watch the game slide away. As it happened they knuckled down, persisted and produced the kind of quarter that was so desperately required when the heat was in the game at the start. Whether the comeback was aided by the Dockers easing off the gas is hard to say, but wonderful performances from Eddie Betts and Lachie Henderson were certainly a big factor in the Blues’ revival.
When Betts kicked his fourth (all in the final term) the margin was just eight points and the game was as close as it had been since early in the second quarter, but disposal errors and bad decisions at crucial times (and eventually the clock) conspired against what would’ve been an unfathomable victory. And to make matters worse, with the mid-season break now upon us, the Blues couldn't even use the old adage about getting the chance to redeem themselves next week.
As an aside, for those interested, Field umpire Shane Stewart replaced Chris Donlon in the second half. He had also previously replaced Jason Armstrong in the 2nd half of Round 11, 2009.
|B:||32 Bret Thornton||40 Michael Jamison||1 Andrew Walker|
|HB:||45 Aaron Joseph||2 Jordan Russell||18 Paul Bower|
|C:||29 Heath Scotland||5 Chris Judd (c)||27 Dennis Armfield*|
|HF:||6 Kade Simpson||33 Ryan Houlihan||19 Eddie Betts|
|F:||23 Lachlan Henderson||30 Jarrad Waite||38 Jeff Garlett|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||4 Bryce Gibbs||44 Andrew Carrazzo|
|Interchange:||10 Richard Hadley||13 Chris Yarran||24 Kane Lucas|
|39 Sam Jacobs|
|Emg:||3 Marc Murphy*, 12 Mitch Robinson, 16 Shaun Grigg,|
-* Dennis Armfield replaced Marc Murphy in the selected side
Milestones150 Goals : Eddie Betts
Interesting Facts - Consecutive Games : Marc Murphy's run of 79 consecutive matches ended when he withdrew before this game. By then, he had not missed a match since Round 1, 2007. Matthew Kreuzer's unbroken run of 56 consecutive games since his debut in Round 3, 2008 also ended when he went down with a left knee injury.
Interesting Fact - Team Composition : This would be the last time for almost 2 years that Kreuzer, Waite and Jamison - crucial talls for the Blues - would all play in the same Carlton team.
Brownlow Votes3. Michael Barlow, Fremantle
2. Chris Judd, Carlton
1. Aaron Sandilands, Fremantle
Best & Fairest Votes31 Aaron Joseph, 27 Jordan Russell, 26 Chris Judd, 21 Jeffery Garlett, 19 Eddie Betts, 3 Lachlan Henderson,
Round 12 | Round 14