|Venue:||Marvel Stadium, Docklands.|
|Date:||Friday 1st July, 2022 (7.50 pm).|
|Result:||Lost by 15 points.|
|Goalkickers:||J. Motlop 3.1, H. McKay 2.1, M. Kennedy 2.0, C. Curnow 1.4, M. Cottrell 1.1, Z. Fisher 1.1, T. De Koning 0.1, C. Durdin 0.1, G. Hewett 0.1, J. Honey 0.1, J. Silvagni 0.1, Rushed 0.5.|
|Umpires:||Nick Foot, Brendan Hosking, Simon Meredith.|
Saints stun Blues to end slump, boost finals chancesThe Saints returned to some form with an important win over the Blues - By Nick D'Urbano.
St Kilda's season still has a pulse. With their season effectively hanging by a thread after three morale-sapping defeats, the Saints finally provided the response their fans had been yearning for as they emerged from a tight, physical armwrestle against Carlton to come away with a 15-point win at Marvel Stadium. St Kilda showcased tremendous grit and resilience throughout a see-sawing fourth quarter, booting four straight goals, with two of them coming from the boot of Tim Membrey to secure the 14.9 (93) to 10.18 (78) victory and book their place back in the top eight for the time being. Six days after being tagged out of the game against Sydney, Jack Sinclair put in a career-best showing, accumulating 37 disposals to go with 11 marks and a whopping 606 metres gained – while Membrey finished up with four goals and partner in crime Max King ended his lean streak in front of the big sticks with three. The undermanned Blues, on the other hand, spurned the chance to potentially leap into the top four as their wastefulness in front of goal ultimately came back to bite them – missing several quality chances to surge ahead in a second half, when they booted 4.11 to the Saints' 7.3. While the Saints emerged with a much-needed four points, they'll be sweating on the fitness of several key individuals who went down throughout a bruising affair at Marvel Stadium. Key defender Dougal Howard was subbed off with a hamstring injury in the third term, before Hunter Clark was stretchered off the ground in the final 10 minutes following a nasty head collision with Dan Butler, who also received treatment for a facial injury.
In the early stages of the contest, St Kilda looked completely unrecognisable from the side which folded like a cheap suit against the Swans last week, playing with the energy that typified their early-season performances as the likes of Sinclair and Bradley Hill helped set the tempo off half-back. Had it not been for wastefulness in front of goal (3.6 at quarter-time), the lead could've easily been more than the slender eight-point quarter-time advantage despite the Blues finding their rhythm as the first quarter wore on. Sam Walsh (33 disposals) and Patrick Cripps (31 disposals, eight clearances) led the charge for Carlton, which levelled the contest at the coalface and was able to stay with the Saints for much of the second and third terms. Carlton, however, caught the inaccuracy bug in the third and was unable to convert its territorial dominance into scores – booting 1.6 to St Kilda's 3.1 – and the Saints made them pay with two late goals from King and Jack Steele opening up a 12-point lead. The Blues fought back as goals from Matthew Kennedy and Harry McKay gave them the lead at the six-minute mark of the final term, but after Butler responded with a major of his own to give the Saints back the ascendancy, Carlton was unable to answer back as the Saints ran over them in the final stages
Sinclair sets the Tempo
It's quite simple. When Jack Sinclair is at his blistering best, St Kilda is a markedly better and more dangerous team. Six days after having his impact completely nullified by Swans utility Ryan Clarke, Sinclair relished the extra freedom given to him all evening as a result of Carlton opting against going with a direct tagger on the dangerous half-back, who smashed his disposal count from a week prior (17 possessions) in less than a half. Sinclair finished with 37 disposals in the end, two more than his previous career-best, showcasing why he's well and truly in contention for an All-Australian blazer.
Michael Voss had to make a change to slow down the impact of Bradley Hill, who was well and truly having it his own way before quarter-time. Enter Matthew Cottrell. After missing the defeat to Sydney due to personal reasons, Hill returned to the side with a bang and was on fire early with his trademark run and carry causing a number of issues for the Blues, particularly in the early stages of the first quarter – accumulating nine disposals with eight of those coming uncontested. However, the second quarter was all Cottrell, who was moved onto the 28-year-old by Voss to play as a defensive forward. The switch paid dividends as Cottrell was able to not only slow down Hill's impact in those 30 or so minutes, but also hit the scoreboard with an all-important goal early in the quarter.
Here Comes the Future
Saints and Blues fans were given a look into the future as both Jesse Motlop and Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera stood out for their respective outfits on Friday evening. In only his fifth senior game, Moltop was brilliant all evening inside the Blues' forward line. Motlop burst out of the blocks with two first-half goals, including a goal of the round contender. He went on to kick three for the night, which was ultimately a career-best showing thus far. For the Saints, Wanganeen-Milera stood out on the wing, continuing his fine debut season with another eye-catching performance and perhaps one of his best in his short 13-game career. The 19-year-old showed poise and class beyond his years, especially with his superb work by foot.
Best: S. Walsh, P. Cripps, A. Saad, G. Hewett, M. Kennedy, S. Docherty.
Blues fall in fiery clashThe Blues have fallen to the Saints by 21 points in Round 16. - By Rose Zarucky, Carlton Media
In a physical clash at Marvel Stadium, the Blues have fallen at the hands of the Saints, unable to recover from a slow start. Despite taking the lead at multiple stages of the game, Carlton's inability to kick accurately in front of goal cost them in the second half on the way to a 21-point loss. Jesse Motlop was a shining light for the Blues, slotting three goals, while Sam Walsh gathered 33 disposals.
The start to the game was one the Blues would prefer to have back, with the Saints keeping the ball in their forward half for 96 per cent of game time in the first six minutes of the match, resulting in two goals. Inaccuracy in front of goal was the only saving grace for Carlton, as the host struggled to get hands on the ball long enough to move it beyond the centre square efficiently. St Kilda’s intercept and contested marking game kept them in control of the term, while missed opportunities in front of goal kept Carlton goalless until the 16-minute mark of the term before Jesse Motlop got the first on the board. Sam Walsh lent a hand in the back half, picking up nine disposals in the first quarter, while Sam Docherty and Lewis Young were busy holding down the fort as the Saints recorded 15 inside 50's. Charlie Curnow slotted a goal with a minute left on the clock after a clever intercept from Adam Saad, leaving the Blues with an eight-point deficit to make up.
It was a running Matt Cottrell goal that got the Blues going in the second term, as the Blues went from one end to another after a strong tackle in defence from Docherty. An over-the-head snap from Matt Kennedy was the result of some strong forward pressure from Carlton, as the Blues found their groove to begin the second quarter. A long goal from Zac Fisher meant the Blues had five straight goals, but just as the hosts had opened up a lead, the Saints responded with the next four of the game. Lachie Plowman and Young provided strong intercept work in the defensive 50, combining on 13 occasions to win the Blues back possession. After opening the Blues' account, Motlop then provided the highlight of a gripping first half, retrieving the ball at ground level, breaking a tackle and then snapping truly to keep the team within a kick at the main break.
Neither side was able to do any damage in the first half of the term, with no goals scored until the 10-minute mark of the term. After some sharp work from Patrick Cripps, a Harry McKay snap got Carlton back the lead. Docherty was using his physicality in the defensive 50 as the ball kept finding its way back to the Saints’ forward half, while Saad - met with a 'Woof!' every time he kicked - used his penetrating left foot to rebound the ball from danger. Despite dominating the term from a territory perspective, Carlton was unable to do the damage on the scoreboard, registering just one goal from seven scoring shots. That was compounded late in what turned out to be a very physical quarter, with two late goals to the Saints leaving the Blues with a 12-point deficit to make up in the final term.
As the Blues looked to win from a losing position at the final break for the second time this season, Fisher was busy early in the term, directing traffic and using the ball well by foot. A combined effort from Durdin and Kennedy put Carlton within a goal, while McKay’s second gave the home side the narrowest of leads. The game reached boiling point as the Saints inched ahead, with both sides ramping up the pressure and physicality. Getting clean possession in their forward half was giving them trouble, putting them on the back foot on the scoreboard. McKay’s contested marking was exceptional, but unfortunately, the tall couldn’t make the most of his set-shot opportunities late in the term. Where the Blues couldn’t capitalise on their opportunities, the Saints did, ultimately seeing the Blues fall to a 15-point defeat.
Three things from the game
1. Adam Saad played a comprehensive game for Carlton, which was fitting with the return of the ‘Woof!’ that used to follow his next door neighbour Ang Christou in days of old. Saad stuffed the stat sheet tonight, picking up 25 disposals (13 contested), 13 intercepts, six score involvements and gaining 456 metres. His presence in the defensive half was a bright spark for the Blues in a tough game.
2. Jesse Motlop produced his finest performance so far for Carlton, with the youngster slotting a team-high three goals. The best of those came in the second term, producing the moment of the match with a stunning solo goal that had the Marvel Stadium crowd on its feet.
3. The Blues have been relatively strong at taking their opportunities when presented to them, but Friday night was a lesson in conversion. Not only did the Blues struggle to register maximum result in front of the big sticks, but turnovers in transition burnt the home side. It can be a simple game sometimes, and that was the foundation of the result.
Best: S. Walsh, A. Saad, M. Kennedy, S. Docherty, J. Motlop.
|B:||20 Lachie Plowman||33 Lewis Young||17 Brodie Kemp|
|HB:||24 Nic Newman||15 Sam Docherty||42 Adam Saad|
|C:||4 Lochie O'Brien||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||5 Adam Cerra|
|HF :||18 Sam Walsh||30 Charlie Curnow||36 Josh Honey|
|F:||3 Jesse Motlop||10 Harry McKay||1 Jack Silvagni|
|Ruck:||12 Tom De Koning||7 Matthew Kennedy||29 George Hewett|
|Interchange:||19 Corey Durdin||25 Zac Fisher||32 Jack Newnes|
|46 Matt Cottrell|
|Medical Substitute:||43 Will Setterfield|
|Emergencies:||2 Paddy Dow||40 Will Hayes||13 Liam Stocker|
Medi-sub: Will Setterfield (unused).
In: Adam Cerra
Out: Jordan Boyd (foot).
Milestones50 Games (Carlton): Will Setterfield
AFLCA Votes10 - Jack Sinclair (STK)
6 - Paddy Ryder (STK)
5 - Tim Membrey (STK)
4 - Jade Gresham (STK)
4 - Adam Saad (CARL)
1 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)
Best and Fairest Votes
Round 15 | Round 17