Carlton lost to Collingwood by 54 points at the MCG. Disappointing performance by the Blues in front of 85,000 fans

Round 17, 2009

Carlton1.5112.9 213.13314.1640
Collingwood5.4347.6488.8 5614.1094
Venue: MCG
Date: Friday, 24 July Result: Loss by 54 points
Umpires: McLaren, S. Ryan, Wenn Crowd: 84,938
Goalkickers: E. Betts 2, G. Bentley, B. Fevola 1
Reports: Nil Injuries: Johnson (hamstring), Judd (ankle)
Ladder Position: Seventh

Game Review

With the chance to win their fourth on the trot and secure their tenuous foothold in the top eight the Blues had much to play for against the traditional enemy, Collingwood. On a cool Melbourne evening under the Friday night lights of the MCG the stage was set for a big spectacle with 85,000 fans in attendance.

Sadly, at least for the Carlton portion of the crowd, they witnessed an error-laden game, both sides contributing to the poor overall standard of the game. Collingwood were more polished in general play, particularly when going forward, and ran out comfortable winners by 54 points over a disappointing Blues outfit.

Carlton made two changes to the side that stormed home against the Swans the previous weekend, with Adam Hartlett and Joe Anderson making way for the return of Mark Austin (back from suspension) and Michael Jamison. It was déjà vu all over again when Jamison was a late withdrawal from the selected side allowing Hartlett to play his third game for the season.

The first quarter set the tone for the game with Collingwood clearly on top but unable to put any substantial distance between the sides on the scoreboard. Brendan Fevola, provided one of the few highlights with a one-handed-low-diving-slips-catch style mark. He was unable to convert the resulting shot at goal (which shaved the post) and it was left to Eddie Betts to provide Carlton’s solitary goal for the quarter. Collingwood’s quarter time lead was far from matching winning, but Blues supporters would have been sitting nervously in their seats during the break.

The game never reached any great heights during the next hour of football. The Blues added two more goals during that time (another to Betts and one to Greg Bentley), while Collingwood didn’t exactly give the scoreboard operator RSI, managing just three. The Blues couldn’t win a clearance to save themselves and by the final break the margin had edged out to 25 points. It could have been a lot worse if not for some wonderful defending by Paul Bower and Bret Thornton who coped reasonably well under constant pressure.

Finally the game opened up, but it was all one way traffic heading straight for Collingwood’s end in the last term. They handed out a six goal lesson, with the Blues managing a single goal for the fourth quarter in a row. The young Blues were again found wanting in a game against a fellow finals contender and struggled with the expectation placed on them. It was a night where few positives were to be found.

The average age of this Carlton team was 23 years and 114 days, with an average League experience of 76.0 games per player. Heath Scotland was the oldest, at 29 years and 2 days, while Brendan Fevola was the most experienced with 181 games. Chris Yarran was the youngest at 18 years and 217 days and was playing in only his fifth senior game.


B:44 Andrew Carrazzo 21 Mark Austin 32 Bret Thornton
HB: 45 Aaron Joseph 18 Paul Bower 9 Chris Johnson
C: 29 Heath Scotland 5 Chris Judd (c) 6 Kade Simpson
HF: 2 Jordan Russell 14 Brad Fisher 16 Shaun Grigg
F: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 25 Brendan Fevola 19 Eddie Betts
Ruck: 22 Shaun Hampson 4 Bryce Gibbs 3 Marc Murphy
Interchange: 13 Chris Yarran 23 Adam Hartlett 33 Ryan Houlihan
47 Greg Bentley
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 27 Dennis Armfield, 28 Cameron Cloke, 40 Michael Jamison

• Adam Hartlett replaced Michael Jamison (groin) in the selected side


Last games: Adam Hartlett and Greg Bentley
Interesting Fact: This was Carlton's lowest score since 2002, right in the midst of our collapse!
Interesting Fact: Amazingly, this was the third time in our long history that, in scoring 4 goals for the match, Carlton scored a single goal in each quarter. The first such incidence was almost 100 years ago, in Round 17, 1911, before being repeated in 2007.
Interesting Fact: On 15 occasions, Carlton has scored 40 points in a League match, with the only other time they have scored 4 goals 16 behinds was in Round 15, 1907 against South Melbourne at the Lakeside Oval, Albert Park. On this occasion they also only had three goal scorers. Carlton has scored 40 and less points 178 times since the League began in 1897, winning 27 times and drawing twice.
Interesting Fact: This was Carlton’s 100th night match in the League for premiership points (and including 4 finals, this does not include the preseason or night series or Carlton’s twilight matches). Ryan Houlihan with 58 ‘night’ games has played the most night games, while Brendan Fevola with 178 ‘night’ goals has scored the most night goals and both are current players who played in this 100th night match. Carlton first ‘night’ game was Round 14, 1985, while is also their highest night score and they have won 37 and draw once in these 100 ‘night’ matches with a winning ratio of 37.5%.
Interesting Fact - Big Losers: Bret Thornton, playing in his 143rd match, became the 14th Carlton player to play in 100 defeats. To see more about these 14 players, click here.

Brownlow Votes

3. Dane Swan, Collingwood
2. Leon Davis, Collingwood
1. Simon Prestigiacomo, Collingwood

Best and Fairest Votes

25 Aaron Joseph, 9 Bret Thornton, 8 Paul Bower, 6 Marc Murphy, 2 Eddie Betts, 2 Matthew Kreuzer

Mike and Dan

Mike and Dan’s Play of the Week: Bret Thornton

The most keenly anticipated clash in recent memory between football’s traditional rivals ended up in disappointment for Carlton fans, with the Blues being outclassed by the Magpies in front of a colossal MCG crowd. Highlights were few and far between, however Bret Thornton’s coolness and composure in the face of some sustained Magpie pressure wins him this week’s Play of the Week. Mike and Dan spoke to the stalwart Carlton defender about his critical role in the team ahead of Carlton’s crunch game against the Kangaroos.

Bret, on a terrible night you were fantastic for the Blues. You win this week's Play of the Week for being the top player out there. Does such a prestigious award ring a bit hollow after a loss like that?

Yeah a few people said I played well, but it doesn’t mean much when beaten by 9 goals. It feels a bit hollow and I would feel much better about it after a win.

Was it Collingwood's tactics or our poor skills that had the bigger bearing on the match?

To say our skills were poor would be underselling Collingwood. They certainly came ready to play and performed well, but in saying that we were well below our best. We just didn’t play our best even though we’ve played in a few other big games this year and we can’t use the big crowd and the intensity as an excuse. We just weren’t switched on.

Did you have a laugh at Jack Anthony for those free kicks where he kept on pushing you in the head?

I couldn’t quite work out why he kept giving away the free kick like that!

We played terribly on Friday night but were still in it going into the last quarter. Is that some kind of positive that we can take away from it?

Oh I think so, I was on the bench with a couple of minutes to go in third quarter and we were only three or so goals down. Then there was an unlucky free kick and they started to run away. To play that badly and still be so close deep into the game is a small positive.

You're leading the Club for marks, and you're high in AFL stats for intercepts. Is this something that comes naturally? Does Ratts keep you down back and urge you to chop out passes?

I did quite a bit of work with my marking over the pre-season, and it is nice to be up in those stats. Being a young backline, Ratts has given me a license to chop off and help out where I can.

We’ve got some stability down back and that really helps. We’ve had quite a lot of injuries though with Jammo, Bower, Waitey and myself all being out at times. We haven’t really had the opportunity to all play in the same game.

Some weeks you get to play loose in the back-half, other weeks you go to a man and lock him down. Any preference?

I suppose I am pretty versatile, I still have gone back in the last line this year but have also played up the ground. I still like to do a job on an opposition player. I’ve always been a defender and like to do a job on someone. I like being freed up too which helps me to be a bit more creative.

Unfortunately we need to tell you that you've just racked up your 100th loss at AFL level. Are there any that stick in the mind, or are you a look forward sort of guy?

I knew I had a bad winning ratio, but that is a bit of surprise! I don’t like to remember the losses too much. Last week was bad enough and that sticks in my mind, but the team is really up for this week and it is a big game for us.

Richmond, Adelaide and Geelong all did us favours this week by beating teams competing with us for a spot in the 8. How much do you focus on other games and how they impact the 8, or is your sole focus on Carlton's performance?

We are just trying to work on our own form, and the other results will take care of themselves. We have to concentrate on what is within our own ability. If we are going to play finals we have got to really deserve to get in.

What will Adam Simpson's last game mean for the Kangaroos? How much of a boost do milestones such as this actually give the players?

It is an even bigger game for North with Simpson playing for the last time. They will be up for it, but we have more to play for than them. We just need to weather the storm early on - they will be passionate but our season is on the line, and it is up to us to really turn on.

There's a bit of pressure coming up from the Bullies now that Stevens, Wiggins, Bentick, Cloke and others are performing well. There must be some fierce competition for spots - are training sessions extra competitive at the moment?

For sure, as you said there are some blokes putting in very good performances, and it creates more competitive teams. It is always good for there to be pressure there for players to genuinely earn their spots in the team.

There's been some absolute belters this year - most critics agree that it is probably the best home and away season in memory. Do you have an opinion about this as a player?

Yeah certainly. It would be right up there and it is fantastic to be part of it.

After eight years at the club and approaching the 150 game milestone, Bret Thornton has proved himself as a brave and skilful defender who leads by example in Carlton’s defensive six. Many Blues fans will recall Thornton’s early years when he performed consistently well when matched up on power forwards, often giving away considerable height and weight – fortunately Carlton’s defensive set-up is more settled these days and his attacking flair and creativity has come to the fore. Thornton will again need to be at the top of his game to counter a versatile and unpredictable Kangaroos forward line in another showcase Friday night game this weekend.

Round 16 | Round 18
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Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 22:24:10 AEDT by Jarusa.

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