|Date:||Thursday (night) July 31, 2014|
|Result:||Lost by 5 points|
|Goalkickers:||J. Waite 3, M. Murphy 2, C. Judd, D. Ellard, N. Graham, S. Rowe, K. Simpson, L. Casbolt 1.|
|Umpires:||J. Dalgleish, L. Fisher, M. Stevic|
Game ReviewCarlton wore it's current (2006-2014) navy blue jumper, navy blue shorts and navy blue socks.
While the home team Fremantle wore wore its alternative "away" white with purple vees jumper, white shorts, and hooped socks.
Not for the first time in 2014, Carlton lost a game it should have won when Fremantle was gifted a last-minute goal and beat the Blues by five points in this thriller at Subiaco. Playing bold, determined football, the Blues controlled the match for much of the second half, but missed vital chances to put the Dockers away, and that cost dearly in the end.
For both clubs, this was a high-stakes match. Having suffered a shock loss to lowly St Kilda the previous weekend, Fremantle’s place in the top four was suddenly less secure. A follow-up defeat by the Blues would have been disastrous, and the Dockers were ready to rumble. Meanwhile, Carlton was fresh from a good win over top-eight contender North Melbourne, and intent on wringing a few more positives from a season that had begun optimistically, only to crash in ruins before the half-way point. Injuries to Andrejs Everitt and Troy Menzel, plus the suspension of Mitch Robinson didn’t help Carlton’s prospects, although Andrew Carrazzo, Brock McLean and Blaine Johnson were worthy replacements. In a minor surprise, McLean was assigned as his team’s substitute.
The broad support for the Blues in Western Australia’s capital city was evident again when the teams ran out on a cool, dry Thursday evening. Beforehand, the stadium fell silent in a moving tribute to Mo, Evie, and Otis Maslin – three young Dockers fans who had been among 298 passengers and crew tragically lost a week earlier when a commercial airliner had been shot down over Eastern Ukraine. Throughout the crowd, the poignancy of those events was still lingering as the ball was bounced, and Fremantle’s giant ruckman Aaron Sandilands won the first hit-out with real authority.
Interesting early match-ups included Ed Curnow in a run-with role on Docker Brad Hill, and Andrew Carrazzo picking up Fremantle star Nat Fyfe. As expected, Dockers’ tagger Ryan Crowley latched on to Carlton captain Marc Murphy, while Cameron Wood and Levi Casboult faced the enormous task of trying to match the Dockers’ imposing ruck duo of Sandilands and Zac Clarke. Fremantle drew first blood with a goal after five hotly-contested minutes, before Chris Judd inspired the Blues with a brilliant, one-handed contested mark 15 metres out. His goal put Carlton in front for the first time, but Freo soon replied through Fyfe (twice), Hill and the ever-dangerous Hayden Ballantyne. Murphy kept Carlton in the contest with a clever skidding major from deep in the forward pocket after 22 minutes, and at quarter-time, the Blues trailed by one straight kick.
Early in the second quarter, Freo lost their captain and key forward Matthew Pavlich when he was accidently concussed by Nick Graham’s elbow in a marking contest. Pavlich was substituted out of the match before half-time, and the Dockers were further depleted when their big midfielder Tendai Mzungu limped off with a thigh strain. The Blues played with daring and spirit in this quarter, backing their pace and foot-skills to overcome Fremantle’s defensive press. Had David Ellard (twice), Chris Yarran, Bryce Gibbs and Judd made the most of their opportunities, Carlton surely would have been in front at half-time, instead of trailing by 11 points.
Early in the second half, Carlton fans cringed when Aaron Sandilands’ knee – with his full 120 kilograms behind it – landed on Judd’s ankle. In obvious distress, the Blues champion was off the field for most of the quarter. Re-strapped and determined, he did eventually make his way back out on to the ground, but under real difficulty. Meanwhile, both sides stepped up their intensity. Kade Simpson, Murphy,Yarran and Sam Docherty stood out as Carlton kicked away to lead by 15 points late in the term, before the Dockers hit back twice to cut their deficit to only 4 points at three-quarter time.
The last quarter belonged to two players – Fyfe of Fremantle, and Murphy of Carlton. Still under sustained physical and verbal pressure from Crowley, Murphy willed himself to contest after contest, and his concentration could not be broken. Meanwhile, Fyfe was in everything for his team and all of his 11 disposals for the quarter were damaging. At the 11-minute mark of the term, when Kade Simpson dodged around the man on his mark and kicked a great goal from 50 metres, Carlton led by 10 points and should have gone on with it from there. But a series of crucial mistakes by the Blues – including a 50-metre penalty against Zach Tuohy that gifted Ballantyne his third major - brought the margin back to one point deep into time-on. Fremantle attacked relentlessly, and with less than a minute remaining, Cameron Wood kicked blindly out of a pack, straight into the arms of Docker Lachie Neale. From 30 metres out dead in front, Neale kicked truly to plunge a dagger into every Bluebagger’s heart.
This was Carlton’s fifth loss by less than 12 points in 2014, and supporters could be forgiven for already looking forward to the end of a wretched season. Ahead of the inevitable cull of the clubs’ playing list, the remaining four matches against Gold Coast, Geelong, Port Adelaide and Essendon would now be vital to the future of a number of current Blues.
Among those who proved their mettle against the Dockers were veterans Chris Judd (22 disposals, 9 clearances, 1 goal in little over three quarters) and Jarrad Waite (19 disposals, 7 marks, 4 tackles, 3 goals). Despite being physically and verbally pressured throughout, Carlton skipper Marc Murphy led by example to collect 21 disposals (18 contested), 8 clearances and 2 goals, while Kade Simpson and Dale Thomas were creative at both ends of the ground.
Subs: Brock McLean replaced Blaine Johnson early in the last quarter.
|B:||17 Sam Rowe||40 Michael Jamison (DVC)||43 Simon White|
|HB:||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||42 Zach Tuohy||15 Sam Docherty|
|C:||35 Ed Curnow||5 Chris Judd||39 Dale Thomas|
|HF:||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)||30 Jarrad Waite||13 Chris Yarran|
|F:||41 Levi Casboult||23 Lachie Henderson||45 Blaine Johnson|
|Ruck:||36 Cameron Wood||4 Bryce Gibbs||44 Andrew Carrazzo (VC)|
|Interchange:||28 Tom Bell||32 Nick Graham||46 David Ellard|
|Substitute:||14 Brock McLean|
|Emergencies:||9 Kane Lucas||10 Matthew Watson||27 Dennis Armfield|
- Chris Yarran started as a loose man in defence
Guernsey History (to be confirmed):According to broadcaster Channel 7, Carlton became the first team in AFL history to include guernsey numbers 39 to 46 for a senior match when the Blues ran out for this game.
Brownlow Votes3. Nathan Fyfe, Fremantle
2. Kade Simpson, Carlton
1. Chris Judd, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesKade Simpson 10, Chris Judd 8, Marc Murphy 8, Bryce Gibbs 5, Michael Jamison 5, Dale Thomas 5, Jarrad Waite 5, Chris Yarran 5, Simon White 4, Ed Curnow 1, David Ellard 1, Lachie Henderson 1,
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