Carlton lost to Essendon by 10 points - MCG. Last match for Lappin and against Sheedy and Hird.

Round 20, 2007

Carlton4.5298.8 5611.117716.12108
Essendon2.1135.33312.6 7818.10118
Venue: MCG
Date: Sat 18 August 2007, 2:10pm Result: Loss by 10pts
Umpires: Farmer, Kennedy, Jeffery Crowd: 48,638
Goalkickers: Fisher 4; Betts, Lappin 2; Bannister, Carrazzo, Jackson, Murphy, Ó hAilpín, Saddington, Walker, Whitnall
Reports: Nil Injuries: Russell (adductor), replaced in selected side by Adam Bentick; Fevola (groin)

Game Review

This was the last game between these two proud rivals with Kevin Sheedy at the helm of the Bombers. Sheedy's overall coaching record against Carlton would end up in his favour regardless of the result, yet with some of his questionable team selections and the alleged lure of the #1 draft pick for Carlton, the build up to this match was unusual, to say the least.

The opening half belonged to Carlton and their hard running and rebound from defence was first class. Third gamer Michael Jamison was given the responsibility of matching up on Matthew Lloyd and Bryce Gibbs marked James Hird. Neither looked out of place on their more experienced opponents. As a team, Carlton's effort was everything caretaker coach Brett Ratten could have asked for, and even though there were a few wasteful shots in front of goal Carlton outscored the Bombers in both terms to go in to the main break with a 23 point lead. Jarrad Waite and Heath Scotland, both playing off half-back, were heading the possession tally at the main change, highlighting Carlton's dominance over Essendon's forwards.

The second half turned out to be a great showpiece for the game. It was exciting, tough contested football which culminated with four lead changes in the final term. Essendon came out strongly in the third quarter and took the lead with a freakish back-heeled goal from Matthew Lloyd with the last kick of the quarter. Carlton showed their grit and resolve by scoring the first goal of the fourth quarter to win back the lead. The game continued to be neck and neck with Essendon getting their noses in front by just over a goal. The Blues, through more hard running, kicked consecutive goals to wrestle back scoreboard superiority. Not to be out done, and with finals still a remote chance, Essendon were good enough to get the lead back and closed out the game with the ball bottled up in their forward 50 and a late goal to clinch the game with just a few moments of playing time remaining.

Once again for Brett Ratten's men the team was good enough to put themselves in a winning position, but just could not close out the game. Brad Fisher topped the goal kicking with a career-high four, while Brendan Fevola had a poor first half and was kept goal-less for the game. He started the second half on the bench in his tracksuit with concerns over his groin, but was able to get back on the field. Although he did some good team things, he was clearly struggling with his fitness and post match reports suggested he would miss the remaining two games of the year through injury. Andrew Carrazzo quietly accumulated 33 touches to top the possessions with Ryan Houlihan, also on 33. Heath Scotland and Adam Bentick, a late inclusion for Jordan Russell, both played well for 31 touches while Andrew Walker picked up a career-high 31 disposals as well. Lance Whitnall, playing his first game since Round 12, appeared in great physical condition and had some effect for the Blues without being a standout. Even though Lloyd ended up with six goals, young Jamison performed well for Carlton playing on the Bomber front runner all game and continues to show great promise.

Whether it was the run of close losses, Ratten's coaching or rapport with the players, or something else entirely, Brett Ratten was appointed as Coach of the Carlton Football Club on the Monday following the game.

As a sad post-script to this match, Matthew Lappin would be unable to play in both Rounds 21 and 22 owing to a back complaint, and would retire from the game.


B:40 Michael Jamison 9 Jason Saddington 33 Ryan Houlihan
HB: 6 Kade Simpson 30 Jarrad Waite 18 Paul Bower
C: 13 Luke Blackwell 29 Heath Scotland 38 Ryan Jackson
HF:12 Matthew Lappin 8 Lance Whitnall (c) 14 Brad Fisher
F: 19 Eddie Betts 25 Brendan Fevola 17 Setanta Ó hAilpín
Ruck: 11 Cain Ackland 31 Jordan Bannister 44 Andrew Carrazzo
Interchange:4 Bryce Gibbs 3 Marc Murphy 7 Adam Bentick*
1 Andrew Walker
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 21 Mark Austin, 7 Adam Bentick*, 22 Shaun Hampson
In: Matthew Lappin, Lance Whitnall, Adam Bentick
Out: Shaun Grigg, Bret Thornton, Jordan Russell (all injured)

NB * Bentick was a late change for Russell

Milestones / Facts

Last games: Matthew Lappin, Luke Blackwell
Interesting fact: Carlton registered 427 possessions during this game, their highest number on record to date. Essendon had 407 possessions.
Interesting fact: Brett Ratten was confirmed as Coach of Carlton after this loss, his fourth close loss as Caretaker Coach.

Brownlow Votes

3. Heath Scotland, Carlton
2. Jay Nash, Essendon
1. Jarrad Waite, Carlton

Best and Fairest Votes

Brad Fisher 24, Heath Scotland 21, Jarrad Waite 12, Eddie Betts, Adam Bentick 6, Andrew Walker 3, Kade Simpson 2, Ryan Houlihan 1

The Ghost Article

The Unbelievable Lightness of Being Carlton

We should have buried Essendon; should have driven their ump-diving bones so far into the M.C.G. turf (the memories of ’68 and ’99 swirling around in their little Essendon model aeroplane brains) that their season would have been over, the game lingering during the preseason like a child’s nightmare. That first half was all Navy Blue. The backline now understands the idea is to restrict goals. The forward line looked potent even without Fev firing (Fisher!!!) and the midfield is becoming a smooth machine that dominates other sides as great midfields do.

We should have won but we didn’t, such is the nature of this game. Take your chances when they come blueboys or suffer the consequences – even a weak side like Essendon can have a few worthy moments. Still I am excited, Ratts is now the coach proper and the side is enjoying their football again. It is hard to be a bottom side; hard for supporters, hard for the children born into a Bluebagger house and hard for the players who must endure the losses week in, week out (and the snide remarks of the Cornes’s of this world).

I saw how hard it was this year with my son’s team until they picked up a couple of rippers, a ruckman and a runner and suddenly they pushed hard and almost made the top four. Yes those two players helped, but what helped more was the enjoyment they discovered in playing the game. Good coaching gave them the chance to have some fun and suddenly everyone began to contribute.

That’s what we are seeing these last few weeks. That is what is important to continue these last two weeks. Enjoyment: Spirit: A belief that Carlton is the best place to be. It’s not a matter of talking about it, of strutting around at training as if it’s the case, it’s a matter of belief during gameday - we can see the belief rising in this team, rising like a new sun - the new, navy blue dawn approaches!

Even in that last quarter I found myself laughing as I watched the game, enjoying the thrill, the team’s zest and faith in each other. This team is a Carlton team. Yes we lost again and it hurt but as I said to my sad lad, that loss was painful and glorious. We showed the signs, we are coming back!

I cannot wait for next year. It will be an absolute belter! Ratts over summer to hone his vision, the lads to grow stronger and to understand new roles, new set plays and to feed their desire to succeed. We are seeing the stoking of a huge fire, a fire that will erupt soon.

For now though, it’s about joy. The enjoyment they get playing together, the joy my son and I get watching them, seeing their development, their self-confidence grow.

Oh my Carlton brethren have faith, this young team is beginning to show signs of the Rolls Royce it will become. At times that midfield motor simply purrs. Murph and Bryce, Bentick, Blackers and Carrots (and just wait til we re-add Stevo!). Simmo’s runs down the wing, Fish’s marks and even the new, slimline Lance. This team has the biggest word in the dictionary; it has potential.

I believe that by the end of next year the football world will be whispering (unless they are true Bluebaggers, then they’ll be screaming) about our kids, our team, and our fearful potential.

Oh how light my blue heart is, how easy to dance father’s long lost jig. I remember his laughter at games as Carlton stormed over the top, I remember his little jig as we left the ground, his proud eyes beaming with the excitement of Bluebagger victory and I tell you and I tell my son, those days are coming again!

This week we take on North, a side heavy with spirit and guts, a side that fights not for the ultimate glory but for a place in the sun, fearful that a shadow such as one this great club has been under, would bury them forever. Such a fear is a powerful force, but it is a heavy force. It weighs you down so that enjoyment never really enters into it; it’s about doing the job, about winning each engagement least the darkness settle and the candle be extinguished.

That is not our way. This is what Ratts has returned to us. We play with the unbelievable lightness of being Carlton. Think of Jezza soaring, or the Buzz, the Rasputin of football! Remember Ragsy Goold’s long rapier dashes, Southby’s runs from fullback that redefined the defensive game. Remember the handballs of 1970, the goals of ’72! The magnificent 30:30 (210) game against Hawthorn. Carlton is all about lightness and creativity. No weight of expectation for us, not that Colliwobbling toppling nor Essendon dive bombing, not for us the North Melbourne shadow or the Fitzroy yesteryears.

Carlton is a canvas, a night sky, a dance, an unexpected arrival, a marvel! Ratts has helped us to remember, we play with a lightness, a spark, and an enjoyment in the contest and in all the artistic moments this game creates. We’ve had that 8 goal blitz against Port, the opening half against Essendon, the comeback again St Kilda – we are re-finding ourselves, our spirit, our unbelievable lightness at being Carlton.

We are returning home, prodigals all, these past few, hard seasons, but the mist is lifting, the homestead is visible in the distance, soon Carlton will be home and we’ll all be scrambling again for precious tickets in September! We’ll be floating, floating in the unbelievable lightness of being Carlton!

Go Blues!
Carlton by 6 points
Gibbs to kick 3!
and Hampson to play a ripper in the ruck.

Mike and Dan

Hitting the Marc

All these close finishes are making Dan angrier and Mike more bald, although if you knew either of us at age 20 or so you’d have probably guessed that that was always going to happen anyway. There are few certainties in life such as these – but one such certainty is another strong performance from Marc Murphy. He does it each and every week, despite being one of the youngest Blues out there. And doesn’t he do it well – this week, winning the Round 20 Play of the Week for a superb snap goal when the game was there to be won.

Marc...great goal on the weekend. Is that a set play that you've worked on with the ruckmen at the club?

Yeah, thanks guys…we’ve been working on a few different set plays lately. Some work well and others don’t but it went pretty well on Saturday.

For a goal like that, what proportion of the credit goes to Ackland and what goes to you? Plays like that remind us of when we used to have Madden as a great tap ruckman...

Yeah was a bit of old fashion work wasn’t it? I suppose I should give Cain a bit of credit…

Tell us about the game - we looked the better team for a long stint, but just couldn't finish it off….

We started really well, got them on the back foot and it was all looking good. We really let ourselves down, they got back into the game and it was a hard battle especially in the last term…unfortunately they ran away with the points.

Were there any moments when you thought we had the game in the bag? Like - the whole second quarter?

No, I don’t think you ever have a game in the bag these days. Especially not in the 2nd term….you only have to look back at our last game against Essendon. We looked down and out prior to half time and we managed to turn it around.

That career as a tagger you were developing seemed to last a good game or 2 - were you asked to mind anyone at Essendon?

Yeah, I played a bit on Brett Stanton, it has been a bit different play that role, I have really enjoyed the change, it was getting a bit tough there for a while but the change has been good.

Gibbs and Jamison took on two of the biggest Bomber names on the weekend in Hird and Lloyd - from your experience 'minding someone', what do you think they learned? Has Gibbsy talked about learning anything from playing on Hird?

They had to massive roles didn’t they? I have chatted to Gibbsy, he really loved playing on Hirdy - you could argue that the roles they played on the weekend are worth 5 or so games for them going forward.

I think you have to give Jamo a heap of credit, I know Matty Lloyd ended up with quite a few but I thought Jamo worked really hard…it was great to see.

When Stevens went down in Round 3, the press was filled with comments about you taking the #1 tagger from the opposition. How has that panned out during the year - do you feel as though you've copped your fair share of heat, or do you think it's been better than you expected?

Yeah, you probably cop a bit of extra heat; it’s tough with the number one tagger coming to Simmo or myself most of the time. It has been a real challenge, I’ve learnt a heap and I reckon it will be beneficial for me in future years.

Do you think with all the talk of young players coming through the Club, that people are forgetting about you a little? We hardly seem to hear from you these days but you were the third youngest Blue out there on the weekend….

No not at all, I think I have had a fair share of attention, probably not as much as last year, when you come to the club as a number 1 selection you always seem to do a bit more than some others, but we do have such a young list and I think it is important that we all share the load when it comes to promoting the Carlton Footy Club because at the end of the day the responsibility of rebuilding this club lies with us.

One of the big pluses this year is seeing 3 Carlton Guns come through - Simpson, Carrazzo and Fisher - all having breakthrough years incidentally as they hit or cross the 50 game mark. Do you sit back and look at that and think that there is more improvement to come from you over the next few years?

I think there is no doubt about that, every game a players plays for our club is an investment, and the more experience and mature our group gets the better we will be.

If so, where does the improvement come from - size & strength?

I think once you get a few pre-seasons under your belt and adjust to AFL level you naturally will grow, but there is also a heap of hard work that needs to be put in a number of areas, fitness, size, strength skills…it is on-going.

Do you have any views on the Umpiring these days, and whether we need 4 of them running around out there. Only reason I ask is that you received 3 frees against Port for them scragging you, but from the fans point of view you seem to be a player who gets a lot of attention from the opposition....

I haven’t really thought about it, but I am not big on changing the game too much.

Tell us about Ratten being confirmed as Coach. What does this mean to you and to the players?

Ratts has been great…he was fantastic to me as an assistant coach…not long out of the game and very enthusiastic - he has been a huge advantage for me this year. When he got the gig for the remainder of the season he was all about returning the spirit back to the club, I think it was one thing he identified that we were lacking, he is a legend of this Club, he loves the place and I think we have improved our spirit over recent weeks. I think he will continue with that theme until he returns the Club to where he knows it belongs, and that is at the pointy end of the ladder.

We understand from the Blueseum that you and Jezza are the most 'hit' personal pages on the entire site. That would make you one very popular player….do you get more attention from the fans or do you think that you are just one of the boys these days?

Look, I didn’t know that, I am always copping it from the boys about being the fans favourite, I suppose you look at it as a bit of an honour, but I’m more about letting my actions speak louder than words and if people come to the games and enjoying watching me play then I am thrilled with that...that is what makes our game such a great game.

Talking about the Blueseum, do you know which Blue has played the most games in your guernsey number?

Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s Kevin Hall,

Murphy got this one right – for all the details on Guernsey #3, click here

Finally, here's your chance to pay out on any of the boys down at the Club - do any of the guys deserve a bit of a ribbing?

Look, I know that Ryan Jackson and Cam Cloke had a bit of a dig at each other recently, so I will have to say those two. The three of us drive in together everyday and I have never heard two grown men whinge, moan and sook more in my life! How’s that?

Marc Murphy has been such a joy to watch since he arrived at Carlton, Mike & Dan would adopt him if he didn’t already have a family. Although some credit for the Round 20 Play of the Week has to go to Cain Ackland, Murphy thoroughly deserves all the recognition he gets given how much he has lifted the Club since he turned up.

Round 19 | Round 21
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , molsey , BlueWorld , camelboy and true_blue24 .
Page last modified on Sunday 29 of January, 2023 21:56:45 AEDT by Jarusa.

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