|Date:||Saturday, August 10, 2013 (twilight)|
|Result:||Lost by 26 points|
|Goalkickers:||T. Menzel, L. Henderson, E. Betts (2), E. Curnow, B. McLean, C. Judd, Z. Tuohy, D. Armfield, C. Yarran, J. Waite (1).|
|Umpires:||S. Jeffery, T. Pannell. B. Ryan|
|Injuries:||Watson (foot), Garlett (glute), Judd (knee), Curnow (cheekbone)|
Game ReviewOn a dog day afternoon for Carlton, the Blues’ flickering finals hopes were all but extinguished by a relentless Western Bulldogs combination in this boilover at Docklands. Scores were level approaching three-quarter time, before injuries to three key Blues proved crucial, and in the end the team just ran out of legs. Afterward it was confirmed that both champion mid-fielder Chris Judd, and emerging defender Matthew Watson would not play again in 2013, due respectively to knee and foot damage incurred during the game.
Yet again, Carlton had everything to play for in this match, especially in light of the on-going AFL investigation into alleged illegal doping at Essendon. If the fifth-placed Bombers were to be found guilty, and as a consequence be stripped of their points, then Carlton (ninth) stood as one of the clubs most likely to squeeze into the final eight. Before anything like that could happen however, the lowly but improving Bulldogs had to be accounted for.
Carlton made four changes to the team easily beaten by Fremantle in round 19, losing Andrew Carrazzo and Matthew Kreuzer to calf strains, and omitting Mitch Robinson and Kane Lucas. Jarrad Waite, Robert Warnock, Troy Menzel and Josh Bootsma were called up as their replacements. Dennis Armfield (100 games) and Bryce Gibbs (150) reached career milestones, while Chris Yarran was asked to take another lesson in discipline and humility as the designated substitute.
A very good crowd of more than 31,000 thronged into Etihad Stadium on a cool Saturday afternoon under the closed roof, and they roared into voice from the first bounce when it was obvious that the Dogs were up for a scrap. The visitors dominated the first quarter, although they were very inaccurate in scoring 2.6 to Carlton’s 2.1. Troy Menzel kicked both of Carlton’s goals for the term – the first with a clever set-shot banana from the right forward pocket, and the second from 15 metres out dead in front, after the umpire awarded him a 50 metre penalty. From then on however, like most of his fellow forwards, the youngster was hardly sighted.
A goal to each side in the first minutes of the second quarter preceded an alarming incident when Bulldog Tom Campbell crashed head-first into a goal-post while flying for a mark. Television replays made viewers cringe, but he soon recovered and kicked the goal that gave the Westerners a 12-point break. Carlton then lifted, and with Heath Scotland prominent across half-back, the teams traded major for major amid some of the best football of the game. The tenacious Bulldogs led by 28 points after 20 minutes – having also sent four snap-shots sailing out of bounds - before the Blues responded and cut the margin to 15 points at the long break. Meanwhile, the sight of Matthew Watson hobbling off the field late in the term sent shivers through Carlton fans, and their fears were to be well-founded. While Yarran was subbed on in Watson’s place, from then on the Blues were critically short in defence.
In the first minutes of the third quarter, Carlton’s hopes of a second-half revival got off to a stuttering start when the usually-reliable Yarran twice missed with spot-up passes to his forwards. The Blues’ height deficiency was then painfully exposed by Bulldog Jarrad Grant, who posted his third major of the match. At this stage, the Dogs were clearly on top right across the park, and only their sloppy kicking for goal was keeping the Blues in contention. Even so, at the 18-minute mark of the quarter, clever play by Jarrad Waite deep in attack landed the ball with Chris Judd, whose goal from 25 metres kept his side in touch. And when Zach Tuohy unleashed another of his trademark bombs from the 50-metre line, the goal umpire raised two fingers and the difference had been cut to only six points.
At this point Carlton seemed to be gaining real momentum - only for Jeff Garlett to become the second major casualty for the Blues when he limped off the field with what appeared to be a serious hamstring strain. As he disappeared down into the rooms, Bulldog substitute Jason Tutt goaled to stretch his side’s lead back out to 13 points at the 24-minute mark. But the Blues kept coming, and a set-shot goal to Armfield, a miss by Waite and smart play by Lachie Henderson, Ed Curnow and Chris Yarran levelled the scores – just as Chris Judd also hobbled to the sidelines in obvious distress with a left knee injury. With 6 seconds left on the clock, the Bulldogs streamed forward with real purpose, and snatched back the lead with a goal to Daniel Giansiracusa.
With one fit player left on the interchange bench, Carlton began the last term facing a huge task, and it showed when Grant easily outmarked two Blues inside the 50 metre arc, before dishing off a handball to a running team-mate who kicked truly. A minute or two later, it was Grant again who waltzed through a feeble tackle to kick his fourth major of the game, and the Bulldogs had skipped away to a 19-point lead. Waite’s big mark and goal 9 minutes into the quarter turned out to be the last of the match for the Blues, who stopped to a walk in the last fifteen minutes, and were well beaten by a more disciplined and even opponent.
Best for Carlton on a day when supporters found it difficult to keep their emotions under control were Heath Scotland (31 disposals) Brock McLean (25 disposals, 6 tackles) and Ed Curnow – who ran with Bulldog star Adam Cooney for most of the match and just about broke even. In the ruck, Robbie Warnock was credited with an astounding 48 hit-outs, although many of them were sharked by the dominant Bulldog midfielders.
Subs: Chris Yarran replaced Matthew Watson during the 2nd quarter.
|B:||21 Josh Bootsma||40 Michael Jamison||10 Matthew Watson|
|HB:||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||4 Bryce Gibbs||42 Zach Tuohy|
|C:||35 Ed Curnow||5 Chris Judd||1 Andrew Walker|
|HF:||38 Jeffery Garlett||23 Lachlan Henderson||14 Brock McLean|
|F:||2 Troy Menzel||17 Sam Rowe||19 Eddie Betts|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||37 Jaryd Cachia||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)|
|Interchange:||27 Dennis Armfield||29 Heath Scotland||30 Jarrad Waite|
|Substitute:||13 Chris Yarran|
|Emergencies:||12 Mitch Robinson||26 Andrew McInnes||32 Nick Graham|
Milestones150 Games: Bryce Gibbs
100 Games: Dennis Armfield
Last Game: Jaryd Cachia
Consecutive Games: Jeffery Garlett's run of 85 straight games would come to an end with this match.
Brownlow Votes3. Adam Cooney, Footscray
2. Jarrad Grant, Footscray
1. Ryan Griffen, Footscray
Best & Fairest VotesBrock McLean 3, Heath Scotland 2
|8||Port Adelaide||19||11||8||0||1775||1668||+0||L 1||106.41||44|
|10||West Coast||19||9||10||0||1915||1802||+1||W 2||106.27||36|
|11||North Melbourne||19||8||11||0||1964||1629||-1||L 1||120.56||32|
|14||Gold Coast||19||7||12||0||1606||1799||+0||W 1||89.27||28|
|15||Western Bulldogs||19||6||13||0||1595||1961||+0||W 1||81.34||24|
|16||St Kilda||19||3||16||0||1464||1891||+0||L 7||77.42||12|
|18||GWS Giants||19||1||18||0||1356||2558||+0||L 1||53.01||4|
Round 19 | Round 21