|Date:||Saturday (afternoon) August 9, 2014|
|Result:||Won by 39 points|
|Goalkickers:||J. Waite 5, T. Bell 4, C. Judd 2, D. Thomas, B. Gibbs, B. McLean 1.|
|Umpires:||T. Burgess, R. Findlay, S. Wenn|
|Injuries:||C. Yarran (calf)|
Game ReviewAs Carlton’s season was once again racked by injury and off-field disciplinary problems, the Navy Blues posted their seventh win and all but ended Gold Coast’s finals hopes on this Saturday afternoon at Docklands. With Chris Judd and Jarrad Waite in vintage form, Carlton romped away to lead by eight goals at the long break, before the Suns rallied and trimmed the final margin to 39 points in a dour, low-scoring second half.
For much of 2014, Gold Coast had loomed as viable finals contenders - at least until early July, when their champion midfielder Gary Ablett went down with a season-ending shoulder injury. In his absence, the Suns had won only two of their next four matches, while sliding to ninth spot on the ladder. Meanwhile, Carlton was four rungs lower, having been beaten in a thriller by the Fremantle Dockers in round 19. In the midst of that defeat, versatile big man Lachie Henderson had suffered an eye socket fracture that curtailed his season as well. Then two senior players – Jeff Garlett and Mitch Robinson - put their futures in jeopardy by ignoring club protocol and getting involved in an early-morning brawl outside a city nightclub.
With much at stake for both clubs, Carlton made two changes to the team beaten by Fremantle. Rookie Irishman Ciaran Sheehan was called up for his first senior appearance in place of Henderson, while Troy Menzel’s return from injury forced Blaine Johnson out. Nick Graham was handed the substitute’s green vest, and with the stadium roof rolled back, both teams ran out into bright sunshine on a cool Melbourne afternoon.
At the opening bounce, Cameron Wood got the Blues off to a lightning start when his tap-out found Menzel, who kicked long to where Judd marked on the 50-metre arc. Showing no sign of the ankle injury that had hampered him throughout the second half of the previous week’s match, the Juddster steered the ball through for full points and the Blues were away. Waite added Carlton’s second major two minutes later when he ran into an open goal from 30 metres, but the Blues’ joy was tempered somewhat by the sight of Chris Yarran limping to the bench in obvious distress.
After less than 15 minutes of play, Yarran’s day came to a premature end when Graham replaced him, forcing Carlton’s coaching panel into a urgent revision of their plans. Meanwhile, Wood, Judd and Marc Murphy were right on top around the clearances and Waite was reaping the benefits. The Blues’ rangy forward took three strong marks inside 50 metres for the quarter, only to miss with each of his kicks. At quarter time, Carlton led by 19 points, but it really should have been more.
Highlights of Carlton’s dominance of the second term began with Waite’s fifth mark inside the forward 50, and his second goal from deep in the right forward pocket. He kicked his third for the match after eight minutes, charging onto a handpass from Judd and kicking truly from 35 metres. Three minutes later, Sheehan – who had already shown impressive poise on debut – pounced on a loose ball at centre wing, took a bounce and drove a long left-foot kick deep forward, where Bryce Gibbs marked and goaled to put the Blues almost five goals up. Tom Bell was another Blue who joined in the goal spree in this quarter, bouncing through a long shot on his left foot deep into time-on, followed by another on his right foot just before the half-time siren to stretch Carlton’s advantage to 46 points.
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna went into damage control after half-time, sending an extra man into defence and crowding play around the stoppages. His counterpart Mick Malthouse seemed to accept the situation, and with the result never really in doubt, the second half was a stalemate. Tom Bell kicked his fourth goal for the match (and Carlton’s only major for the term) with a laser-straight set shot from the boundary line six minutes into the third quarter, and at the last break Carlton maintained control by 46 points.
Both sides wound down the clock in the final quarter, and the game petered out into something of an anti-climax as the Suns out-scored the Blues by 3.4 to 2.2 and cut the final margin to 39 points. Two minutes before the final siren, Waite marked deep in the left forward pocket and kicked his fifth goal, continuing his resurrection after a disappointing start to the season. Had he capitalised on his earlier opportunities, he could well have reached double figures.
On a day when there were large numbers everywhere on the stat sheets for the Blues, Chris Judd’s 27 possessions (15 contested) 9 clearances and 2 goals stood out, alongside Waite’s 22 disposals, 9 marks and 5 goals. Kade Simpson (30 possessions) Bryce Gibbs (28) and Dale Thomas (27) were also prolific. Ciaran Sheehan impressed throughout on debut, especially because his first six kicks were delivered at 100% efficiency. Cameron Wood was the outstanding ruckman on the ground with 38 hit-outs, while Tom Bell’s four goals set a new personal best for the Blues’ midfield bulldozer.
Subs: Nick Graham replaced Chris Yarran early in the 1st quarter.
|B:||17 Sam Rowe||40 Michael Jamison (DVC)||15 Sam Docherty|
|HB:||39 Dale Thomas||42 Zach Tuohy||47 Ciaran ‘Gus’ Sheehan|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)||5 Chris Judd||28 Tom Bell|
|HF:||13 Chris Yarran||41 Levi Casboult||2 Troy Menzel|
|F:||43 Simon White||30 Jarred Waite||14 Brock McLean|
|Ruck:||36 Cameron Wood||4 Bryce Gibbs||44 Andrew Carrazzo (VC)|
|Interchange:||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||35 Ed Curnow||46 David Ellard|
|Substitute:||32 Nick Graham|
|Emergencies:||10 Matthew Watson||27 Dennis Armfield||45 Blaine Johnson|
- Chris Yarran started as a loose man in defence
MilestonesDebut: Ciaran ‘Gus’ Sheehan
Game Milestones: This is Carlton's 2,400th League Game
Interesting Fact No.1: Dale Thomas became the first player to play in both 2,400th games by the only two sides to reach this milestone. Collingwood's was against Richmond in Round 4, 2013.
Interesting Fact No.2: This would be the last time that Carlton would kick 11 goals in the first half of a game until Round 2, 2022 when they defeated the Western Bulldogs.
Brownlow Votes3. Chris Judd, Carlton
2. Jarrad Waite, Carlton
1. Tom Bell, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesChris Judd 10, Kade Simpson 10, Jarrad Waite 10, Tom Bell 9, Dale Thomas 9, Bryce Gibbs 6, Marc Murphy 6, Andrew Carrazzo 5, Zach Tuohy 3, Sam Docherty 2, Michael Jamison 2, David Ellard 1, Cameron Wood 1,
Round 19 | Round 21