Carlton topple the top team, Collingwood, to win 6 in a row and surge toward the finals

Round 20, 2023

Carlton 3.4 22 7.5 47 10.6 66 14.9 93
Collingwood 3.4 22 4.6 30 6.11 47 10.16 76
Venue: MCG.
Date: Friday July 28, 202 (7.50pm)
Result: Won by 17 points
Crowd: 86,785
Goalkickers: C. Curnow, 6.0, J. Martin 3.1, J. Motlop 2.0, M. Owies 1.2, A. Cincotta 1.0, M. McGovern 1.0, B. Acres 0.1, A. Cerra 0.1, M. Cottrell 0.1, S. Docherty 0.1, L. Forgarty 0.1, Rushed 0.1.
Reports: Patrick Cripps was charges with rough conduct on Pies Isaaac Quaynor in the last quarter, he received a $2000 fine with an early plea.
Umpires: 11 - Curtis Deboy 16 - Brendan Hosking 23 - Robert Findlay 32 - Jacob Mollison
Injuries: A. Cerra (hamstring)
Ladder: 7th

Game Review

Brilliant Blues record impassioned win

Carlton defeated Collingwood by 17 points in a pulsating game at the MCG. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.

How Sweet it is.
Carlton has recorded its sixth win in succession, accounting for old enemy Collingwood by 17 points in front of a packed home of football. With 86,785 in the house, the Blues overcame an early swoop from the Magpies to lead for the majority of the contest, taking home the Peter Mac Cup in the process. It was once again an all-round team showing for the Blues, with Nic Newman and Jacob Weitering brilliant in defence, Adam Cerra shining in the middle before being subbed out with a hamstring strain, and a six-goal haul from Charlie Curnow ending with the Richard Pratt Medal for best on ground.

Quarter one
Fresh off a two-year contract, Tom De Koning start in the centre bounce for the Blues, as did Sam Docherty. Collingwood’s start was ferocious, kicking the opening two goals inside the first 10 minutes before Carlton could fire a shot. It was a forward-turned-defender who fired that very shot, when Mitch McGovern launched truly from inside the centre square to get the Blues on the board. Brodie Kemp and Jacob Weitering were busy early, taking a pair of intercept marks as the Pies continued to press. It could’ve been an egregious start for the Blues, but unlike when these two sides met in Round 10, the team was able to respond, stemming the bleeding before getting momentum on their side. The wingmen in Ollie Hollands and Blake Acres were busy on both sides of the ball, before small forwards Jesse Motlop and Jack Martin kicked truly. A flurry of late behinds meant scores were level at the first change, with the Blues getting on top around the ball (+10 contested possessions) but the Pies more efficient in turning their forward forays to scoring opportunities.

Quarter two
Ill discipline threatened to take the game away for the Blues early in the piece, with a series of downfield free kicks handing the Pies the lead back. However, just as the team did in the first term, Carlton was able to recalibrate and respond, troubling Collingwood with their aggression at the ball and man. It started at the source and there was no greater embodiment of that than Adam Cerra: the on-baller was brilliant in the second term, accumulating 10 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency as well as five clearances to get his side rolling. Despite Charlie Curnow getting plenty of attention from the excellent Darcy Moore, the Blues were finding different avenues to goal, as a passionate Matthew Owies got the Carlton faithful roaring. At the other end of the ground, Weitering continued to do what he’s done for the last two months, intercepting brilliantly on the last line, while Nic Newman’s contest and class was once again at the forefront. The final four goals of the term saw the Blues take a 17-point lead into the main break.

Quarter three
While the Blues had the running leading into the main break, there was never any doubt that the Pies would come, and that was shown with a Josh Daicos goal inside the opening minute of the half. Carlton’s task was about to get a bit more difficult, when Cerra - who was clearly best afield to the main break - was subbed out due to hamstring tightness. In his absence, the Blues needed to step up, and Curnow was the man to step up to the plate. Kicking two goals for the term, Carlton was able to keep Collingwood at arm’s length, with the Blues’ wingers doing plenty of work offensively and defensively: Hollands provided an assist for Jack Martin’s third after a spoil on the last line, while a desperate lunge from Acres in the goal square stopped a certain goal. It was the kind of desperation which typified the team all night, particularly by the small forwards, with the Blues posting 10 forward-50 tackles to four at the final change. Newman continued an exemplary night and individual season with some brilliant moments behind the ball, as Carlton’s defensive mix just about held on in a desperate final stanza to hold onto a 19-point lead.

Quarter four
Nobody in attendance nor those watching at home would’ve needed any reminders about what could happen in a last quarter when the Blues play the Pies. All eyes were on who could rip the game apart from either side, and the answer was - as it so often has been in the last 18 months - Charlie Curnow. The Pies had no answer for the key forward, who kicked three final-quarter goals - all from free kicks - to the delight of the Carlton faithful at a packed MCG. Of course, he wasn’t alone, with Patrick Cripps fighting for every possession and willing himself to every contest as he has so often done against the old enemy. While Jeremy Howe provided a nuisance up forward from a Carlton point of view, the Blues were able to keep the Pies at an arm’s length, prevailing by 17 points for their sixth win in a row — and their first over the old enemy since 2021.

Best: N. Newman, C. Curnow, J. Weitering, B. Acres, J. Martin, P. Cripps, A. Cerra.

Three things we learned
1. If there was a discussion about Charlie Curnow kicking goals against supposed lowly teams, Friday night debunked that theory — as unlikely as it seemed at half time. Curnow was on one goal and had been an unselfish focal point rather than dominant goalkicker in the opening two terms, but he ripped it apart in the third and fourth quarters. Finishing with six goals for the game, Curnow was electric in a Richard Pratt Medal-winning performance, and he was well supported by a clever Jack Martin (three goals), classy Jesse Motlop (two goals) and fiery Matt Owies (one goal).
2. It was an impressive rear-guard performance from the Blues, and a few leaders were at the forefront of that. Coming home with a bullet in terms of All-Australian selection, Jacob Weitering didn’t let Brody Mihocek get the better of him on this occasion, restricting him to just eight possessions. Then, there was Nic Newman, who was leading from the front when it came to the Blues getting in the face of the opposition. He finished with more disposals and contested possessions than any other Blue, while also accumulating seven tackles.
3. Carlton’s growth in the last six weeks was there for all to see under Friday night lights. Up against the clear benchmark of the competition, the Blues were tenacious in offence and defence in equal measure, sweating on the Pies’ every move as has been a hallmark of recent weeks. With 10 more clearances, 33 more contested possessions and 10 more tackles, the Blues weren’t going to die wondering: Cripps led the charge, with his 10 tackles comfortably the most of anyone on the night.

Players "wanted that moment", believes Voss

Michael Voss sums up the Round 20 win over Collingwood. - By Carlton Media

"We've got to keep chasing."
There hasn't been a Carlton win under Michael Voss as impressive as the 17-point triumph over the ladder-leading Collingwood, and the AFL Senior Coach couldn't hide his pride for not only his players, but also the football club. However, despite a performance where the Blues out-pressured and out-hunted the best team in the competition, he's conscious that there's still work to be done, no matter the feeling in the rooms post-match. Here's what he had to say.

On the game as a whole:
“It was a fantastic performance. Even late in the game at three-quarter time and talking to the players, they just wanted that moment. We wanted to get back to that stage, to see what’s different and what stands up: they stepped into it. “We didn’t change anything with the way we wanted to play. We stayed daring, we still wanted to bring pressure on the ball, we didn’t want to change things if Collingwood came. They stayed really present in the moment and finished off the game really strongly.”

On the players’ mindset:
“The game had a different feel. It’s hard to describe, but the energy was they were really looking forward to it. You put yourself in positions and that’s all you can do, then you’ve got to close it. “We learnt a lot about ourselves in those situations last year, and we’ve learned a lot about ourselves in recent times — which were pretty tough times. Through that, we’ve been able to stick together, stay connected and transfer some of that off-field connection to on-field. “They’re really playing a selfless brand of football, playing for each other and don’t want to let each other down.”

On the shift in the last two months:
“There were some tough days and a lot of really tough conversations. There were tough conversations from the leaders to the players, there were tough conversations amongst us as coaches about what was it and what clarity did we need to be able to provide and what we were going to value moving forward. “Clearly, there were a lot of tough conversations between coaches and players and the leadership group. This doesn’t just happen on the back of just the players, it comes off the back of a football club. There were plenty of those moments where we could’ve gone a different way, but we didn’t. We stuck together, and I think it says a lot about our club now.”

On Adam Cerra’s hamstring:
“I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you if it’s in the same area or not. It’s a bit crowded in that room at the moment! We’ll get a full debrief in the coming days. “It’s obviously disappointing to lose him, but at the same time, ‘Dowy’ has been able to come in and get a job done when we’ve asked him to. That’s been the other part that we’ve asked players to do at different times: we’ve had personnel challenges, and guys have stepped up to get their jobs done. “There’s some individual brilliance in there that players are delivering on, but largely it’s off the back of playing your role, getting your job done and sticking together.”

On Carlton’s appetite for the contest:
“They’re the best ground ball team in the competition, they certainly have been to this point in the season. To look at that number and know you haven’t just been able to do that at the contest, but do that away from the contest, says a lot about our effort and intensity. "There’s a little bit of system behind that, but the ability for the boys to not just win it at the contest - but work away from it, and turn up to the next one - was particularly impressive. “There were some really special efforts from our forwards tonight. Any time Collingwood wanted to get that ball live, we were coming. It’s been a bit of a trait of the boys over the last little period of time.”

On the Richard Pratt Medallist, Charlie Curnow:
“He’s in incredible form. I can’t understand this commentary that he only kicks goals against West Coast. I don’t get it, it’s AFL football. It’s tough. “To be able to do that against some quality opposition was really impressive. Hopefully he just feels that he needs to get his job done, and no more than that. If there’s rewards on the back of it, then so be it, but he’s in some pretty hot form.”

On the work still to come:
“On reflection, there’s maybe a situation where you feel like you have something to lose. We feel like we’ve got something to gain, something to go after, something to chase. We’re not there yet, so we’ve got to keep chasing. “What we’ve also learned is that we’ve got to keep enjoying what we’re doing. You don’t have to put your mind forward, just stay where you are, keep your eyes where your feet are and we’ll be okay. Keep enjoying it. There was a patch there that were hard yards. Even when we were winning, we weren’t enjoying the process as well as we should’ve, because we weren’t playing the way we wanted to play. Expectations and outcomes were getting on top of us a bit. “It’s about enjoying the journey we’re on and being present with one another, we’re not going to change that. I’d imagine there’d be conversations about what it might look like in a month’s time, but I’m not concerned about that. I’m concerned about what we do next.”

On the impact of senior Blues:
“Our leaders have been unbelievable. Our people have been unbelievable. They stuck to the job was to try and keep creating the right environment. If we were really consistent and didn’t deviate, just keep tinkering with things - because we knew we had to make some adjustments - and as a football support staff, we stayed calm. “I’ve been really impressed with our leaders in recent times. “The first conversation I had with them when we had to have some tough ones was I had to have it with them and where they saw themselves as leaders. They accepted it, nobody blinked. That says a lot about them.”

One for the Blue believers: Pies stunned as Carlton dreams big

Charlie Curnow kicks six goals as Carlton upsets Collingwood to stay in the race for finals - By Gemma Bastiani

Carlton has beaten the seemingly unbeatable, seeing off ladder-leaders Collingwood by 17 points to make it six straight wins and - at least temporarily - move to fifth spot on the ladder. A stunning five-goal second half from Charlie Curnow kept the Blues' streak alive as they won 14.9 (93) to Collingwood's inaccurate 10.16 (76) at a packed MCG. But the victory came at a cost. Arguably the best on ground across the first half, Blues midfielder Adam Cerra racked up 20 disposals and six clearances before being subbed off early in the third quarter with a hamstring concern. Curnow finished the game with six goals from 15 disposals and five marks to move to 67 for the season, stretching his lead atop the Coleman Medal leaderboard and surpassing his tally from last season. It was a worried start for Carlton, with Collingwood powerful out of stoppage, creating space in attack and dominating the air to quickly get out to a 14-point lead before the Blues could hit the scoreboard.

The Pies used short kicks to calmly move inside 50, exposing some disorganisation in the Carlton defence. But once the Blues found some territory, they were able to intercept the Pies' attempts to exit and turn up the pressure. By lowering their eyes going inside 50, Carlton was able to minimise the impact of interception kings Darcy Moore (16 disposals, 10 intercepts) and Nathan Murphy (13 disposals, nine intercepts). Ill-discipline, however, did let Carlton down. Every time they grabbed control of the game, playing in the forward half and trapping Collingwood in defence, the Blues would give away the ball with unnecessary free kicks and 50m penalties.

Collingwood worked to stretch an undersized Carlton defence. Darcy Cameron (31 hitouts, 12 disposals, one goal) forced opposing rucks Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning to defend grimly, Dan McStay (two goals, seven marks) exploited some mismatches on direct opponents, and when Mason Cox was subbed off due a lack of impact, Jeremy Howe was moved into attack in the final quarter and had his first multiple-goal game since 2016. The Blues were only saved by some wayward shots on goal from the Pies. Beau McCreery missed two simple shots, as did Jamie Elliott, while some peppering in the third quarter failed to narrow the half-time margin.

A one-on-one match-up between Collingwood captain Darcy Moore and Curnow was entertaining all night as it ebbed and flowed. At times it was Moore's strong intercept marking on show, at others it was Curnow effectively finding the ground ball. Meanwhile, at the other end, Jacob Weitering (18 disposals, 11 marks, 10 intercepts) had one of his best games for the season. Intercepting the ball beautifully, he was also ever-present on the desperate last line to set the standard for his fellow defenders.

Best: C. Curnow, P. Cripps, N. Newman, J. Weitering, J. Motlop, O. Hollands, A. Cerra.

A hamstrung midfield
Already without Sam Walsh due to a hamstring issue, Carlton lost its best player in the first half as Adam Cerra went down with the same injury early in the third quarter. Cerra was the architect through the middle of the ground for the Blues, gathering 20 disposals (nine contested), five inside 50s and six clearances to half time. Everything becomes that much harder for the Carlton midfield without its pair of gun mids

Carlton's midfield runs deep
Heading into Friday night's match against Collingwood without young gun Sam Walsh and losing Adam Cerra halfway through the game, one could be forgiven for expecting the Blues to struggle at the contest against the Pies' midfield. But what played out couldn't have been further from that expectation with the Blues winning the clearances by 10 and the contested possession count by 33 in their 17-point win over the Pies. Granted, Cerra set the tone early, winning six clearances in the opening half, but the rest of the midfield rose to the occasion. Captain Patrick Cripps finished with seven clearances, substitute Paddy Dow five and Blake Acres four. At the contest, Nic Newman, George Hewett and Cripps combined for 31 contested possessions, an encouraging sign for the Blues as they eye off a first finals series since 2013.

Final Richard Pratt Medal votes as Blues take home 28th Peter Mac Cup

Both the Peter Mac Cup and Richard Pratt Medal were in the hands of Blues come the end of Friday night. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media

Patrick Cripps and Carlton took home the 28th Peter Mac Cup on Friday night. The 2023 contest marked 30 years since the first cup was awarded, marking the longest running charity match in VFL/AFL history between the two old enemies. Last night marked the 16th occasion the Blues had taken the cup back to IKON Park. Looking to raise both awareness and funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, it’s a cause close to everyone at both clubs, and particularly Sam Docherty, who was pictured in the rooms with the cup post-match.

Few can dictate the outstanding work of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre than Docherty, who sought treatment at the world-leading institute upon his cancer diagnosis a few years ago. Leading the way for cancer research, education and treatment, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is Australia’s only public health service solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer. He said as much in his visit on Monday to kick off the week, and his close mate in Cripps took his post-match speech on Friday night to highlight what the occasion means to the wider football club. “This round means a lot to us and this game,” Cripps said. “A special mate of ours went through a tough time, and to see what Peter Mac does for people struggling is huge. “To everybody out there who is going through their own battle right now: if you’re family, get around them, and keep fighting.” The night also saw Charlie Curnow awarded the Richard Pratt Medal, awarded to the best player on the ground by three members of the media.

Named in honour of the former Carlton player, committeeman, major donor and President who passed away from prostate cancer in 2009, the Pratt Foundation was established in 2011, aiming to identify significantly improved treatment for sufferers of prostate cancer. Curnow received the best-on-ground honours for his six-goal haul, with five of those coming in a dynamic second half. He received the full complement of votes, with co-vice captain Jacob Weitering coming in next best.

Carlton's midfield runs deep

Heading into Friday night's match against Collingwood without young gun Sam Walsh and losing Adam Cerra halfway through the game, one could be forgiven for expecting the Blues to struggle at the contest against the Pies' midfield. But what played out couldn't have been further from that expectation with the Blues winning the clearances by 10 and the contested possession count by 33 in their 17-point win over the Pies. Granted, Cerra set the tone early, winning six clearances in the opening half, but the rest of the midfield rose to the occasion. Captain Patrick Cripps finished with seven clearances, substitute Paddy Dow five and Blake Acres four. At the contest, Nic Newman, George Hewett and Cripps combined for 31 contested possessions, an encouraging sign for the Blues as they eye off a first finals series since 2013. - Gemma Bastiani

Richard Pratt Medal votes

Luke Hodge
3 - Charlie Curnow
2 - Jacob Weitering
1 - Jack Martin

Jason Dunstall
3 - Charlie Curnow
2 - Jacob Weitering
1 - Nic Newman

Gerard Healy
3 - Charlie Curnow
2 - Jacob Weitering
1 - Adam Cerra

Richard Pratt Medal final vote count
9 — Charlie Curnow: 3, 3, 3
6 — Jacob Weitering: 2, 2, 2
1 — Adam Cerra: 1
1 — Jack Martin: 1
1 — Nic Newman: 1


B: 17 Brodie Kemp 23 Jacob Weitering 24 Nic Newman
HB: 11 Mitch McGovern 22 Caleb Marchbank 42 Adam Saad
C: 14 Ollie Hollands 9 Patrick Cripps (c) 13 Blake Acres
HF: 8 Lachie Fogarty 28 David Cuningham 46 Matthew Cottrell
F: 27 Marc Pittonet 30 Charlie Curnow 21 Jack Martin
Ruck: 12 Tom De Koning 29 George Hewett 15 Sam Docherty
Interchange: 3 Jesse Motlop 5 Adam Cerra 39 Alex Cincotta
44 Matt Owies
Substitute: 2 Paddy Dow
Coach: Michael Voss
Emergencies: 25 Zac Fisher 26 Lachie Cowan 33 Lewis Young

In: Adam Cerra, Patrick Cripps, Jack Martin, Caleb Marchbank, Marc Pittonet, Matt Owies
Out: Jack Silvagni & Sam Walsh, (both injured), Lachie Cowan, Ed Curnow, Josh Honey, Lewis Young (all omitted)

Substitute: Paddy Dow (replaced Adam Cerra in 3rd Quarter).


150th Game (AFL) : George Hewett
Richard Pratt Medal: Charlie Curnow


9 - Charlie Curnow (CARL)
7 - Nic Newman (CARL)
5 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
4 - Jack Martin (CARL)
3 - Darcy Cameron (COLL)
2 - Patrick Cripps (CARL)

Brownlow Votes

3 - Charlie Curnow (CARL)
2 - Jacob Weitering (CARL)
1 - Jack Martin (CARL)

Best and Fairest Votes


Round 19 | Round 21
Contributors to this page: Jarusa , Bombasheldon , WillowBlue and molsey .
Page last modified on Thursday 21 of March, 2024 01:56:52 AEDT by Jarusa.

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