|Date:||Saturday, August 18, 2013|
|Result:||Won by 10 points|
|Goalkickers:||B. McLean, L. Henderson, L. Casboult (3), B. Gibbs, T. Menzel (2), M. Robinson, K. Simpson, Z. Tuohy (1).|
|Umpires:||S. McBurney, S. McInerney, S. Wenn|
Game ReviewA week after suffering a shock loss to the Western Bulldogs, a revamped Carlton side redeemed itself with a gutsy 10-point victory over finals-bound Richmond in this willing contest at the MCG. The Tigers blasted out of the blocks to lead by 5 goals at quarter time, forcing Carlton coach Mick Malthouse (on the occasion of his 60th birthday) into a number of decisive positional changes. From then on, the Blues steadily fought their way back into the match, and went on to score their best win of the season to date.
In the aftermath of Carlton’s meek surrender to the Bulldogs, the match committee made five changes to the line-up to face the Tigers. Out went Chris Judd, Matthew Watson and Jeff Garlett (all injured) as well as Jaryd Cachia and Sam Rowe (omitted). In came Tom Bell, Mitch Robinson, Robert Warnock, Levi Casboult and 19 year-old first-gamer Nick Graham, whose form with the Northern Blues over the previous month or so had demanded his promotion. Graham was named as the Blues’ substitute, before Carlton skipper Marc Murphy won the toss, and chose to kick to the Punt Road end.
As the teams took up their positions, alarm bells started ringing at the sight of youngster Josh Bootsma at full-back for Carlton, manning-up on Richmond star Jack Riewoldt. It seemed like a boy had been sent on a man’s mission, and within five short minutes those fears were realised. By then, Riewoldt had taken four marks, and Richmond had kicked three goals to nil in a blistering start. Michael Jamison was immediately switched back to his regular position, and Carlton’s defence tightened up, although the Tigers were well on top at quarter time. An eight goal quarter with the wind gave them a commanding lead of 30 points.
After a fiery address by Malthouse during the break, Bryce Gibbs began Carlton’s resurgence with a brilliant goal in the first minute of the second term. After bouncing his way around the boundary line at right half-forward, he kicked long to the goal-square from outside the 50-metre arc, and watched with joy as the ball drifted right and through for full points. McLean (who booted 3 goals for the quarter) Robinson, Henderson, Walker and Simpson were outstanding for the Blues after that, in an entertaining quarter of hard, contested football from both sides. Carlton kicked 6.2 to Richmond’s 2.1 for the term, and at half-time trailed by only 5 points.
Richmond needed to score heavily in the third quarter, but it was the Bluebaggers who snatched the initiative with a goal to Kade Simpson after only 50 seconds of play, allowing Carlton to nose in front for the first time in the match. The Tigers were far from done however, and soon regained the ascendancy with a strong mark and goal by their ruckman Vickery. The intensity lifted again as Carlton’s midfield took control, and Levi Casboult kicked two late goals to see the Blues in front by just three points on the three-quarter time siren. Meanwhile, Josh Bootsma was subbed off, and Nick Graham came on to a warm reception.
Urged on by the seething 60,000-strong crowd, the final term opened with a big mark by ‘Sky’ Walker at half-back, quickly followed by a trademark long goal to Zach Tuohy. Playing his 50th senior game, the popular Irishman took a handpass from Eddie Betts on the 50-metre line, and drilled another of his trademark long bombs to give his side a 9-point break that was maintained through to the final siren. To their credit Richmond kept coming, but they were unable to get within one straight kick of the Blues, who were more poised, more determined, and thoroughly deserved their victory.
In a side that had few passengers, there were plenty of valuable contributors throughout for Carlton – none more so than Mitch Robinson, who tempered his aggression with real skill, and notched up 25 disposals at 88% efficiency, 9 marks and 5 tackles. Brock McLean collected 27 possessions and kicked three goals, while Ed Curnow continued to develop and seemed to have found his niche in a midfield run-with role. Given the huge task of controlling Richmond captain Trent Cotchin, Curnow applied himself with aplomb, restricting the Tiger playmaker to only 14 possessions (4 in the first half) while racking up 17 disposals, 6 tackles and four clearances himself.
Others who shone were Kade Simpson (25 disposals at 80%) Andrew Walker (27 possessions and 6 marks) Jarrad Waite - who steadied the Carlton defence, especially after half-time - and Bryce Gibbs (23 possessions, 6 marks and two goals). Lachie Henderson and Levi Casboult both provided viable targets in attack to finish with three goals apiece, while Nick Graham showcased his potential with nine last-quarter possessions.
Now two wins outside the top eight with two rounds to go, the Blues still had a slim chance of making the finals, so wins over Essendon and Port Adelaide in the coming fortnight were non-negotiable. After that, the future lay entirely in the laps of the footy gods.
Subs: Nick Graham replaced Josh Bootsma late in the third quarter.
|B:||40 Michael Jamison||21 Josh Bootsma||26 Andrew McInnes|
|HB:||42 Zach Tuohy||1 Andrew Walker||6 Kade Simpson (VC)|
|C:||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)||14 Brock McLean||29 Heath Scotland|
|HF:||4 Bryce Gibbs||23 Lachlan Henderson||12 Mitch Robinson|
|F:||2 Troy Menzel||30 Jarrad Waite||27 Dennis Armfield|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||35 Ed Curnow||19 Eddie Betts|
|Interchange:||13 Chris Yarran||28 Tom Bell||41 Levi Casboult|
|Substitute:||32 Nick Graham|
|Emergencies:||9 Kane Lucas||17 Sam Rowe||37 Jaryd Cachia|
MilestonesDebut: Nick Graham
Last Game: Josh Bootsma
50 Games: Zach Tuohy
Interesting Fact: This was the 9th biggest comeback from a quarter-time deficit win in Carlton's history, with the Tigers going into the first break with an imposing 30-point lead.
Interesting Fact: This day also marked Mick Malthouse's 60th birthday.
Brownlow Votes3. Brock McLean, Carlton
2. Brett Deledio, Richmond
1. Andrew Walker, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesBrock McLean 9, Ed Curnow 8, Andrew Walker 7, Mitch Robinson 6, Kade Simpson 6, Michael Jamison 5, Dennis Armfield 4, Levi Casboult 4, Bryce Gibbs 4, Marc Murphy 4, Zach Tuohy 4, Lachie Henderson 3, Andrew McInnes 2, Robert Warnock 2
|8||Port Adelaide||20||12||8||0||1888||1764||+0||W 1||107.03||48|
|10||North Melbourne||20||9||11||0||2079||1699||+1||W 1||122.37||36|
|11||West Coast||20||9||11||0||1956||1909||-1||L 1||102.46||36|
|14||Gold Coas||20||7||13||0||1702||1912||+0||L 1||89.02||28|
|15||Western Bulldogs||20||7||13||0||1726||2075||+0||W 2||83.18||28|
|16||St Kilda||20||3||17||0||1523||2009||+0||L 8||75.81||12|
|18||GWS Giants||20||1||19||0||1419||2681||+0||L 2||52.93||4|
Round 20 | Round 22