|Sunday 21st August, 2022 (3.20 pm).
|Lost by 1 point.
|C. Curnow 2.5, H. McKay 2.3, A. Cerra 2.0, J. Motlop 2.0, M. Owies 1.0, S. Docherty 1.0, M. Cottrell 0.1, C. Durdin 0.1, L. O'Brien 0.1, J. Martin 0.1, W. Setterfield 0.1, Rushed 0.1.
|Craig Fleer, Hayden Gavine, Simon Meredith.
Collingwood has done it again. And Jamie Elliott has done it again. The Magpies have denied Carlton a finals spot by the finest of margins in the most dramatic fashion imaginable to secure a double chance in September. It was supposed to be a day of redemption for the Blues and it looked like Michael Voss would guide Carlton to the finals for the first time since 2013 when they kicked eight goals to one in the third quarter. But just when the game looked dead and buried, Collingwood climbed off the canvas to kick the final five goals to secure a one-point win and sink the enemy in front of 88,287 people at the MCG.
It wasn't quite as clutch as a shot after the siren he managed against Essendon a month ago, but Elliott did it again to clinch the 11.9 (75) to 10.14 (74) victory, locking in a top-four spot, just 12 months after finishing second last with only six wins on the board. After starting the season 8-2, the Blues needed only one win from the final month of 2022 to return to September, but will now watch on next month after losses against Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and now Collingwood. It is a cruel game. When Carlton turned a 19-point half-time deficit into a 24-point lead at the final change, it looked home. But you can never rule Craig McRae's side out.
For the ninth time since round 11, the Magpies held on by single digits with the sweetest of wins. Like many of Collingwood's wins in the second half of the season – it has won 12 of 13 since falling to the Western Bulldogs in round nine – it looked beaten before finding a way to win. Carlton won all the key indicators – contested ball (+54), disposals (+22), inside 50's (+21) and clearances (+12) – but lost on the scoreboard. The difference, in the end, was scoring efficiency. The Blues kicked 0.6 to 5.1 in the last quarter. Charlie Curnow (2.5 from 17 disposals and eight marks) and Harry McKay (2.3 from 16 disposals and 10 marks) were enormous, but wasteful in front of goal.
Curnow finishes the season with the Coleman Medal – four ahead of Tom Lynch – after kicking 64 goals in the home and away season, providing Carlton with back-to-back winners. It is the first time two players from the same club have won the prize in consecutive years since the start of the 20th century when Essendon pair Fred Hiskins and Albert Thurgood saluted in 1900 and 1901.
But after spending the entire home and away season inside the top eight – five weeks inside the top four – Carlton missed the finals. McRae and Voss played in the famous Brisbane three-peat together and have remained great mates. Dinner was on the line today, just like it was back in round 11 when Collingwood prevailed by four points in front of more than 80,000 people. Voss picked up the tab last time. It will be his turn again, but this will hurt even more.
Late out for the Blues
Carlton star Sam Walsh was a massive late out ahead of the must-win clash after failing to overcome back soreness in time to face the Pies. The 22-year-old missed the opening game of the season due to a syndesmosis injury, before missing the final game of the year. Much like Jordan De Goey for the Pies against Sydney last weekend, the loss of Walsh proved to be a major blow for the Blues.
Huge crowd for Blockbuster Finish
More than 80,000 people turned up when these two sides last faced off back in round 11, just shy of the biggest mark for 2022 – 84,205 – on Anzac Day. The MCC had been aiming to better that mark between Collingwood and Essendon and it got there on a perfect Sunday afternoon as 88,287 fans crammed in on the final day of the home and away season in the biggest crowd since the pandemic.
Recruit fires on Big Stage
This is why Nick Austin and Brad Lloyd went and got Adam Cerra from Fremantle. Arguably the biggest fish in last year's Trade Period, alongside Jordan Dawson, the 22-year-old missed last week with a groin injury and has been good without being great of late. But with Walsh a late out, Matt Kennedy and George Hewett not playing, Cerra produced his best game yet in navy blue, just when Michael Voss needed him most. The former Docker finished with 27 disposals, six clearances and two goals.
Carlton has missed out on September for the ninth consecutive season despite winning eight of the first 10 games, but Blues coach Michael Voss doesn't see the fadeout as a failure. The Blues looked destined to return to the finals for the first time since 2013 after making a brilliant start to the campaign under the new coach, but will spend the summer analysing what went wrong on the run home, when they lost six of their final eight games. After recovering from 19 points down at half-time on Sunday to lead Collingwood by 24 points at three-quarter time, the Blues were beaten in the dying minutes by Craig McRae's side, which prevailed by a point to ensure the Western Bulldogs finished in eighth spot instead of Carlton. "I don't tend to look at it (as a failure). It (2022) is a massive step forward. There will be a time when we sit down through the week and unpack the whole season and what it looked like, but we had a goal to create a transformation here and we've gone a long way to be able to do that," Voss said on Sunday night.
"We also know where we are and that is we have to get better. We've shown that we are somewhere about seventh to 10th but that's not where we want to be; we want to be better than that. "We've got to get back to work and that might end up meaning that we've got to look at our profile and how we play, our style of footy and how we sustain our intensity for longer periods of time. There will be some change in that. "The reality is we're not here just to make finals; we're here to be a top-four footy club and we sustainably want to be great. We've fallen short of that mark. We've got to get back to work and we will. We'll review it really hard and reflect; we'll take the great moments out of it, but we've got to get better." Carlton needed to win only one of its final four games but four consecutive losses to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne – with only 11 seconds remaining on the clock – and now Collingwood will ensure it will be a summer of reflection at Princes Park. "This thing was on our boot. We had a month to get it right and we didn't. You get what you deserve in this game," Voss said.
"The reality is we put ourselves in a great position and we didn't finish it. We played against some quality opposition to finish off the year. Some quality opposition and we went toe-to-toe with them, but the toe-to-toe didn't get us over the line unfortunately. "There is something there with this group. For Carlton fans and supporters, there is some promise there and hopefully we've given them a little bit of belief about what we're going to be about going forward." Voss said star midfielder Sam Walsh wasn't close to playing against Collingwood after being withdrawn an hour before the first bounce due to back soreness. "He wasn't really that close. He pulled up really sore. He got through last week's game pretty sore and he just couldn't get going yesterday," he said. "The call was made that it wasn't even worth trying. He would have been right in a couple of weeks, but he fell short for this one."
|22 Caleb Marchbank
|13 Liam Stocker
|33 Lewis Young
|42 Adam Saad
|23 Jacob Weitering
|11 Mitch McGovern
|4 Lochie O'Brien
|9 Patrick Cripps (c)
|25 Zac Fisher
|21 Jack Martin
|10 Harry McKay
|19 Corey Durdin
|44 Matt Owies
|30 Charlie Curnow
|1 Jack Silvagni
|27 Marc Pittonet
|15 Sam Docherty
|43 Will Setterfield
|3 Jesse Motlop
|5 Adam Cerra
|6 Zac Williams
|46 Matt Cottrell
|32 Jack Newnes
|12 Tom De Koning
|18 Sam Walsh
|40 Will Hayes
Medi-Sub: Jack Newnes (unused).
Late Change: Sam Walsh (back soreness) replaced in selected side by Lochie O'Brien who was replaced as the Medi-Sub by Jack Newnes and George Hewett was replaced as an emergency by Will Hayes.
In: Adam Cerra, Zac Williams.
Out: Sam Walsh (back soreness), Paddy Dow (medi-sub omitted).
Jack Newnes, Liam Stocker, Will Setterfield (Carlton),
Patrick Cripps (CARL)
5 - Scott Pendlebury (COLL)
5 - Sam Docherty (CARL)
4 - Adam Cerra (CARL)
4 - Brayden Maynard (COLL)
1 - Josh Daicos (COLL)
1 - Darcy Moore (COLL)
Round 22 | 2023