|Metricon Stadium, QLD.
|Sunday 10th April 2022 (4.10 pm).
|Lost by 30 points.
|H. McKay 2.3, C. Curnow 1.2, M. Owies 1.1, P. Cripps 1.0, T. DeKoning 1.0, G. Hewett 1.0, Z. Fisher 1.0, J. Martin 0.2, A. Cerra 0.1. L. O'Brien 0.1, N. Newman 0.1, J. Silvagni 0.1, S. Walsh 0.1, Rushed 0.1.
|Harry McKay was fined for staging contact after he took a dive in the Blues’ loss to Gold Coast on Sunday. He was charged by the AFL match review with staging graded as “excessive exaggeration”. As it was first offence in staging, McKay is free to play in Round 5, but will pay a $1000 fine.
|Leigh Haussen, Brett Rosebury, Andrew Stephens.
|P. Cripps (left hamstring),
Carlton have fallen to Gold Coast by 30 points, after a confident Suns outfit poked holes in their winning form. Patrick Cripps didn't return to the game after quarter time, while the late loss of Marc Pittonet was felt in the ruck. Harry McKay was the only multiple goal kicker of the night, slotting two majors.
It was a fast start for the Blues at Metricon Stadium, kicking the first two goals through Charlie Curnow and Patrick Cripps within the first two minutes of the game. It was all the Suns from there, however, winning the territory battle and having nine scoring opportunities. Gold Coast's inaccuracy in front of goal early was a saving grace for Carlton, who struggled to win the clearances (14-6): the opposition's midfield brigade, led by Noah Anderson, was able to penetrate the Blues’ defence. Adam Saad was a welcome return for Carlton, providing intercepts and speed around half back, while Sam Docherty continued his impressive form in his best efforts to hold ground.
The term started much like the first ended, with Gold Coast holding possession in their forward 50. Cripps was subbed off early in the second quarter with a left hamstring injury, which saw Jordan Boyd enter the game as the medical sub. In the absence of Cripps, Carlton needed a lift around the ball, as the deficit ballooned to 21 points. Saad continued to provide a strong presence in the game, using his acceleration to tear through the ground, as well as leading the board with seven intercepts: three of those started chains to goals. It was Coleman Medallist Harry McKay who did the scoreboard damage, kicking two goals from trademark snaps, but a late goal meant the Blues trailed at the main break by 14 points.
Mabior Chol proved difficult to contain, kicking two goals in two minutes to start off the second half. Undisciplined actions in the defensive 50 hurt the Blues, resulting in two goals for the Suns, as cracks started to appear in Carlton’s confidence. After a few missed attempts, Owies who was successful in front of goal, as the Blues struggled to capitalise on a rare patch of dominance. Jack Silvagni battled manfully pinch-hitting in the ruck as Carlton attempted to tidy up its clearance work, but Gold Coast was cleaner with ball in hand and more physical around the ball as it extended the margin to 37 points.
De Koning kicked off the quarter with a much-needed goal for the Blues, but a Suns reply meant a comeback was off the cards for the Blues. Gold Coast's scores in the final term followed a similar trend in that they were generated from defensive 50. Hewett and Silvagni maintained their physical pressure through the centre, but ultimately, the Suns' clearance work was the difference on the night. A late goal from Fisher lessened the margin, but it ended in a 30-point defeat for the Blues: their first blemish of the 2022 season.
Three things we learned
1. Carlton felt the loss of ruckman Marc Pittonet tonight. Despite the best efforts of Tom De Koning and Jack Silvagni as support, Jarrod Witts largely dictated the play from the centre bounce – an area the Blues have excelled in over the past three games.
2. Back in the Carlton line-up and back at Metricon Stadium, Adam Saad was a welcome return for the Blues from AFL Health and Safety Protocols. The former Sun showed his class with ball in hand and battled hard all night, alongside a half-back line with Sam Docherty and Zac Williams that did their best to not only limit the damage, but get the Blues back in the game.
3. Carlton's catalyst for most of the season, the midfield contingent will have a big part to play in the coming weeks. In the absence of Patrick Cripps, the Blues struggled to get a foothold in the contest, despite the best efforts of recruit George Hewett (29 disposals, eight clearances, one goal).
Best: Z. Williams, S. Docherty, G. Hewett, A. Saad.
Carlton fans will have to pop the lid back on. After their unbeaten start to the season, the Blues struck a double whammy at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, losing to Gold Coast by 30 points and watching skipper Patrick Cripps limp from the field with a left hamstring injury. Cripps lasted less than one quarter of the 13.14 (92) to 8.14 (62) defeat, but the writing was on the wall before the skipper left the field. Gold Coast conceded the first two goals, but what followed was some of its best football under coach Stuart Dew. The Suns led by 15 points at quarter-time – a margin that could have been greater if not for some gettable misses and poor connection inside 50 – on the back of harassing pressure and assertive defence. The performance of midfielders Touk Miller and Noah Anderson typified the Suns' bounce back from last week's listless loss to Greater Western Sydney. They gathered 67 disposals between them, including 18 clearances, to dominate the red-hot Blues' midfield and lay the groundwork for victory. Co-captain Jarrod Witts (16 touches, seven clearances and 42 hitouts) was arguably the best player afield and can take a lot of credit for the Suns' win, giving his onballers first use around the stoppages with some skillful ruck craft. Gold Coast won the clearance count 45-27, giving it a territorial advantage that led to a 64-48 inside 50 advantage. Carlton was still well in the game at half-time, trailing by just 14 points, but what happened early in the third term would infuriate coach Michael Voss. Nic Newman gave away a 50m penalty for an off-the-ball scuffle with Ben Ainsworth that gifted a goal to Mabior Chol, but worse was to come. After Chol kicked another goal shortly after, the Blues gave away yet another 50m penalty for an incident off the ball to hand Ainsworth a gift from the goal line. Suddenly the lead was 35 and there was no coming back.
Cripps does his hammy
Arguably the best player in the competition through the first three rounds, Patrick Cripps lasted just one quarter before being subbed out with a hamstring injury. Cripps was having his usual strong influence – seven touches and a goal – before suffering the injury late in the first term and failing to return after the break. Carlton's midfield never really adjusted, losing the clearance count 45-27.
Is Harry McKay footy's Adam Gilchrist?
Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist was a famous 'walker' – someone who wouldn't wait for the umpire's decision and just walk off if he thought he was out. Harry McKay showed a similar trait during the second quarter when his snap for goal was initially awarded by the goal umpire despite protests from the Suns that Sam Collins had touched it off the boot. Whether it was guilt or honesty – likely the latter – McKay tapped his own hand immediately to indicate it was touched, with the decision overturned moments later.
The Blues need Pittonet to challenge.
While the loss of Patrick Cripps was significant, the match eve withdrawal of ruckman Marc Pittonet had an equally large role to play in the loss to the Suns. Pittonet was unable to overcome a back injury suffered against Hawthorn the previous week and his absence was considerable. Jarrod Witts dominated against Tom De Koning in the ruck, paving the way for his midfield to crush the Blues at the clearances and gain territorial advantage. Carlton needs its big man back to match the best midfields in the competition.
|6 Zac Williams
|33 Lewis Young
|24 Nic Newman
|42 Adam Saad
|23 Jacob Weitering
|15 Sam Docherty
|43 Will Setterfield
|9 Patrick Cripps (c)
|4 Lochie O'Brien
|18 Sam Walsh
|30 Charlie Curnow
|21 Jack Martin
|44 Matthew Owies
|10 Harry McKay
|1 Jack Silvagni
|12 Tom De Koning
|5 Adam Cerra
|29 George Hewett
|7 Matthew Kennedy
|8 Lachie Fogarty
|20 Lachie Plowman
|25 Zac Fisher
|37 Jordan Boyd
|32 Jack Newnes
|2 Paddy Dow
|16 Brodie Kemp
Medi-Sub: Jordan Boyd replaced Patrick Cripps in the second quarter.
In; Adam Saad, Lachie Fogarty.
Out; Corey Durdin (Health & Safety Protocol), Pittonet (back).
Zac Williams best ever game for disposals with 36 touches, this bettered his 32 touches that he had when he was playing for GWS Giants in the Round 20, 2019 clash against the Sydney Swans.
9 - Noah Anderson (GCFC)
5 - Touk Miller (GCFC)
4 - Lachie Weller (GCFC)
2 - Sam Collins (GCFC)
1 - Adam Saad (CARL)
Round 3 | Round 5