|Date:||Sunday 17th April, 2022 (1.40 pm).|
|Result:||3 point win|
|Goalkickers:||C. Curnow 5.1, H. McKay 3.1, Z. Fisher 2.1, J. Martin 2.0, J. Silvagni 1.2, C. Durdin 1.0, J. Newnes 0.1, W. Setterfield 0.1, Rushed 0.3.|
|Reports:||Karl Amon, Port Adelaide,was charged with Striking Jack Silvagni, during the first quarter. Based on the available evidence, the incident was assessed as Intentional Conduct, Low Impact, Body Contact. The incident was classified as a $3000 sanction as a first offence. The player can accept a $2000 sanction with an early plea.|
|Umpires:||Ray Chamberlain, Jamie Broadbent, Paul Rebeschini.|
Another heartstopper, another four points in the bag for the Blues. Carlton emerged with a three-point victory over Port Adelaide at the MCG, making it four wins from five games to start the 2022 season. After kicking out to a 50-point lead late in the second term, the Blues were roped back in by their opposition, but managed to hold on in gripping circumstances once again at the home of football.
It was another fast start not only for Carlton, but for Charlie Curnow, who for the third time in four attempts kicked the opening goal of the game inside the first minute. A classic Harry McKay grab and snap saw the Blues extend their lead, while Jack Martin converted two handy goals. Sam Walsh was dominant early, gathering a career-high 16 disposals in the opening term alone. Port Adelaide had some good play in transition, moving the ball quickly and efficiently, but the backline - led by stand-in captain Jacob Weitering - were able to apply pressure and intercept when needed. George Hewett was involved all over the ground, contributing six score involvements and four clearances. The Blues took a 25-point lead into the first change thanks to a Curnow goal on the siren: four of Carlton's six goals where generated from clearance chains.
An early dribbler from McKay was just the start that Carlton were hoping for, continuing their dominant form from the centre bounce. It was the quarter of clever goals, as Fisher slotted a goal of the year contender from the boundary while Corey Durdin snapped one over his shoulder for his first of the day. Carlton was able to keep the ball moving, challenging the Port Adelaide defence to set up quickly behind the ball, with the work of Lewis Young and Weitering behind the ball continuing to thwart Port's forward forays. Matt Owies had a team-high five tackles in the first half, while the hard-working Silvagni finally got some reward for effort with a goal. The Blues ended the term leading by 49 points, dominating scores from both turnovers and clearances.
Port Adelaide came out with new intensity after half time, gaining plenty of possession in their forward half, resulting in two early goals. Curnow was the one to respond on the scoreboard for the Blues, with an impressive over-the-head snap providing some relief on the scoreboard. Durdin was busy at the fall of the ball, while Will Setterfield’s work on the wing was positive for the Blues, getting involved in offence while also plugging a hole defensive. Port well and truly owned the second half of the term, kicking four unanswered goals to bring them within a big chance at the final change.
As Port Adelaide continued its surge, Carlton's defence held up well in the opening eight minutes of the term, thwarting its opposition on the scoreboard. However, an opportunistic goal from Sam Powell-Pepper and a contested mark from Robbie Gray brought the travellers within a kick. It was a much-needed goal from Curnow - his fifth of the game - that sparked the Blues. Matthew Cottrell, Nic Newman, Weitering and Young produced some crucial intercept marks behind the ball, but hearts were in mouths all over the MCG when Mitch Georgiades brought the margin back to three points. A contested mark from Harry McKay - just as he did against Hawthorn - proved to be the settler, as the Blues once again emerged with a nail-biting win at the MCG.
Three things for the game
1. In the absence of Patrick Cripps, George Hewett and Sam Walsh stepped up in the midfield. When the Blues did the damage early, the duo combined for 26 disposals in the first term, with 16 attributed to Walsh. The co-vice captain finished with 38 disposals, one behind his career-best, while the big-bodied Hewett recorded 13 clearances: his most in 125 games of football.
2. The Blues are 4-1, a record they absolutely would have taken leading into the season. However, there's no doubt that the message of four-quarter football will be drilled into the side. Similar to the last game at the MCG against Hawthorn, the Blues were at their blistering best early, but held on by the skin of their collective teeth in another nail-biting win. It's better to learn winning rather than learning while losing, but the Blues will have to be mindful of lapses in the coming weeks.
3. We've heard for weeks about Carlton's dynamic duo in attack that if one doesn't get you, the other will. On Sunday, however, both Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay had a big say on the result. By virtue of his five goals, Curnow was the dominant forward on the ground, but that's not to discount the influence of McKay. The Coleman Medallist collected 18 disposals, kicked three goals and one of his five marks for the game proved to be the one which secured the result in his team's favour.
Best: S. Walsh, C. Curnow, G. Hewett, H. McKay, Z. Fisher, Z. Williams, J. Martin.
Carlton has held off a huge second-half challenge to post a thrilling three-point win and consign Port Adelaide to its worst start to an AFL season in club history. A 50-point Blues lead before halftime was cut to just two points midway through the final term as the Power dramatically turned the match on its head. Charlie Curnow's fifth goal gave Carlton breathing space as the last quarter ticked into time-on. But Mitch Georgiades replied and Karl Amon had a set shot from outside 50 metres with one minute left on the clock that could have pinched the game. It was rushed through for a behind in a mad scramble on the line and the Blues hung on for a 14.10 (94) to 13.13 (91) victory at the MCG. The result was ultimately Carlton's fourth win in five games and left Port in a 0-5 hole as pressure mounts on coach Ken Hinkley. Former Power assistant Michael Voss has no such issues in his first year in charge of the Blues, but does need to address his side's issues coming out of the half-time break. In wins over the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn, Carlton let its opponents claw their way back into the contest after holding a comfortable lead. Having managed just four goals in the first half, Port mustered six to one in the third term.
The surge included two long bombs from Ryan Burton in his 100th game. Port kicked another three goals to one in the last quarter, but the Curnow major was pivotal. He combined with fellow Blues spearhead Harry McKay (three) for eight goals while Zac Fisher kicked two. Sam Walsh had 16 disposals in the first quarter alone, instrumental in setting up the Blues' dominant first half. Walsh (38 touches), George Hewett (33) and Adam Cerra (32) all found plenty of the ball in the absence of captain and fellow midfielder Patrick Cripps. But they were outgunned in the second half as Burton, Zak Butters (32 disposals), Darcy Byrne-Jones (26) and Connor Rozee (24) helped drag Port back into the contest. Robbie Gray kicked three goals for the Power and Sam Powell-Pepper matched Burton and Georgiades with two. Carlton has a tricky away game against Fremantle at Optus Stadium in round six, while Port Adelaide hosts depleted West Coast at Adelaide Oval.
The apprentice becomes the master
Carlton coach Michael Voss’ win came at the expense of former mentor and boss Ken Hinkley. For eight of Hinkley’s 10 years at the helm of Port Adelaide, Voss was there. While correlation doesn’t always equal causation, it can’t be mere coincidence that the Blues have been in red hot form in their first season with Voss, while the Power has been subpar in their first season without him.
Harry and Charlie a scary combination
The Blues’ dynamic duo of Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow was in fine form on Sunday, booting six goals between them in the first half. McKay dominated aerially, slotting set shots when he got the chance. Curnow was similarly impressive, with the pair causing plenty of headaches as they stretched Port’s defenders. Their impact weaned slightly as the game wore on, but their first half showed what the Blues are capable of. Curnow finished with five goals, including one that put an end to the Power’s inspired fightback.
Forget Cripps and Walsh – this big man might be Carlton's MVP
Carlton hasn't lost while Marc Pittonet plays this year. While he was far from the Blues' most influential player on Sunday afternoon, Pittonet comfortably had the better of opponent Sam Hayes, with his dominance at stoppages gifting first use to Carlton’s mids – in particular new Blue George Hewett. Pittonet has missed just one game this year – the Blues' only loss. Coincidence? Probably not. In that game, stand-in ruck Tom De Koning was monstered by Gold Coast skipper Jarrod Witts, with the Blues' midfielders struggling to get a clearance. With Pittonet in the ruck on Sunday, the shoe was on the other foot. The Power just couldn’t get a hand to the ball at stoppages, with the Blues' onballers running rampant early. The Blues' engine room is stacked with talent, but Pittonet is looking like the crucial cog.
Port still a shadow of its former self
While their effort against the Blues was the Power’s best performance so far this year, they still couldn’t break through for the win. While they found another gear in the second half, the first half presented plenty of worrying signs for the Power. Admittedly without two of its most important players in Scott Lycett and reigning Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines, Port’s issues clearly run deeper than just absences, with its early ball movement looking sloppy and lacking dare. Despite Ken Hinkley’s protestations otherwise, Port Adelaide looks to be a shadow of its former self and unlikely to challenge finals this year.
Best: S. Walsh, G. Hewett, H. McKay, C. Curnow, A. Cerra.
|B:||6 Zac Williams||33 Lewis Young||15 Sam Docherty|
|HB:||42 Adam Saad||23 Jacob Weitering (c)||26 Luke Parks|
|C:||43 Will Setterfield||29 George Hewett||32 Jack Newnes|
|HF :||44 Matthew Owies||30 Charlie Curnow||19 Corey Durdin|
|F:||25 Zac Fisher||10 Harry McKay||1 Jack Silvagni|
|Ruck:||27 Marc Pittonet||5 Adam Cerra||18 Sam Walsh|
|Interchange:||7 Matthew Kennedy||21 Jack Martin||24 Nic Newman|
|46 Matthew Cottrell|
|Medical Substitute:||2 Paddy Dow|
|Emergencies:||4 Lochie O'Brien||8 Lachie Fogarty||12 Tom De Koning|
Medical Sub; Paddy Dow (unused).
In: Corey Durdin, Matthew Cottrell, Jack Newnes, Luke Parks, Marc Pittonet,
Out: Paddy Cripps (hamstring), Tom De Koning (omitted), Lochie O'Brien (omitted), Lachie Fogarty (omitted), Jordan Boyd (omitted), Lachie Plowman (omitted).
Jacob Weitering. A small milestone in the scheme of things, but still great for the young key defender to lead the Blues in the absence of the injured Cripps
Charlie Curnow (CARL)
8 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
7 - George Hewett (CARL)
2 - Connor Rozee (PORT)
2 - Harry McKay (CARL)
2 - Zak Butters (PORT)
Round 4 | Round 6