Are Carlton finally coming?
‘They know we’re coming’ is what Carlton spruiked to the football world ahead of the 2009 season. After 11 long years, with their victory over Geelong at GMHBA, they might just be on the verge of delivering on this promise.
After falling short a week earlier against Melbourne, Carlton crashed the Cats Fortress with an ultra impressive performance. With a nice mixture of youth and experience, a dangerous forward line and one of the best midfielders in the competition, the Blues will be difficult to beat. While we aren’t suggesting they are a contender for the 2020 flag, this season might well prove to be the first in the long awaited return to relevance.
How the game was won.
After missing the start in the first two rounds, Carlton were ready to go from the opening bounce on Saturday night. With five goals to open the game, the Blues had taken the game by the scruff of the neck at the first break. So good was their performance, ff not for a diabolical gift of a free kick awarded to Joel Selwood, they would have kept the Cats goalless.
Rather than shrink into their shells, they continued to take the game on in the second and third terms. With Patrick Cripps and Jack Martin dominating the midfield battle and Mitch McGovern and Levi Casboult on fire up forward, the Blues led by as much as 42-points in the third quarter.
Where other teams would have been out of the count at this point, the Cats renewed their efforts. With a number of their big guns imposing themselves on the contest they charged home in the final term. So good were their efforts they all but eroded the deficit and, if not for a ARC overturn and an astonishing miss, could have stolen the four points late.
Despite conceding five goals to nil in the final term, the Blues held on for a deserved two point victory. Appropriately, it would be Eddie Betts who would secure the victory for his team. Having helped setup the three-time lead with his work up forward, he wrapped up the premiership points with a match saving tackle in the centre square.
What the coaches said.
Chris Scott was unhappy after watching his heavily favoured team succumb at home. “There are no clear answers except that we do have a problem, that is clear. It’s been clear for a long time,” Scott said. We won’t hope for the best. We won’t sit back and go hopefully that was an aberration. We have to be a bit harder on ourselves than that.”
“We are getting inconsistent output and it has been happening for a long period of time … it is wrong for a coach to get defensive in the face of irrefutable evidence,” Scott said. “We know there is a difference between being really, really up for it and just being a little bit off and clearly that was us early in the game.”
David Teague was hopeful that beating last years minor premiers at their home ground would help drive their team forward. “I really hope they start to believe, and belief is a powerful thing,” he said. “I probably got a bit frustrated with our loss (against Melbourne) last week. Our group, particularly for the first three quarters, will get a lot out of this game.”
GEELONG 1.2 4.6 6.7 11.7 (77)
CARLTON 5.3 9.5 12.6 12.7 (79)
Geelong: Hawkins 2, Rohan 2, Bews, Guthrie, Miers, Selwood, Stanley, Taylor, Atkins
Carlton: Betts 2, Casboult 2, Cripps 2, McGovern 2, Murphy 2, Gibbons, McKay
Geelong: Duncan, Dangerfield, Tuohy, Narkle, Miers
Carlton: Cripps, Betts, Gibbons, Martin, Docherty
Geelong: Dahlhaus (concussion), Menegola (hip), Stanley (knee)