FORM, injury and suspension had all conspired in one way or another to derail a season that had been so filled with optimism. Regardless, many football devotees, bookies included, considered Carlton favourites for the contest.
As many as ten first 18 regulars were unavailable for selection, most notably the captain Chris Judd due to suspension, and Kade Simpson, whose long run of games was brought to an awful end courtesy the Sharrod Wellingham shirtfront.
Others who could not be considered included Andrew Walker, Matthew Kreuzer, Jarrad Waite, Lachie Henderson and Mitch Robinson, all of whom were nursing ailments of some sort; and amongst those promoted were three rookies Tom Bell, Levi Casboult and Frazer Dale.
Marc Murphy, who had celebrated his 25th birthday two days before, was named stand-in captain.
An 11-goal to four second half – the last of them courtesy of F. Dale after the siren – sealed an unlikely Carlton victory in the night game: and Eddie Betts booted the mandatory goal of the week with a dribbler, his 250th goal for the Club.
Heath Scotland, who later blew out the candles on his 32nd birthday, also earned a Brownlow vote.