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How it happened: Blues rise above Saints

R22 | Gov kicks three Check out Mitch McGovern's highlights from the Blues' Round 22 win over the Saints.

A SPREAD of contributors typified Carlton’s seventh win of the season as it accounted for St Kilda at the MCG.

In front of a bumper crowd of 51,786, the Blues overcame a 24-point deficit midway through the second term to prevail by 10.

So, how did it all happen?

The young

Moments.

In any game of football, there comes the time to rise to the occasion. Under David Teague, Carlton’s mantra has been when it’s your turn to go, you go.

The signs shown by a number of Carlton’s emerging youngsters would have only heartened the Blues fans who were in raptures come the final siren.

 

Harry McKay’s remarkable sealer had Dermott Brereton calling it the goal of the year. His five contested marks typified a 2019 campaign which will undeniably go down as his breakout season.

Paddy Dow’s energy at the contest saw him finish with 19 hard-earned disposals and a clutch goal after a stint in the VFL.

Sam Petrevski-Seton and Jack Silvagni continued to do what they have done all year. They were moments - and performances - which truly mattered.

The old

While the youngsters came to the party, it was the old firm who once again showed them how it was done.

Arguably the pick of the bunch was Marc Murphy, who finished with 27 disposals, six inside 50s and another stunning solo goal to add to the highlights reel.

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If an All-Australian team was compiled for the second half of the season, Murphy would be a lock.

He was well-supported by some familiar faces, as Dale Thomas went out in front of the home crowd with a bang — and some candy to go with it.
His counterpart Kade Simpson was just as impressive, and just as important in his assist for Josh Deluca’s goal which gave the Blues the lead.

The Tractor

The best-on-ground for Carlton was a race in two: a tractor race, no less.

Arguably St Kilda’s star performer for the 2019 season has been emerging ruckman, Rowan Marshall. However, there was no doubting that Matthew Kreuzer was the man on Saturday.

Carlton’s barometer did what he has done for his entire career, combining his combativeness in the midfield with an all-round game which saw him effectively play as an extra midfielder.

With 21 disposals, 23 hitouts, nine clearances and seven score involvements, it was - quite simply - vintage Kreuzer.

The Bolt from the Blue

The other contender for man of the match was someone who’s done it all in season 2019.

The renaissance of Levi Casboult provided yet another compelling chapter at the MCG as he returned to the back half.

It wasn’t completely new territory for Casboult, who impressed in the position for a month before a return to the forward line came calling.

Pitted against Josh Bruce, Casboult was brilliant: his stats sheet said it all. Collecting 20 disposals for the first time in his decade-long career, he combined that with 11 marks, 10 intercepts and 10 one percenters.

The Governor

It was the kind of performance Mitch McGovern had threatened all season.

While there’s still room for growth, Carlton’s recruit put together his best performance in Navy Blue at the MCG.

 

The 24-year-old started the game in perfect fashion, assisting Matthew Kennedy’s first goal of the game before taking his first ‘hanger’ for Carlton over Jake Carlisle.

From there, McGovern would finish the game with three goals, alternating with Harry McKay as the key forward targets.

With one game left until 2020, it was the kind of performance which will have Carlton supporters desperate for more.

The passion

All season, Carlton supporters have turned out in their droves. In the last two months especially, they’ve got reward for effort.

It was only fitting that in Member Appreciation Round, the Blues faithful arguably had the most to shout about compared to the rest of the season.

The roar which accompanied Marc Murphy and Harry McKay’s goals followed by the final siren said it all.

There may have been 51,786 in attendance, but on Saturday, the crowd really was the 19th man.