CARLTON has recorded its fourth win of the season, standing tall against Sydney for a historic seven-point victory.
In just their second win at the SCG in 26 years, the Blues put together one of their most complete performances of the year, leading from the outset and showing great composure against a persistent oppostion.
The Blues were buoyed by the return of co-captain Patrick Cripps, who - alongside teammates Matthew Kreuzer, Ed Curnow and Marc Murphy - was able to dominate the midfield battle.
Nic Newman enjoyed his return to the SCG putting together a profilic performance in defence, taking charge of a new-look Blues’ backline and playing an essential role in the win.
In windy conditions at the SCG, it was Levi Casboult up forward who marked strongly and finished with the first goal of the afternoon. The Blues were able to control the pace and flow of the game early on, at one stage leading the clearances 7-0 and inside 50s 4-1. Patrick Cripps was influential in his return from injury, collecting nine first-quarter disposals to go with two tackles. A late charge from the Swans saw the scores tied heading into the first break.
After a tight start to the second term, it was 50th-gamer Zac Fisher who was able to get the Blues rolling. The Blues fought hard, trapping the ball inside their forward half while their defenders stood tall in the absence of some key players. Carlton’s efforts were rewarded with goals to Michael Gibbons and Darcy Lang, which helped it build a small lead heading into half-time. Harry McKay showed no signs of the groin injury that saw the tall forward sidelined over the last few weeks, providing the midfielders with a strong target up forward and heaping the pressure on the Swans’ defenders. Sam Walsh continued to work his way into the game, finishing the half with 15 disposals and a goal.
With Carlton losing the services of defender Hugh Goddard following a knock in the second quarter, Sydney were able to put more pressure on Carlton’s backline. The Swans would go on to kick the first goal of the quarter and cut the Blues’ lead to under a goal. However, the Blues - lead particularly by the efforts of Ed Curnow and Nic Newman - were able to continue to take the challenge right up to the opposition, with plenty of pressure around the contest. The Swans clawed their way back to within just one-point at one stage, before another Marc Murphy goal from nowhere gave the Blues some breathing room heading into the final term.
The Blues were able to reclaim ascendency early in the fourth quarter, with Casboult slotting his second for the day in the opening minutes. A Jack Silvagni finish of pure class followed soon after to extend the Carlton lead, with the goalkicker putting together a prolific final quarter on and off the ball. It was a tight contest throughout the quarter, with neither side really able to find any flow to the play and make a breakthrough. However, McKay’s first goal of the day couldn’t have come at a better time, sealing the deal for the Blues late in the day.
Moment of the match:
With the game in the balance and the Swans looking to set-up and launch their attack, Darcy Lang burst out of the forward 50 to force the turnover. Paddy Dow was able to collect the loose ball and find Harry McKay all alone in the goal square for what would ultimately secure a famous win in Sydney.
Three things from the game:
- The Blues' midfield undeniably looks more cohesive when Patrick Cripps is leading the way. In his return from injury, the co-captain had an immediate impact on the game, with his trademark strength around the contest seeing him finish with 28 disposals, 19 contested possessions and eight clearances.
- There’s not much more to say about the Sam Walsh in his debut year. The young Blue was everywhere at the SCG, winning 28 disposals, sending the ball inside 50 six times and providing plenty of run for the Blues throughout the day.
- Nic Newman enjoyed his return to the SCG. On his former stomping ground, the defender was critical in Carlton holding up against its hosts. In one of his best performances of the season, Newman collected 32 disposals, nine rebound 50s and comfortably led the Blues for metres gained (711).
SYDNEY 2.5 3.10 5.12 8.14 (62)
CARLTON 2.5 5.8 6.13 9.15 (69)
Carlton: Casboult 2, Walsh, Fisher, Gibbons, Lang, Murphy, Silvagni, McKay
Carlton: Cripps, Newman, Casboult, Curnow, Kreuzer, Walsh, Murphy
Carlton: Dow (head knock), Goddard (jaw)
Umpires: Nicholls, Hosking, Howorth
Official crowd: 32,570 at the SCG