FOR the first time in six years, Carlton recorded back-to-back wins interstate.
For the first time in eight years, Carlton recorded a win at the SCG.
So — how did they do it?
Holy smokes, Batman
With the return of Patrick Cripps came the return of ‘Batman and Robin’ — and the duo didn’t disappoint.
Four weeks ago against Brisbane, the partnership of Cripps and Sam Walsh steered Carlton to a comeback win.
It didn’t take long for Cripps to stamp his authority on the game, with 19 of his 28 disposals coming in a contested situation. With Walsh collecting 28 disposals and a goal, he continued to show why he’s the standout first-year player in the competition.
If this is what the partnership looks like 14 games in, we can’t wait to see what it looks like with years under the belt.
New club, Newman
Nic Newman was warned at the start of the week by his former teammates that he’d be in for quite the reception when he returned to his old home ground.
How did he respond? With a best-on-ground performance.
The former Swan was superb down back, teaming up with Lachie Plowman and Liam Jones to hold the hosts to eight goals for the game.
Newman’s personal numbers of 32 disposals, 12 intercepts, nine rebound 50s and 711 metres gained topped all comers in Navy Blue on the day.
Reversing the tide
In Round 3 when these two sides met, Sydney was able to play its own game and reaped the rewards.
Yesterday, it was Carlton who dictated the play.
The clash at Marvel Stadium earlier in the year saw the Swans comfortably outrank the Blues in disposals (+107 differential), uncontested possessions (+98) and marks (+36): hallmarks of their game in 2019.
However, it was Carlton’s contested game which got the job done in enemy territory yesterday, beating the Swans in contested possessions (+19), clearances (+13) and tackles (+13).
Out-Swanning the Swans
That’s not to say Carlton didn’t bring Sydney’s own game to the SCG on Saturday.
One of the more pleasing things for interim coach David Teague was the manner in which the Blues got the job done, in both sides of the game.
Carlton’s midfield got going, allowing it to narrowly outrank its opponent in disposals (+20), uncontested possessions (+5) and marks (+14) this time around.
The last time Carlton won at the SCG, Marc Murphy was Carlton’s second major ball-winner, with Ed Curnow one disposal behind in third.
Yesterday, the only two players who had featured in a Blues win at the venue managed the exact same feat.
The experience of the two midfield veterans over the last four weeks can’t be understated, playing a leading role and allowing their younger teammates to flourish.
Getting the benefits of some outstanding work from Matthew Kreuzer, Murphy (29 disposals, one goal) and Curnow (28 disposals, nine clearances) just keep on doing it in Navy Blue.
Tractor motors along
Speaking of Matthew Kreuzer…
It was a big week for the ruckman, having re-signed at his club for an extra year. In celebration, he produced another standout performance in a season where he’s shown he’s back at his best.
With Sydney’s ruck stocks having taken a hit, Kreuzer took full advantage and dictated the game at the source.
Collecting 19 disposals, 45 hitouts and six clearances, ‘The Tractor’ was a presence for all four quarters.