CARLTON secured its first win at the SCG in 18 years with a 16-point triumph over Sydney.
Led brilliantly by Chris Judd, the Blues 'out-Swanned the Swans' to record a famous victory on the night of the Royal Wedding.
As the rain teemed down at the SCG, it seemed like it would be a dour affair between the Swans and Blues. While the conditions certainly shaped the way the game was played, there was no shortage of goals, with eight goals shared between both sides in the opening term. For the second straight week, Eddie Betts kicked Carlton’s opening goal, while sheer force of will saw Jarrad Waite and Aaron Joseph hit the scoreboard. However, a goal after the siren from Ben McGlynn had the Blues on the ropes, trailing by 13 points at the first change.
What we were expecting from the game is exactly we got in the second term, with the two teams playing out just the third scoreless quarter in history at the SCG. Bryce Gibbs - opposed to Adam Goodes - and Michael Jamison were crucial on the last line of defence for the Blues, who were also spared by some wasteful kicking in front of goal by Sydney. First-year Blue Ed Curnow continued his impressive form to start his career, amassing 16 disposals in unrelenting rain.
Sydney threatened to take the game away from the Blues, opening up a 17-point lead. Carlton needed a spark quickly, and it got one in the form of its No.19. Betts kicked three goals in five minutes to give the Blues they lead in a flash, while his side began to gain the ascendancy in the middle. That came on the back of the good work from captain Chris Judd, who collected 11 disposals in the third term and willed his team from contest to contest.
If the third quarter was when Judd began to build, the last quarter was one where he stamped one of his most dominant performances. Sydney had no answer for the reigning Brownlow Medallist, who sent Carlton forward at will. Two decisive goals from Jeff Garlett were critical as was Bryce Gibbs’ shutdown of Adam Goodes on the way to a famous Carlton win on the road.
Moment of the match:
It started with Judd, it ended with Walker. The star of the show managed to dish a handball out under heavy pressure, before the ball found itself at Walker’s feet. With his back to goal, Walker instinctively snapped over his head and sailed one straight through the big sticks. It opened up a four-goal lead and sealed Carlton’s first win at the SCG in 18 years.
Three things from the game:
1. His performance in the elimination final the last time these two sides met was famous, and this was no exception. Against the team he won a Norm Smith Medal against in 2005, Judd was simply unstoppable for Carlton in a drought-breaking win. Comfortably breaking his previous personal best for clearances (15), royalty truly rose on the night of the Royal Wedding.
2. It’s just been six games, but Carlton fans would have seen enough that they’ve got a player for the long haul. Ed Curnow collected another 24 disposals, becoming the first Carlton player in history to have over 20 disposals in each of his first six games. The first-year Blue has been a welcome addition to Carlton’s midfield ranks.
3. There’s nothing like a drought-breaking win, and Carlton will be full of confidence after its first win at the SCG since 1993. Compounded by the result of last year’s elimination final, this will give the Blues’ emerging group vital confidence as the season heats up.
CARLTON 3.1 3.6 8.9 12.15 (87)
SYDNEY 5.2 5.8 8.7 10.11 (71)
GOALS: Betts 4, Garlett 2, Walker 2, Joseph, O’Hailpin, Waite, White
BESTS: Judd, Jamison, Betts, Gibbs, Curnow, Murphy