THE LOSS of tall forward Harry McKay before Saturday’s game against Essendon had the potential to throw Carlton’s forward line balance into disarray.
McKay had started to find the rhythm alongside fellow talls Mitch McGovern and Levi Casboult, with the trio working well to provide opportunities inside forward 50 as well as connecting further up the ground.
However, the duo of McGovern and Casboult were more than up for the challenge against the Bombers, combining for five goals and six marks inside 50 in the one-point win.
Leading the charge was Levi Casboult, whose three straight goals and nine marks further demonstrated his transformation into one of Carlton’s best forward line targets.
While the wider football community is slowly catching onto the 30-year-old’s strengths, Senior Coach David Teague was the first to speak of the influence Casboult has had around the club.
“He’s been outstanding, he competes,” Teague said following the win.
“There was a moment late where he was ready for the long kick down the line and we went around. The next minute, he’s on the other side of the ground.
“He’s an elite runner, that allows him to get to more contests.
“I don’t think too many have been maligning him over the last 18 months.”
McGovern was the other half of the equation who has steadily grown in confidence as the season has progressed.
Often put under the spotlight, there’s no doubt that the 25-year-old has begun to hit his stride, kicking another two goals and creating contest after contest as the game went on.
A fitter McGovern is getting maximum output, with 50 per cent of his disposals this year resulting in score involvements.
“I thought he was really important for us,” Teague said.
“Some of his contest and some of his smarts, you can see how he can set up teammates in space.
“His teammates really value the role he’s playing for the side right now. I thought it was one of his better games for the Club.”