CARLTON has secured a miraculous after-the-siren win off the boot of Jack Newnes at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.
After a slow start in the wet, the Blues clawed back the Dockers lead finishing in a relentless fourth quarter attack to keep their season alive with a four-point win.
Here's how the win out west unfolded.
The skies opened just before the first siren, meaning some wet weather footy was on hand. Fremantle was able to adapt to the wet conditions early on, kicking away to a 19-point lead in the first term. Ed Curnow was the best of the Blues, collecting seven first-quarter disposals.
Despite being on the attack early in the second quarter, the Blues were unable to capitalise on their opportunities. Ed Curnow continued to make his presence felt around the contest, with his quick disposal helping to give the Blues repeated entries into their forward 50. Some relief finally came as Levi Casboult used his strength to his advantage, tossing his opponent aside and finishing with a quick snap on goal. Young Blue Tom De Koning, shouldering the majority of the ruck work for the night, found his feet as the term progressed registering 12 hitouts to the main break. The highlight of the term, however, came as Matthew Cottrell kicked his first goal in the Navy Blue, with only the celebration rivalling the goal itself.
There was plenty of energy at the beginning of the secondhalf, with both sides trading early goals in a chaotic start. Both teams missed a number of opportunities in front of goals, meaning that the margin remained the same for the majority of the term. A beautiful snap from Harry McKay registered his first goal of the day and put the Blues within a goal. Carlton played with a confidence that had previously escaped them, creating scoring opportunities from some slick fast-moving plays. Some fancy footwork from Zac Fisher excited the WA Blues in attendance, while the Blues’ backline - led by Sam Docherty - stood tall whenever under attack.
There was plenty at stake at the beginning of the fourth term, with the four points there for the taking for either side at Optus Stadium. It was a hot football early in the term, both sides unwilling to give an inch with an arm-wrestle through the centre resulting in wayward kicking. But the Blues charged forward, setting up opportunities until the final minutes. A missed opportunity from Jones in front of goal seemed to spell the end for Carlton, but a free kick to Newnes on the siren left one final chance. Politely asking the boundary photographer to move over a little proved worth it when Newnes sealed the deal with a miraculous goal from beyond the boundary line.
Moment of the match:
At one minute left in the final term, the moment of the match was all but sewn up with a first goal from Matt Cottrell.
The only thing that could out-do a first goal would be a goal on the siren to win the match. Enter: Jack Newnes.
With opportunities aplenty in the final minutes, it would take the steady kick of Newnes to seal the deal in the Blues' final game out west: Carlton's first after-the-siren win since Stephen Kernahan's heroics in 1987.
Three things from the game:
- Tom De Koning was up to the challenge of taking on the solo ruck duties. In just his second game for 2020, and in the absence of Marc Pittonet, De Koning held his own in the ruck finishing with 19 hitouts and two clearances. His presence around the ground was also noticeable, consistently using his body well in the contest.
- The Blues' forward line is in a much better place with Levi Casboult and Harry McKay working together. The big men both finished the day with a goal each, but what they provided in intensity inside 50 proved the difference.
- Ed Curnow continues to be a workhorse for the Blues. The veteran midfielder did the hard yards throughout the day registering a game -igh 33 disposals and 10 clearances, setting up what was to be an incredible finish to the night.
FREMANTLE 3.2 4.3 5.4 5.6 (36)
CARLTON 0.1 2.3 4.8 5.10 (40)
Carlton: Casboult, Cottrell, McKay, Newnes, Walsh
Carlton: Curnow, Cripps, Walsh, Docherty, Murphy, Setterfield