In humid conditions up in Darwin, the Blues secured a 33-point win over the Suns.
The Blues got their pressure game going early and moved the ball just as quickly. Carlton’s defence was busy early, with Sam Docherty and Tom Willamson holding out Gold Coast from snatching an early goal. Sam Walsh and Eddie Betts were impactful early in moving the ball down the line with Michael Gibbons snapping the Blues only goal for the quarter. Carlton had the territory in the first term, playing the majority of the quarter in their forward half, but a few opportunities went begging in front of goal. However, at the other end, the Blues kept a team scoreless in the opening term for the first time since 1997.
Walsh and Jack Martin took charge in sending the Blues forward, while Marc Murphy was the best player on the ground in the opening stages. Liam Jones and Kade Simpsons played their regular intercepting roles in the defensive half, keeping the ball out of the Sun's forwards’ hands. Harry McKay made use of his set-shot opportunities, scoring his first goal for the game after a clever set-up from Betts. The Blues’ marking was the pillar of their first half game despite slippery conditions, almost doubling Gold Coast’s tally. The Suns started to ramp up the pressure late in the second half, kicking two goals in a row, but some fast footwork from Zac Fisher led to a wonderful goal from Betts. while McKay and Gibbons slotted their second.
Both teams started the quarter with intensity, moving the ball from end to end but struggling to score. The conditions kicked in as both teams struggled to gain clean possession, with the Blues having a few looks early but unable to capitalise on scoring shots. Carlton moved the ball quickly and with confidence, with Levi Casboult taking a few handy contested marks. The Suns snagged the first goal of the quarter with three minutes remaining, but Ed Curnow responded immediately with a goal of his own down the other end. Carlton’s backline out-muscled the Gold Coast forwards, with Jacob Weitering keeping Ben King to one kick after three quarters.
Carlton continued their fast-moving game, opting to kick short and quick down the line. Patrick Cripps was strong in the contest, moving the ball confidently out of trouble, while Tom De Koning and Marc Pittonet had the majority of the hit uts in the ruck. Tom Williamson and Lachie Plowman provided strong pressure across half back while McKay provided a tall marking option in the forward half. For the second straight week, Jack Newnes kicked Carlton’s final goal of the game - this time a clever soccer goal off the ground - as his team finished with a 33-point win.
Moment of the match:
Carlton could’ve been in trouble when Gold Coast kicked two consecutive goals after the Blues dominated the entirety of the first half.
Enter Zac Fisher. Streaming inside 50 with a clean possession, Fisher took three bounces, drew his opponent and handed off to Eddie Betts who delighted his adoring fans in the Top End. The Blues kicked two more quick goals and were out of sight at half time.
Three things we learned:
1. Jack Newnes can do more than kick clutch goals. Newnes had a huge impact through the midfield, gathering the ball and setting up goals for his team.
2. Jack Martin was a welcome addition to the side, providing speed and class through the corridor, producing score involvements aplenty and proving a menace against his old side.
3. Jacob Weitering kept his outstanding 2020 form line ticking along. Weitering kept the dangerous Ben King scoreless for the entirety of the game, with the Gold Coast forward collecting his first kick in the final minute of the third term. It was a comprehensive shutout performance from a man who did who All-Australian chances no harm.
GOLD COAST 0.0 2.0 3.2 4.3 (27)
CARLTON 1.4 5.7 6.11 7.18 (60)
GOALS: Gibbons 2, Mckay 2, Betts, Curnow, Newnes
BEST: Murphy, Weitering, Gibbons, Martin, Jones, Newnes, Walsh, McKay