CARLTON Reserves have survived a second-quarter blitz from the Brisbane Lions to register their first win of the 2021 VFL Season. 

In what was a see-sawing affair, the Blues were challenged when their nine-goal first-quarter lead was cut down to just 15 points on the back of seven unanswered Lions goals in the second quarter. 

However, led by Will Setterfield in the middle and the dangerous combination of Ben Crocker and James Parsons up forward, Carlton would put the pedal to the metal to record an emphatic 69-point win. 

Quarter one: 

The Blues signalled their intent to play with a frantic intensity right from the first bounce. A willingness to move the ball quickly and take the game on through the middle of the ground stunned the opposition and allowed the Blues to dominate the term. The Carlton forwards enjoyed the pace, creating space and what seemed like endless opportunities for the term. Ben Crocker and James Parsons were the picks of the group, kicking four and three goals respectively to help the Blues race to a 55-point quarter-time lead: at one stage, the Blues had piled 11.1 (67) on the scoreboard without reply. Paddy Dow and Will Setterfield impressed in the middle of the ground, making the most of some clean ruck work from Ed Delaney. 

Quarter two: 

The Lions were able to fight their way back into the game in the second term, controlling the momentum and hitting the scoreboard with three goals early in the term.  Lochie O'Brien provided a much-needed spark with his repeat efforts at both ends of the ground, turning the page for the Blues late in the term. After a run of seven unanswered goals, the Blues were finally able to hit the scoreboard with late goals to Sam Ramsay and Ben Crocker, opening up a 27-point lead at the main change.

Quarter three: 

The see-sawing nature of the game continued with the beginning of the third term, this time Carlton flipping the switch to regain control of the game. Goals to Wooller, Parsons, North and Honey helped the Blues push their lead back out to a comfortable 51 points halfway through the quarter. Around the contest, Paddy Dow showed great toughness, combining well with fellow AFL-listed teammates in Will Setterfield and Sam Philp to propel the ball forward. 

Quarter four: 

With the back and forth nature of the game, anything could have truly happened when the siren sounded to start the final quarter. However, Blues fans would have had any nerves eased when Ben Caluzzi converted his set shot for his second goal of the day and gave the team an unassailable lead. From then on, the Blues would control the play right around the ground, locking the ball in their attacking half and playing with confidence through the middle. When tested, the back line held their own well, with Williamson and Radovanovic standing tall while also providing rebound run to transition play into attack. 

Three things from the game: 

  1. Will Setterfield and Paddy Dow responded well to the challenge put to them this week. The two were important throughout the game, especially in the third quarter after the Lions' dominant second-quarter burst. Their clean hands around the contest, willingness to scrap at ground level and ability to find outlets around the ground was ultimately the difference in Carlton's third-quarter comeback. Setterfield would finish the day with 25 disposals and 10 tackles while Dow would have 20 possessions. 
  2. The clouds looked ominous all day, but the only thing that it was raining was goals. Ben Crocker's seven would have been the sole highlight if James Parsons hadn't come to the table with five of his own. Toby Wooller didn't miss out on the party kicking three goals against his old side to help the Blues to a big win. 
  3. For the second week in a row, Carlton were able to put up a 100 points on the scoreboard. Free-flowing play through the middle of the ground, as well as an ability to transition quickly from defence, has seen the Blues score big and score quickly in the opening rounds of the VFL season. 


CARLTON         12.1      14.4      20.7        24.10 (154)

BRISBANE       3.0        10.1      11.4        13.7 (85)

GOALS: Crocker 7, Parsons 5, Wooller 3, Caluzzi 2, Honey 2, North 2, Durdin, Ramsay, Shannon.

BESTS: Wooller, Parsons, Crocker, Honey, Setterfield, Dow, Caluzzi