Carlton 5.5 10.9 16.10 23.16 (154)
Brisbane Lions 6.1 7.6 7.7 9.9 (63)
The spotlight was on two sides coming off big wins in the first round as the AFL kicked off round two with more Thursday night football.
Brisbane were always going to have to lift a cog if they were to provide an upset against the highly fancied Blues.
The Lions, lead by Matthew Leuenberger, Simon Black, Jack Redden and Daniel Rich lifted, their intensity with some hard running and mostly clean finishing, and it appeared to be a contest with Brisbane leading 6.1 to 5.5 at the first break.
Brisbane continued to resist in the second-quarter with Carlton making a concerted effort to increase their defensive pressure.
Carlton’s superior numbers at the contests was starting to tell on the young Lions, and Eddie Betts provided the highlight of the half, and maybe the year, with a spectacular juggling mark on centre wing.
From the mid-point of the quarter, the Blues flexed their muscles, eventually leading at the main break by 21 points.
We all know the offensive potency of the Carlton midfield when they are up and running, however the change in momentum in this game coincided with Carlton tightening the press.
It’s a familiar theme with the Blues, but as the pressure built through the middle, Chris Judd and Marc Murphy found themselves winning more of the ball and controlling play far too often for Brisbane to do any damage.
In the third-quarter they, along with Heath Scotland, Kade Simpson and Chris Yarran were the drive behind Carlton winning the inside 50 count 16-7. Carlton put on a clinic after half-time, and just in case anyone thought Eddie Betts’ first hanger was one out of the box, the gun small forward launched for an unbelievable pack mark when he soared over Cheynee Stiller for a grab that resulted in his second goal.
Late in the last quarter, the flat-footed Lions were showing the effect of a five-day break. Whilst Brisbane at times showed grit and aggression, they simply did not have the same ability to pressure their opponents defensively, and offensively too much was left to too few.
When Jarrod Waite’s fifth goal was quickly followed by a mouth-watering play with Matthew Kruzer tapping a boundary throw in to Murphy, who in turn tapped to Judd as he waltzed into an open goal, the Blues showed the footy world that they are back to the form that saw them surge up the ladder in 2011, claiming an impressive 91-point win.
3. Chris Judd
2. Mark Murphy
1. Chris Yarran
Carlton: Waite 5, Judd 3, Garlett 3, Betts 2, Murphy 2, Simpson 2, Hampson, Kreuzer, Lucas, Scotland, Tuohy, Yarran
Brisbane Lions: Merrett 2, Lester 2, Beams, Hudson, Redden, Rich, O’Brien
Carlton: Murphy, Judd, Carrazzo, Waite, Garlett, Simpson
Brisbane Lions: Rich, Black, Redden, Leuenberger, Merrett
Brisbane Lions: Nil
Umpires: Stevic, Grun, Pannell
Official crowd: 25,920 at the Gabba