CARLTON 3.2 6.2 7.6 10.10 (70)
HAWTHORN 7.4 10.7 16.10 18.12 (120)
After a slow start to 2012, the Hawks have continued on their merry way towards a top 4 berth, demolishing Carlton by 50 points on Friday night.
This is in stark contrast to a Carlton side who started the season incredibly strongly but have faltered continuously since their early charge. They now sit 6-7, 10th on the ladder, and a big chance on missing out on what was thought to be a foregone finals berth.
Another contrast was how the key forwards performed on the day. Carlton have been much maligned for their lack of key position forwards and it was never more evident than last night. Missing their first choice KPF Jarrad Waite, coach Brett Ratten elected to go with three ruckmen for the game, placing two of them as the key forwards at any given time.
Meanwhile the Hawks went with a more traditional centre half-forward, full forward and third tall set up. The Hawks ended up with 10 goals from their three main men, while Carlton only managed a single 6-pointer from their ruckmen.
The forward talent is obviously the difference, with the likes of Lance Franklin (23 possessions, 4 goals), Jarryd Roughead (3 goals) and Jack Gunston (3 goals) but it was a mistake at the selection panel that should have been worked on more.
Jack Gunston had his best game for his new club since crossing from Adelaide, while Lance Franklin’s 4 goals leaves him needing only 2 more to reach the magical 500 club. The Hawks only real worry of the night was in the fourth quarter, when Franklin was forced to sit out the last ten minutes with a hamstring strain.
Apart from that, the Hawks were never challenged.
The Hawks burst out the gates with seven first quarter goals to Carlton’s three. Carlton did their best to keep up, but were easily outclassed as the Hawks drove the ball in to their forwards who responded strongly. Franklin, Roughead and Gunston all kicked two goals in the first quarter.
As the second quarter began the signs were already ominous. Franklin centered a ball to Gunston who easily took the mark over Carlton newbie Joshua Bootsma. He kicked his third and the sides went goal for goal for the term, with the Hawks still holding a strong lead at half-time.
Carlton could not contain the Hawks attack on the ball despite manic pressure throughout much of the game. When the pressure waned, the Hawks’ field kicking was simply sublime. When the pressure was on, their inside work and class stomped Carlton back down.
A six goal to one third quarter put the result beyond doubt, but Carlton got a few late goals in the fourth to keep some kind of respectability. They can be happy the margin wasn’t larger.
Chris Judd (29 disposals, 1 goal), under a lot of fire recently, answered his critics with a strong game. Andrew Carazzo (31 disposals, 8 marks) continued his fantastic form of late, while Bryce Gibbs (25 disposals), Mitch Robinson (27 disposals) and Heath Scotland (27 disposals) all put in reasonable performances for the besieged Blues. Brock McLean had another solid game despite his week of twitter drama, with 23 disposals and 8 tackles.
Carlton’s disposal efficiency and turnovers were just not up to scratch though, and the Hawks punished them on the rebound. Brent Guerra (22 disposals) was very strong, but is likely to miss a week or two for a foolish head high hit on Carlton’s Eddie Betts.
David Hale did the job of number one ruckman and playing as a key forward as well as anyone could ask, gathering 16 disposals and getting 29 hit-outs. He bobbed up with a goal late as just rewards for a strong game. Sam Mitchell (32 disposals, 1 goal) was at his classy best, kicking off both feet and squeezing the ball out of heavy congestion.
Jordan Lewis was welcomed back from suspension with 24 disposals and a goal.
Carlton have many injuries and this has obviously affected them, especially in terms of their forward setup. The biggest problem is that this points to a lack of depth, especially in key positions, which the top of the table teams like West Coast and Collingwood have managed to overcome.
Ratten would have had every right to be furious though, with players like Matthew Kreuzer, Zach Tuohy and Nick Duigan simply not up to par.
Carlton have a long week of soul searching ahead of them before taking on a rampaging Collingwood next weekend, while Hawthorn won’t have to worry too much about a week off for Buddy when they come up against the GWS Giants in round 14.
3. Sam Mitchell
2. Lance Franklin
1. Jordan Lewis
Carlton: Armfield 2, Betts 2, Ellard, Hampson, Judd, Robinson, Simpson, Yarran
Hawthorn: Franklin 4, Roughead 3, Gunston 3, Breust 2, Hale, Lewis, Mitchell, Puopolo, Savage, Suckling
Carlton: Carrazzo, Robinson, Judd, Warnock, Gibbs
Hawthorn: Franklin, Mitchell, Lewis, Burgoyne, Hale, Roughead, Suckling
Carlton: Jamison (right shoulder)
Hawthorn: Franklin (left hamstring)