COLLINGWOOD 1.5 4.9 6.12 8.14 (62)
CARLTON 3.1 7.4 8.11 12.13 (85)
It seemed like the scene was set for another typical Carlton night of late – things weren’t going to go their way.
At first, Michael Jamison looked in serious agony after being winded in a successfully attempted spoil within the first minute, then a short while later sole tall forward Shaun Hampson injured his knee seriously enough to be substituted out early.
Jamison didn’t just play out the game but had a big impact, attempting to drop digits off Travis Cloke’s asking price by keeping him to two goals. Hampson’s replacement, Brock McLean, ended up becoming one of the Blues’ best with 28 disposals – the second time in as many weeks he’d been subbed in within the first ten minutes of a match. Look for Brock to be on the field from the opening bounce in coming weeks.
Carlton’s intensity was massive, dominating the tackle count over what really appeared to be a Collingwood in second gear. The Blues led at every change.
Nick Duigan and Dennis Armfield – both playing as defensive forwards – kick-started the run despite the downfall of Hampson and (almost) Jamison. Andrew Collins booted the other with an impressive start.
Jarryd Blair and Alex Fasolo were very handy for Collingwood early on, as was Nick Maxwell, but Carlton as a unit were much more intense around the ball and reaped the rewards.
Despite that, Collingwood hung in pinching goals through players such as Jackson Paine who was later subbed out.
With that, they were able to capitalise on an inaccurate Carlton – who kicked 1.7 for the quarter – and were able to bring it back to three points midway through.
The Blues missed simple opportunities to really nail the Pies down until Chris Yarran gave it his all to make a shot from 35 out look as difficult as it possibly could, evading and weaving his way through multiple tackles to slot the most difficult chance they had.
Yarran and captain Chris Judd were both immense in the third. The former backed his pace and foot-skills and pulled it off a number of times, while Judd did the dirty work, winning his own ball and damaging Collingwood in the process.
They did this even while losing Kade Simpson to one of the nastier clashes you’ll see. Simpson went back with the flight with eyes only for the footy and was knocked near-senseless by a Sharrod Wellingham airborne hip-and-shoulder to the head. Wellingham, good on the night, will be very lucky to play in the coming weeks.
The Pies fought even with star midfielder Dale Thomas appearing to stub his toe in the turf in the third. He went down in agonising pain and played out the match, although he never looked 100% fit for the remainder of the game.
Yarran’s goal was the first in a stretch of four for the Blues, which in a low-scoring contest was pivotal in ensuring the 23-point win.
3 – Chris Judd (Carl)
2 – Chris Yarran (Carl)
1 – Matthew Kreuzer (Carl)
Collingwood: Cloke 2, Paine 2, Goldsack, Sidebottom, Thomas, Wellingham
Carlton: Betts 4, Duigan 3, Walker 2, Armfield, Collins, Yarran
Collingwood: Swan, Blair, Thomas, Sidebottom,
Carlton: Judd, Yarran, Kreuzer, McLean, Robinson, Duigan
Collingwood: Thomas (right ankle), Williams (left shoulder)
Carlton: Hampson (right knee), Simpson (concussion)
Collingwood: Jackson Paine replaced by Ben Sinclair in third quarter
Carlton: Shaun Hampson replaced by Brock McLean in the first quarter
Reports: Sharrod Wellingham (Collingwood) for high contact with Kade Simpson (Carlton) in the third quarter.
Umpires: Donlon, Findlay, McInerney
Official crowd: 75,755 at the MCG