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Blues hold on for eight-point victory



Stephen Hill of the Dockers handballs during the round five AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Carlton Blues at Patersons Stadium on April 27, 2012 in Perth, Australia. Photo by Getty Images Click for more photos

AFL Round 5 - Fremantle v Carlton

Carlton rebounded strongly with a comfortable win over the inform Dockers at Patersons Stadium in WA on Friday 27th of April. 

CARLTON 2.1 6.2 9.4 10.5 (65) FREMANTLE 1.2 3.9 4.10 7.15 (57)
Goals: Carlton: A Walker 2 J Garlett 2 M Robinson 2 E Betts J Waite K Simpson S Hampson. Fremantle: C Mayne H Ballantyne L McPharlin M Pavlich R Crowley S Hill Z Clarke.
Best: Carlton: K Simpson M Robinson A Walker L Henderson M Murphy. Fremantle: S Hill R Crowley L McPharlin P Duffield T Mzungu.
Umpires: Jeff Dalgleish, Dean Margetts, Luke Farmer.
Official Crowd: 38,847 at Subiaco.

Star Carlton midfielder Chris Judd had a rare quiet outing but it mattered little as the Blues regained their mojo with an eight-point AFL victory over a wayward Fremantle at Patersons Stadium last night.

Judd was held to just six possessions by Ryan Crowley in an arm-wrestle of a first half.

The Blues' Kade Simpson looks to fire off a handball against the Dockers.

The Blues' Kade Simpson looks to fire off a handball against the Dockers. Photo: Getty Images

But the Blues iced the game with an inspired 10-minute burst to start the third quarter, piling on three unanswered goals to set up the 10.5 (65) to 7.15 (57) triumph in front of 38,847 fans.

Judd finished the match with just 17 disposals on a frustrating night.

But Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett was critical of Crowley's tagging tactics.

"Crowley is a joke!" Ablett tweeted after the opening term.

"Play the ball, not the man! That's why (Cameron) Lingy was such a great player he ran both ways!"

The Dockers were left to rue their inaccurate display, with a glut of set shots failing to split the middle in perfect conditions.

It was only right at the death that the Dockers finally clicked, booting three quick goals to cut the gap from 31 points to the eventual eight-point margin.

The second term proved particularly costly for the Dockers, who booted 2.7.

Carlton suffered a shock 30-point loss to Essendon last week, but its triumph over Fremantle enhanced its premiership credentials.

Although Fremantle had its fair share of chances in the opening half, it barely got a sniff in the third term as Carlton set up a match-winning lead.

Fremantle forward Jack Anthony started the rot in the first minute of the quarter, with his decision to play on from beyond 50 metres proving disastrous.

Anthony turned the ball over after being mobbed by two Carlton players, with the Blues swiftly swinging the ball forward for Jeff Garlett to score.

Mitch Robinson and Andrew Walker followed up with goals as the Blues skipped away, with Fremantle unable to launch a meaningful fightback until right at the death.

Kade Simpson was pivotal for the Blues with 35 possessions, while Stephen Hill and defender Luke McPharlin, who kept Jarrad Waite to just one goal, were important for the home side.

Andrew Walker almost took a contender for mark of the year in the second quarter, soaring over ruckmen Zac Clarke and Kreuzer and taking an extra spring off their shoulders before fumbling the ball once all the hard work had been done.

Heath Scotland gave Nat Fyfe's injured left shoulder a good test early on with a few solid bumps, but it was during the second term that the Fremantle star appeared to struggle.

Fyfe grabbed his shoulder in pain after colliding with Kreuzer, and he again appeared in strife after bracing a fall to the ground just minutes later.

However, the silky-skilled midfielder managed to play out the match.

"I thought the third quarter really changed the game," Carlton coach Brett Ratten said.

"The stoppage work from our boys got the game back on track for us and gave us a bit of breathing space.

"To win with 15 shots - we thought it would be a low-shots game so we're really happy to grab the win."

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon lamented some costly turnovers from his side either side of half-time.

"We understand where we're at and we're improving, but I sort of walk away frustrated. I think the game was there to be won," Lyon said.

"There was a bit to like and a bit to dislike.

"I just think when we had the ascendancy in the second quarter, to kick 2.7 against what everyone believes to be a top-four team - you really need to put some scoreboard pressure on.

"We didn't do that."



  • regarding Crowley ... Ablett is on the money, play the ball not the man ... such negative tagging tactics are a blight on our great game and unsportsmanlike

    Date and time
    April 28, 2012, 10:11AM
    • Yes always a sign of great character when one plays the ball and not the man and I agree with Abliett that to play like Ling where one runs "both ways" is a sign of a champion.

      Meanwhile my blues had a good win, not fantastic with particularly in the first quarter some terrible mistakes. But things got better as time when on but we need to get back to better skills if we are going to be a real chance at a premiership. Like how we played against Collingwood!

      Date and time
      April 28, 2012, 10:53AM
    • I disagree. I'm an ardent blues fan and I hate seeing Judd shut down as he was last night, but tagging is part of the game and Crowley isn't a cheat (unlike Adam McPhee, who'll never miss an opportunity to injure an opponent behind play). I seem to remember Crowley giving Ablett an absolute towelling at Subiaco a few years ago so it might just be bitterness on Gazza's part that prompted last night's tweetburst.

      Date and time
      April 28, 2012, 11:22AM
  • If Crowley played for my team I would agree with Gary Ablett. The prime ball players deserve fair protection from the taggers excesses - holding, unfair blocking from the contest, not allowing access to the contest, treading, hitting etc. If there were one or two umps out there you could understand them missing 95% of taggers' infringements, but we have 3 field umps and even more boundary umps who could just target the taggers. Everyone umps know the prime players and who the taggers are (most of whom would not get a game, but for their tagging role).

    Joe King
    Date and time
    April 28, 2012, 11:01AM
    • I'd go so far and point the finger at Ross Lyon. His style of footy is a blight on the game, boring, scrappy, and not as 'successful' as it was for flukes like Sydney Swans. If Freo think he's gonna help them win a flag, they should think again. Freo aren't the side St.Kilda were, and it got them no premiership glory.

      Azza Gazza
      Date and time
      April 28, 2012, 11:09AM
      • Is Judd a protected species lloydyboyblue?

        That was all fair and done by every tagger in the competition. Same is done to Hill and every other danger man in the competition every week.

        If you want to highlight the blight of negative tagging/playing the man then you should be complaining about the bit in the article where it goes "Heath Scotland gave Nat Fyfe's injured left shoulder a good test early on with a few solid bumps" Going for someone's known injuries is a low deed.

        Date and time
        April 28, 2012, 11:13AM
        • You know better than that, footyfan. If Fyfe was still injured, then why was he out there? I suppose someone should have stepped in to tell Scotto "Hey, mind you don't bump his injured shoulder!"

          Date and time
          April 28, 2012, 1:19PM
      • Been watching our great game a long itme and I'm suprised the AFL and umpires are not paying attention to the Crowley type of play (he's of course not alone). I wholeheartedly agree that opponents who physically obstruct and impair a player going for the ball while themselves clearly not seeking possession, commonly called 'playing the man' should be harshly penalised. Crowley mostly got away with it all night and as we all know he's not the only player practised at this unsporting techinique. It is a very unattractive blight on the game. Shame.

        Perk Cartel
        Date and time
        April 28, 2012, 11:18AM
        • Ross Lyon's fingerprints all over that game - negative, defensive, risk free, in pursuit of the boundary line, boring and basically against the spirit of the game.

          Thankfully he, crab Crowley and the other 21 purple drones got what they deserved.

          Blue Moon
          Date and time
          April 28, 2012, 11:41AM
          • blue moon you have scibbed a magnifencent piece of verse

            vic rhodes
            Date and time
            April 28, 2012, 12:51PM

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