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Suns put Ratten's reign on the line

Date

Andrew Stafford, Gold Coast

Shining Sun: Campbell Brown celebrates.

Shining Sun: Campbell Brown celebrates. Photo: Getty Images

IT WAS the question that had to be asked, the one Carlton coach Brett Ratten was expecting after the upset 12-point loss to the Suns, and his response was icy and to the point.

"What do you reckon, mate?" he said, in regard to whether it would have ramifications for his continuing tenure. "Come on, you asked me, what do you reckon?"

Collectively, that was taken as a yes. Ratten nodded. "Good guess," he said. It was all that needed to be said, really.

The loss means if Fremantle beats North Melbourne today the Blues have no hope of qualifying for the top eight.

Captain Chris Judd was measured. "There's no doubt the players let everyone down tonight. It's not about 'Ratts', it's about us letting down our entire footy club and our supporters, and the senior players need to take responsibility for that."

The more immediate ramification for the Blues' loss to Gold Coast is obvious and shattering for a side that, early in the season, looked like a potential premier.

"It means we can't play finals and that was a goal of ours as a football club," Ratten said.

It has been a cursed season for the Blues and the game was full of ill portents from the outset. "It was a bit like a train wreck today," the coach said. "From the first bounce, [Andrew] McInnes does an ACL, you know. It just went poorly for us in a lot of areas. And, you know, full credit to the Suns early - they scored, but [it was] just the way they scored, and our intensity was just really off the pace.

"By the end of the game we've dominated nearly every area of the game, but our inability to score and the way that they kept scoring - even in the third [quarter], they took it in [inside 50] eight times and scored five times.

"We were taking it in numerous times and by the end we've had 31 shots and three or four out on the full, so we've had 35 shots from 66 entries to 43. It's just very, very poor football, and we've only got ourselves to blame."

Inaccuracy certainly cost the Blues. "We fought our way back into the game, but we just didn't kick it through the big sticks," Judd said. But to focus on Carlton's mistakes sells the Suns' efforts short, as Ratten acknowledged.

"The Suns' record up here has been pretty solid, against the Kangaroos, Essendon, and through periods of the game they played well last week. So we knew we'd be in for a real fight. It's slippery up here, it's dewy, those types of things.

"But at the end of the day, for Levi [Casboult] and [Jarrad] Waite to get 11 shots at goal, you'd think you'd get a better result than two goals nine [behinds].

"We gave the Suns a look, and we spoke about it before the game, that if we do, they're going to be there all day, and they were, they were right at us. We gave them the opportunity, and they delivered."

For the local team, they delivered in front of 15,251 mostly delirious fans in just the Suns' third win of the year - matching the victory tally from their debut season in 2011.

But it was easily their most famous victory, having limped into the round with a 20-strong injury list and banishing out-of-knick star utility Jared Brennan to the reserves this weekend.

With aap

3 comments

  • So how will the senior players take responsibility for the loss exactly, as per Judd? Go down to Mt Buller to ski all of September, paid for by the club from membership monies?

    Commenter
    Wmb
    Location
    Elsternwick
    Date and time
    August 26, 2012, 12:23AM
    • We're the team that never let's you down. Oh so sweet!

      Commenter
      BEN
      Location
      The Congo
      Date and time
      August 26, 2012, 12:31AM
      • Rohan Connolly has made a sterling defence of Ratten's performance as a coach, citing injuries as the main cause for Carlton's disappointing season. Clearly, those injuries didn't help. But the assessment is much more complicated than that. It's what he does on the field - or more to the point, what he doesn't do - that should be the determinant of his continuing tenure.

        What has been glaringly obvious is that, tactically, he's either just too slow or, as has been embarrassingly revealed week after week, he is simply devoid of ideas. On top of that, he has not been creative or proactive in the use of the list of players available to him. He's not blooded players nearly well enough to provide them with senior game time experience in order for them to be able to adequately cover the injury situation Carlton found itself in. Players like Casboult, Bell and McIness only fell into the team when there simply weren't enough of the usual suspects who were injury free.

        Yes, the players should be accountable for performances like the one yesterday but it's the coach's job to train his charges to be switched on and to stay switched on week in and week out. If they're not, then it's down to the coach. He does that on the training track as much as on game day. Creative moves on the field can inspire a team to respond. If there's not much light emanating from the coach, then the light in the players goes out as well.

        Commenter
        DJS
        Date and time
        August 26, 2012, 1:31AM
        Comments are now closed

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