After a credible effort against the Sydney Swans on Friday night, Blues coach Brendan Bolton compared post-game the progress of his younger players to that of infants beginning to walk and the awkward progress they make to the journey of walking proficiently. This isn’t a new analogy to compare football teams to infants. We’ve had the “Baby Bombers” which under Kevin Sheedy (who was inducted to Legend status to the AFL Hall of Fame during the week) saw Essendon become a footballing powerhouse in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. His teams initially were strong on youth and inexperience. Names like Watson, Van Der Haar, and Harvey would go on to be Bomber stars. Can Carlton create similar results is a fair question to ask considering the inexperienced players they have in their side.
Jack Silvagni started to show glimpses of the Silvagni brand that long suffering Carlton fans yearn for. His second quarter effort was superb. He led and marked strongly, provided some nice touches around the contest, kicked a goal and helped spark the Blues resistance against a talented Sydney Swans side. It was such a good effort that Carlton held a surprising 1 point lead against the Swans at halftime. Whether the Swans had taken the lowly placed Carlton too lightly was answered by a good 1st half effort by the Carlton team.
Despite Callum Sinclair playing a great game, Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer had his fair share of hit outs and the Blues were getting several centre clearances. Sam Kerridge, Ed Curnow and Paddy Cripps made good use of the supply. At half-time the centre hit outs were clearly in favour of Carlton at 10-2. Sydney had plenty of the ball leading 181 to 151 disposals, yet Carlton were able to post their hard work onto the scoreboard. Defensively, the ever reliable Kade Simpson was getting plenty of touches with 16 disposals that included 6 contested possessions. For Sydney Luke Parker was hard at the ball in the contest. Up to the half time break he had 13 disposals, 1 goal and picked up 8 contested possessions. Defender Nick Smith was Sydney’s leading disposal getter at the main break with 14 disposals that included 7 marks.
After a sluggish first half, Sydney lifted their game and regained a firm grip on the match. They quashed any Carlton resistance and saw out the game comfortably. Callum Sinclair stamped his authority on the game by booting 2 goals for the third quarter. The Swans poured on 5 goals and kept the Blues goalless. The stingy Swans defense only allowed Carlton eight inside 50 metre thrusts and kept them to just 4 behinds. Defenders Heath Grundy and Dane Rampe as per usual sent everything North for the Swans with a combined 9 rebounds from the Carlton 50 metre area.
Lance Franklin played a solid game up forward for Sydney kicking 3 goals and was well assisted by Will Hayward, Isaac Heeney and Luke Parker who each kicked 2 goals. In the end it was Sydney’s class that simply outgunned Carlton with the Swans running out comfortable winners by 30 points. Post-game Swans coach John Longmire was disappointed with the first half of the game, but was pleased in how his team lifted it’s intensity during the 3rd quarter. For Carlton coach Brendan Bolton it was a case of not cashing in on chances for goal stating that several set shots on goal cost his side dearly. The win sees Sydney (4th, 8 wins, 3 losses) face an improved St-Kilda (1 win, 1 draw, 9 losses) side for the annual Pride Game next Saturday night at the Melbourne Docklands (Etihad Stadium) Carlton (Last, 1 win, 10 losses) enters the mid year bye.
SYDNEY 3.5 5.7 10.9 13.13 (91)
CARLTON 3.1 6.2 6.6 9.7 (61)
Sydney: Franklin 3, Heeney 2, Parker 2, Sinclair 2, Hayward 2, Jack, McVeigh,
Carlton: Silvagni 2, C.Curnow 2, Kerr, Lang, Wright, Dow, E.Curnow
Sydney: Sinclair, Heeney, McVeigh, Parker
Carlton: Simpson, Kerridge, Kruezer, Ed Curnow
Umpires: Nick Foot, Robert O’Gorman, Jacob Mollison
Official crowd: 27,351 at the Sydney Cricket Ground