Geelong Hurt Carlton


The Geelong Cats have smashed the Carlton Blues 22.8.140 – 9.9.63 at Etihad Stadium on Friday night in round 8 of the AFL Premiership.

Geelong welcomed Tom Hawkins and Andrew Mackie back  from injury. The Cats kicked an impressive 6-goal quarter to open the match, but Carlton were miraculously still in touch with 2 goals of their own. Six different scorers for the Cats included Hawkins, who was missed in last weeks loss to the Swans.

Geelong have kicked at an efficiency rate of 70% over the past four weeks, ranking 2nd in the AFL. Not much has been going Carlton’s way, with their coach Mick Malthouse under mounting pressure to deliver his side from the doldrums of the AFL ladder. 

Geelong’s six goals straight from 9 inside 50s in the first quarter was a fierce contrast to the Blues efforts in front of goal. Carlton began the second quarter with gusto, but struggled to convert in front after entering the forward 50 four times. Dale Thomas kicked his second for Carlton but was countered by a centre blast by Darcy Lang.

Impressively, three of Geelong’s goals originated from the defensive 50, and five goals in total began in the defensive half. Joel Selwood was being marked hard but was still able to contribute in midfield along with the elusive Mathew Stokes.  

Tom Hawkins was creating headaches for defenders and his kicking coach after failing to converting a couple of golden chances. Goals to Chris Yarran and Jason Tutt for Carlton brought the Blues to within 17 points (8.4.52 – 5.5.35) with 5 minutes to the main break.

A cheeky free kick for a high tackle on Joel Selwood resulted in a goal for the Cats and a restoration a dominant 6-goal lead. Selwood is the AFL’s all-time leader for free kicks since 2007 with 267 high tackle penalties. Adam Selwood is a distant 2nd with 145.

Blues fans were optimistic until the Cats blasted three goals. A double to Josh Caddy meant that Geelong had kicked 6 straight either side of halftime. Seven of Geelong’s 13 goals had already come from stoppages to this point and Carlton were treading water carrying a brick.  

A beautiful 50 metre bomb from Carlton’s Dennis Armfield was countered again. An inside 50 interception Jordan Murdoch helped Geelong hit 100. With a four goal personal best, Murdoch was on fire for the Cats. Kade Simpson and Marc Murphy were doing their best for the Blues with 20 and 18 disposals respectively minutes before the end of the third. Troy Menzel kicked his third after being awarded a free for a push in the back inside the goal box to push the score out to 17.5.107 – 8.8.56.

Bryce Gibbs was forced from the field in the third quarter with a back injury. Geelong in contrast were going from strength to strength with seven from 18 defensive chains reaching inside 50 for the match. Geelong shared the spoils around with 12 individual goal scorers which is a season high.

Club goal scoring leader for 2015 Mitch Clarke kicked his third in the final quarter as the Cats busted 12 goals clear. It’s not often that a side kicks fewer behinds then the other team kicks goals. Carlton kept in touch across the field with disposals, possessions and hitouts, but they could not rally in the forward 50.

“We have the two big forwards, but if the little guys can get it going, it is good for the team,” reflected Jordan Murdoch in response to the 12 goal scorers for Geelong. Murdoch finished with 4.1 goals, 26 disposals and 19 kicks. The result was 1-point short of the worst loss Carlton has ever suffered at the hands of Geelong in their history.


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