Sunday, July 09, 2006

Round twelve

My picks

Adelaide over St Kilda
Fremantle over Geelong
West Coast over Port
Richmond over Hawthorn
Kangaroos over Carlton
Brisbane over Western Bulldogs
Melbourne over Essendon

The Old Blue Stager Report

Kangaroos 121 d Carlton 102

This was another semi-respectable Carlton performance, although that judgement is tempered by the poor quality of the opposition. 22 of the 33 goals in the match were scored at the Coventry (southern) end - a surprising imbalance in the controlled environment at Telstra Dome. Statistically this explains Carlton's coming up short, since they managed only 3 of the 11 goals at the "non-scoring" end.

The Kangaroos dominated the 2nd and 4th quarters, Carlton were on top in the 1st and 3rd. However their first quarter dominance in general play was not reflected on the scoreboard, which again provided a simple (simplistic?) explanation for the match result. Encouragement for the Blues was provided by sound efforts from Betts and Blackwell who looked comfortable as a second-gamer in the midfield. De Luca - for whom the football adjective much-maligned was invented - had a splendid third quarter, marking strongly and kicking three goals. Stevens produced his best game for many weeks, and Murphy was characteristically good, strong at the contest and reliably sound with his disposal. Fevola had a particularly interesting evening, kicking 5 goals, offering a couple of bids for mark of the year, and damaging his knee in falling from one aerial contest. Fev is leading the goal-kicking, and has serious prospects of winning the Coleman Medal.

The Kangaroos who have also endured a forgettable season, gradually found confidence, as they were able to exploit Carlton's wayward disposal. A high proportion of their goals began with a turn-over in Carlton's forward 50. In summary, a winnable game, both in prospect, and as it ran its course, which the Blues let go. The Kangaroos proved steadier and had a few more of their experienced players deliver on the night.


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