AFL Round 15: Blues convince Nana

Carlton vs. Richmond

I remember the date: March 26. It was the day of my first game for the Waaia Under 17s. It was also the date of the start of the much-anticipated AFL season. Also the date of the game between Richmond and Carlton, a game that had the biggest build-up in recent times. And we all know what happened on “that night”, Richmond’s prize recruit, Ben Cousins, did his hammy, Carlton proved that they were indeed coming and Richmond had one of the biggest eggs on their faces in their history, losing by 83 points. Times have changed though, Cousins is back and in fine form, Brendan Fevola was threatening to break a game open any week, Jade Rawlings is now coach of the Tigers and Mitch Robinson is not playing for Carlton, a player that was instrumental in the drubbing in Round 1, his debut game. There is also an array of new players for the Tigers, with Robin Nahas, Tyrone Vickery, Jayden Post and Alex Rance are impressive first year players for Richmond. I do not expect a massive killing today, just like I didn’t expect it last time, but I’m sure that this game will be a lot tighter.

The first quarter begins and an early goal to Brad Fisher sees the Blues in front by 6 points. Brett Deledio answers back with a stunning goal from 60m out that bounces through. He looked as if he was passing it off, not shooting for goal, and it worked out brilliantly. Eddie Betts highlighted Carlton’s forward pressure with a strong tackle on a Tiger defender after the Richmond backline fumbled with the ball, being careful not to step over that white line that would guarantee a certain goal to the Blues. Betts snapped a goal with the resulting free kick before Jack Riewoldt kicked a goal out of mid air thanks to some pressure from Nahas. Bryce Gibbs then ran onto a handball to kick the Blues’ third goal but a late snap to Mitch Morton saw the Tigers go into quarter time with a one-point lead, 3.4 to 3.3. Shaun Grigg has 11 touches for Carlton while Cousins also picked up 11 for the Tigers. I receive a text message from my Nana, an avid Carlton supporter. It read: “Should the Blues dump Fevola and grab Barry Hall?” I laughed. “Just wait and see first…” I answered back.

The second quarter starts and my Nana would be smiling, with Fevola snapping his first goal of the afternoon after a disappointing first quarter. Riewoldt answered back though after a screamer to Post and then an inspiring run by Nahas. The Blues got on a run though, kicking goals through Marc Murphy, a snap off one step to Fevola and then Greg Bentley kicking a big goal from outside 50, the Blues led by 20 points. Nahas answered back for Richmond though, receiving two free kicks and kicking goals out of both of them. But it was Fevola who ended the quarter in fine fashion, taking a strong mark to goal and finally, a gem from the boundary line that bounced through from just inside 50. The Blues led by 20 points at half time, 9.8 to 6.6. Grigg was up to 20 touches while Cousins was one of a couple to have 16 touches for Richmond.

The third quarter was underway and Fevola took a nice mark that he juggled behind his head. I don’t think even he knew how he did it, but he knew how to kick big goals and this was no exception, putting through his 5th goal from 55m to extend the margin to 24 points. Chris Newman, one of Fevola’s best mates, then replied with a long, running goal but Andrew Carrazzo showed his precision skills, acing a goal off one step close to the boundary line, 40m out. Then Fevola takes a one-handed mark and converts, his 6th goal. The best was yet to come though. After a long, driving ball into the Carlton goalsquare, Fevola was in position A as the ball bounced up towards him. With his arms being held, Fevola swung his boot up to the ball and kicked it over his head. It sailed for about 5m, clearing the goal line and bouncing back over with incredible backspin, his 7th goal and perhaps the seasons best. The crowd was still in awe of his performance as the siren sounds for three quarter time, 13.9 to 7.14, a 31 point lead at the last change for the Blues. The Tigers were inaccurate in the quarter, kicking 1.8. Carrazzo has 23 disposals for Carlton while Cousins is up to 26 for Richmond.

The final quarter begins and I wonder if Richmond is a chance. Fevola is gifted with a free kick and kicks his 8th goal early, extending the margin to 38 points. Can he get over the barrier that has seen him not kick more than 8 goals in an AFL match before? Vickery kicks two quick goals for the Tigers to cut the margin back to 26 points. Riewoldt then kicks his 3rd goal and the deficit is 19 points. Carlton start making mistakes and the Tigers are starting to run and take risks. Matthew Kreuzer stands up though. He gathers and goals on his opposite foot to extend the margin out to a safe 26 points. Jake King then runs onto a Cousins’ handpass and goals from 10m out followed by a long, thumping goal to Deledio sees the margin back to 15 points, but fittingly its Fevola who finally seals the game with his 9th goal thanks to an unselfish Betts’ handball to Fev in the goalsquare. He boots the ball into the top tier and the Blues’ fans go wild as the Fev has created a new personal-best haul of goals. The siren sounds not long after, the Blues winning by 20 points, 16.13.109 to 12.17.89.

There was a bit of disappointment in this game. Fevola kicked 9, that was a highlight, but the game never really reached high standards. The Blues were commanding at best, but were sluggish at times. The Tigers played well but mistakes and fumbling of the ball really hurt them, but they showed they can play great footy in the last quarter. I text my Nana. “Still want Barry Hall?”

Carlton 3.3—9.8—13.9—16.13.109

Richmond 3.4—6.6—7.14—12.17.89

Goalkickers:

Carlton-Fevola 9, Fisher, Betts, Gibbs, Carrazzo, Murphy, Bentley, Kreuzer

Richmond-Riewoldt 3, Nahas 2, Vickery 2, Deledio 2, Morton, Newman, King

Best:

Carlton-Fevola, Carrazzo, Grigg, Judd, Gibbs, Kreuzer

Richmond-Cousins, Deledio, Riewoldt, Post

Crowd:

50,784 at the MCG

Votes:

3: Brendan Fevola (CARL)

2: Ben Cousins (RICH)

1: Andrew Carrazzo (CARL)

Comments

  1. Damian Watson says:

    Good writing Josh,

    Getting Barry Hall would just make things worse! Fev was certainly at his best.
    I thought the conditions at the MCG were bad but how about down in Tassie, it was raining sideways!

    P.S Why did you play your first game for Waaia on a Thursday? Was it meant to coincide with the AFL Season Opener?

  2. Yeah I agree about Barry Hall. Replace Fevola with him and that could cause real problems.

    Having them both on the same team would be even worse, I think Carlton works better as a one man target up forward, or I just think that because i’m so used to seeing it.

    Fev’s goal was incredible. It’s nothing like iv’e ever seen before. I remember Alan Didak’s “scissor kick” against Melbourne two years ago which narrowly missed and I think Robbo kicked a goal for the Dees over his head against Freo in 2000.

    Who saw the pie wrappers on the ground? Most junk on the ground i’ve seen for about 15-20 years, when they used to let people throw streamers on to the ground for Grand Final days.

    The Roos loss was a bad one yesterday. Can’t believe Franklin snatched the game. Sideways rain? Was that early on in the game? I’m about to watch the replay on TV, I recorded it on 7 last night.

  3. Josh Barnstable says:

    Damian:

    Tassie conditions were awful. I felt sorry for the 44 players out there in the rain, hale and wind.
    The game Waaia played was just a practice match so it was a Thursday. We usually play on a Thursay or Wednesday night. It was just bad timing that it coincided with the season opener. I remember getting changed after the game so I could rush home to see Ben Cousins run out on the field.

    Steve:

    I remember seeing Robbo’s goal against Freo in 2001 i think it was actually. It was brilliant, but the thing about Fev, was that he actually meant to do it. I saw the rubbish on the field. It was disgraceful. Fans should have more respect for one of the greatest sporting arena’s in the world.

    I tried staying up to watch the replay on Seven, but I had school the next day (today) and i only managed the first quarter, but I did want to see the weather that the radio commentators were talking about. It was a bit after Leigh Adam’s goal, around the 18th minute mark the rain starting falling.

  4. Danielle says:

    Last month i was at my grandmothers watching footy with my uncle and she said to him:
    “Stop making her watch the footy, she’ll start to like it!”
    my uncle laughed and when she left the room i said “opps shes a bit late!”
    Lol NICE WORK!

  5. Josh Barnstable says:

    Hahaha

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