Two out of three ain’t bad

As the big bloke with the hankie once said, “two out three ain’t bad”. Three weeks ago, Carlton were staring at a 5 and 2 loss/win ration. Finals would have been the stuff of JRR Tolkien. However, after terrific victories over the last year’s grand finalists, the ledger is now 4/3 and September action looks every possibility. The loss to the Pentridge Pigeons was a shocker and typical of what happens to Carlton when their intensity drops. It possibly also showed an underlying lack of belief in their game plan. Could they really win without The Problem Child? Bloody oath they can and they can win well.

While the win over the Cats was extremely enjoyable, the demolition of the Saints was unbelievable. It’s been a rather lean trot since 2001after all and it takes some fortitude to cop a bagging from supporters of a club that has one solitary flag in what Big Jack would describe as “a sad history”. There has not been a better full game performance from Carlton since the 1995 Untouchables. The Spudman continues to offer a genuine target up forward and “Setanta’s Little Helpers” were just too fast. I know teams getting a flogging look glacial but Carlton is a seriously fast football team.

I could go into detail about the game and who and what kicked where and when but I’m tipping most readers can get that info in to paper. But not the Herald Sun as they still have an * next to the Saints and Blues on the ladder (maybe Monday night was a dream). What I do want to talk about is how this game, regardless of it being a magnificent Baggers victory, may well have changed the course of the season and turned what looked to be a two, possibly three horse race (Collingwood aren’t one of those horses) into a far more open competition. I’m not saying that Carlton can win the flag (I’m thinking it but not saying it) but last night showed that superior attack and speed will win most games regardless of who plays who. It showed that zone football can be destroyed if the ball is moved quickly and efficiently and Carlton 1st quarter was every bit of that with 12 scoring shots to basically put the game away in 30 minutes. That they continued to apply the same intensity over the next three quarters, extending their lead at each break, suggests that the Saints don’t have a Plan B after the rupture of Plan R’s hamstring. It also suggests Carlton do have the belief to put away any side they meet and I guarantee we won’t see a repeat of the handballfest and turnoverathon that was on display against the Pigeons.

As I’ve alluded to in the past, the Carlton backline is now more accountable and repels attack with rapid offensive moves off the half back line. Gibbs in particular. This freed up Waite to go forward and kick three snags in the 1st quarter. Russell and Jamison shut down Kosi and co. Milne even had an airy trying to dribble through a smart arse shot. Note to Ross Lyon: If the Saint can’t win a flag without Nick they definitely can’t win a flag with Milne. He’s their Albatross. Leon Davis in another jumper if you will. The same could probably be said of Fevola and Blues. While sensational when on song he made Carton’s attack one dimensional and predictable. Toss a dose of the sooks and you have a recipe for shit sandwiches.

Which leads me to the Messiah. Geelong may have their baby Jesus bit the Blues have to one true Lord who will lead us to the promised land. It might take a couple of more years of wandering down the wrong roads but with the inspirational Mr Judd the Blues have what every premiership team needs. A Game Breaker ( which is why Collingwood is not one of the horses). Just as Gary Snr and Carey did before him, And Big Jon does now, the Juddster demands the football and takes on the game and wins it. His running strength is phenomenal and his ability to break tackles is only equalled by the Gary Jr. Some might argue that they both seem to get a little more latitude when it comes to getting rid of the ball but it would be criminal to deny the football world the skills that they both possess (for mine, Jnr gets the nod slightly because of his goal kicking ability). But in the words of the great oracle Mick McGuane, Judd was “a positive pen to paper signing” for the Blues ( LOL he actually said that on radio last week). The club and the world are better places for it too (notice how climate change is apparently all but finished since he took over the environmental ambassador’s job at Visy). Is the anything this man can’t do?

The jury is still out on Monday night football but I’ll be tuning in if the Blues perform like that each week. That said the Monday AFD took a hammering and made for a long toil the following day. But if that what I’ve got to do to see the Blues playing in September I’ll take one for the Blues.

Carlton 5.7 10.8 14.9 20.9 (129)
BELTED
St Kilda 2.4 5.6 7.9 9.14 (68)

GOALS
Carlton: Betts 5, Garlett 4, Waite 4, O’hAilpin 2, Murphy, Gibbs, Yarran, Houlihan, Judd
St Kilda: Steven 2, Gram 2, Schneider, Gwilt, Milne (gift) , Goddard, Montagna

BEST
Carlton: Carrazzo, Judd, Gibbs, Russell, Setanta’s Little Helpers
St Kilda: No one apart from Hayes

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t Mick Malthouse driving a train.

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