AFL Round 10 – Carlton v GWS Giants: Bring on the thrashing

Today’s match has a unique feeling about it for me. I’ve never attended a game involving either of the new ‘expansion clubs’. As a Victorian based Carlton supporter, the opportunity rarely arises.

Most football supporters cringe at the thought of witnessing their team lose to the Giants in their stages of infancy (just ask the Port Adelaide fans).

But to be honest, I hope that Greater Western Sydney enforce a contest this afternoon and at least ensure that the Blues earn the four points. Mainly because I want value for my money, but I also consider the Giants to be my second team out of pity, due to the difficulties they have faced throughout their existence both on and off the field.

Admittedly, the GWS franchise is unusual. Their players don an orange and white guernsey while entering the ground to a song resembling a Bolshevik ‘call to arms’.

However I feel the Giants will be less of a novelty, when their young kids mature into a possible powerhouse team in five years’ time.

In reality, spectators venturing into Etihad Stadium on this Saturday afternoon know that a Carlton victory is a foregone conclusion.

Even a commuter at Flinders Street Station glanced at my Carlton scarf and enquired; “don’t you have anything better to do today?”

She had a point, but I figured I had endured enough 100+ point drubbings throughout the Blues’ ‘salary-cap punishment years’ to enjoy basking in a one-sided victory.

Most of the 25 000 Carlton-dominated crowd have a similar mindset, as we sit beneath the closed roof to escape the deluge of another Melbourne downpour.

The signs are already ominous in the early stages, when the Blues boot two consecutive majors in as many minutes. Even with the absence of Chris Judd, the usual Carlton midfield suspects in Gibbs, Murphy and Simpson constantly find space and accumulate possessions with ease.

The 22 point lead at Quarter Time is not a true reflection of Carlton’s dominance, as the Giants struggle to dispose of the ball effectively.

A young fan in the Giants cheer squad sits plaintively in the row to my left, aware of the long day confronting him. It reminded me of the day almost a decade ago, sitting despairingly as a young Carlton fan in the same venue, watching St Kilda annihilating us by 108 points. That was the afternoon when Brendon Fevola was pitted at full-back against Fraser Gehrig, with the latter booting 9 goals. Denis Pagan used to try anything for a win.

As I recover from my corny moment of nostalgia, the young GWS side show glimpses of their capabilities in the second stanza, lifting their tackling pressure and intensity. Their skipper Callan Ward is a player I admire, galvanising his inexperienced teammates with fierce attacks on the contested ball.

But the Blues are answering the challenge in the final minutes of the first half, with the speedy Jeff Garlett and Chris Yarran exerting their influence on the scoreboard. With back to back goals, Carlton extends the margin to 40 points at the major break.

From this point onwards it is one-way traffic, as the Blues pile on 10 goals to 2 in the second half. I realise how pedestrian the game is when even the sugar-filled toddler in front of me falls asleep. But I must admit that watching the avalanche is fun.

The Giants are dwarfed in defence by the marking power of key Carlton forwards Jarrad Waite and Levi Casboult. Meanwhile, the blistering pace of Denis Armfield set the crowd alight and Michael Jamison’s negation of promising Giants forward Jeremy Cameron is quelling the goal-scoring options for GWS.

As the final siren blares to mark a 94 point victory for the Blues, I feel renewed optimism about our season ahead of a tough month of opponents.

On the other side of the coin, I genuinely want the Giants to succeed for the good of the code. I feel they need a marquee player to draw crowds and form, reminiscent of how Tony Lockett encapsulated Sydney throughout his stint at the Swans.

When making the long trek home, I learned that watching a new expansion team cannot disturb the tradition of a great Saturday afternoon at the footy.

CARLTON                                            6.4   12.6   18.12   22.16 (148)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY          3.0   6.2       6.5       8.6 (54)

Garlett 4, Waite 3, Yarran 3, Armfield 2, Menzel 2, Henderson 2, Armfield 2, Gibbs, Curnow, Casboult, Kreuzer
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 2, Coniglio 2, Hampton, Whitfield, Palmer, Ward



Carlton: Garlett, Walker, Yarran, Gibbs, Simpson, Murphy, Scotland

GWS: Ward, Coniglio, Whitfield, Greene, Adams, Palmer, Hampton


My Votes: 3. J. Garlett   2. A.Walker   1. C.Yarran

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.

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