AFL Round 18 – Carlton v North Melbourne: A Chocolate in a Sea of Turds

In the week leading up to the game, Mick Malthouse employed one of the more interesting tactical plays used by a coach in recent history. Mick managed to alienate every media person in the game, beautifully deflecting all attention from the ineptness of the team after the minor 10 goal lapse the weekend before. After giving Lingy an earful, surely the equivalent of shooting Bambi, Mick took more pot shots than Elmer Fudd at anyone with a laptop. His daughter Christi was reportedly sent to bed without dinner on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, the match committee came to the realisation that having a 6’10” ruckman who cannot take a mark is a bit of a liability. The problem was that the replacement was another Pie’s reject who hadn’t played in the ones all year. Surely ex Collingwood people had already done enough to bring down the Blues this year. Given the moon was aligned with Jupiter, young Vinnie was due to get a kick and was brought in from the cold. The kids that have been drafted in the past three years, who had only recently been discovered in a broom cupboard under the Heatley Stand, have started to get some game time and show some potential. Importantly, the human glacier, Brock Maclean, was omitted and Jeff Garlett rightfully was left to languish in the magoos. So far, so good.


On paper, the Roos were very warm favourites. The problem is that North read a different paper each week. Still, they had beaten all top four teams and Carlton couldn’t beat a drum.  Carlton have had an awful month in what has been an awful year.  Some normally reliable players have been down, most notably Henderson and Simpson. The Messiah’s return has been welcome and he is playing with greater freedom, given Gibbs and Murphy are getting the better opponents. However, the confidence rating was still a heavy 10.  The thought of less than complimentary post game texts from North Melbourne inclined family members was not going to add a lot of value to what had already been a shite week.


North opened up with the first goal of the night. Then the script was thrown in the bin as Carlton started playing with an intensity not seen for some time. Actually, since 1999 PF. The rest of the first half saw players who have been missing for most of the season play like they cared. The tackling was fierce and the Roos were wasteful and error ridden. It’s no coincidence that when Simpson is on, his team mates follow. Gibbs and Murphy owned the centre and Cameron Wood was the dominant ruckman. Juddy was terrific and showing why he should keep going next year and Brock never selected again. Something odd was also happening. The umpires realised that incorrect disposal was actually in the rule book. Players looked genuinely miffed. The Blues by 15 points at half time. Mick gives Barry Hall a rabbit punch for good measure.


North lifted in the third quarter and it appeared that the script had been salvaged. Carlton was down a player as Everitt was subbed off with crook knee. North attacked but never really took advantage of the increase in possession. Still it looked as though the Roos would get away with an ugly win as the margin was back to 3 point at the last break. Mick spits on Cameron Mooney coming back from the huddle.


Enter Hendo. The ball starting coming into Carlton’s forward line with ease and Lachie was on the end of most of them. North were gone and looked ordinary. Henderson kicked four in the quarter and finished with six for the night. Waite had a real impact with four of his own and one senses his contract negotiations may have been on his mind. The forward combo is tantalising but you never know which Jarred is going the turn up. In some respect he would fit in nicely with North given their enigmatic nature. The Roos kicked a couple of late ones in junk time but the Blues had put in their best performance of year and ran out a comfortable winner by 23 points claiming North’s scalp for a second time this year. Menzel’s and Everitt’s knee injuries were a dampener with the latter out for the year but the young forward star was cleared of any major damage. Something his brother would like to hear for once.


Mick smiled and waved and high fived the Carlton fans when leaving the ground. It was a better message to supporters than had been delivered over the previous week. 30 minutes later, Mick returned to type in the press conference. Mark Stevens was on the end of a Malthouse serve this time.  Mick, you would give the Easter Bunny and Santa a spray if they turned up on your front door. You are the face of the football club, the salesman with the vision. Right now you could not sell an ice cream to an African. It’s a crap look for the club and a crap look for footy. Buckley is the coach of Collingwood, you’re not.  Get over it or get out. This was a really good win for Carlton and you made it funereal. So could you and your love child Daisy please leave and close the door behind you. Wood can stay. Go Blues




Simpson 3

Murphy 2

Henderson 1


CARLTON 4.3 9.7 10.13 16.13 (109) NORTH MELBOURNE 3.0 7.4 11.4 13.8 (86) Goals: Carlton: L Henderson 6 J Waite 4 B Gibbs 2 C Judd C Wood C Yarran N Graham. North Melbourne: L Thomas 4 B Cunnington 2 B Harvey 2 L Greenwood 2 D Petrie J Ziebell N Dal Santo.

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.


  1. Nice one Tony – It was an enjoyable game to watch. Who do you think should replace Menz for the coming weeks?

  2. Tony Robb. says

    Anyone but Brock McLean. A garden gnome possibly. Ellard played his best game but I would play Judd as a loose fwd

  3. Word I was hearing a day or so is Menzel-as-Anything might play in the next game….but ya gotta ask, why bother?

    If I was Brock I’d be keeping a low profile round the place for the rest of the season after my uncle emptied the bucket on Jarrad Waite’s late father on Open Mike.

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