AFL Round 4 – West Coast v Carlton: Blues regain their mojo

By Lachlan Waterman

Support for the ‘Bluebaggers’ in the West is quite noticeable – a legacy of the Kenny Hunter/Peter Bosustow/Mike Fitzpatrick era. Easy to distinguish too, they’re the ones not throwing anything at the umpires.

The last time I plonked the posterior down at Subiaco was the dreaded 3 point loss to the Eagles in the 2011 First Semi. That helpless, sinking feeling comes flooding back. It’s unusually cooler than the blistering autumn heat we’ve been experiencing.

Yarran and Judd start deep inside the forward 50 and Walker is assigned to Darling and Carlton jump to an early lead. We may have unearthed a good ‘un in Sam Rowe. He looks a natural forward.

At quarter time Mick makes a beeline to Dennis Armfield: “Better to please a fool than to tease a fool.”

The Ox and the earth also get a mention.

Carlton are looking good. McLean and Murphy are winning some crucial ball in the middle of the ground. McLean has re-invigorated his career. He keeps his head over the ball and does the right thing at the right time.

The Blues are drilling holes in the West Coast defence, courtesy of some electrifying play from Chris Yarran. Mining magnate ‘Twiggy’ Forrest begrudgingly nods his approval following Yarran’s third for the quarter. Carlton are working hard for each other. The tackling is swift, the pressure relentless, the ball movement precise. 20 points up at half-time and the confidence is returning.

All-Australian skipper Darren Glass is literally playing with one arm after half-time. The valiant defender still makes a worthy contribution, despite being unable to lift both arms in a marking contest. Momentum swings late in the third quarter and the Eagles slam on three quick goals. Kerr kicks another from the boundary and suddenly it’s 14 points the difference at the final break.

Mick is irate at three quarter time and there is finger pointing at players and staff, in particular Brad Green.

Winning has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.

A fanatical Blues defence, devoted to the Malthouse boundary-first mantra keep West Coast goalless in the final stanza.7 goals from 30 shots is disastrous economics.

Simpson takes a bounce and ices the game on his trusty left ‘shoe’ and the Carlton faithful erupt. The famous Carlton swagger is back and our season is well and truly alive. Not back in town, just entering the outer suburbs.

CARLTON 2-5  7-10  10-15  12-17(89)

EAGLES   2-8  3-14  7-18     7-23(65)

Best – Carlton: Yarran, Murphy, McLean, Jamison.

West Coast:     Selwood, Shuey, Masten, Lecras.

Umpires: L.Farmer, G.Fila, S.McInerney.

Official Crowd: 38,674.

Our Votes: 3. C.Yarran (Carlton); 2. S. Selwood (W.Coast); 1. B McLean (Carlton)



  1. Fair enough, Lachlan. Sam Rowe is definitely a keeper if he learns how to kick. Very strong mark and worked hard but missed a lot of easy shots (he should close his eyes when the Eagles have set shots – he learns bad habits).
    But without too many sour grapes, I thought it was a very poor standard game. 10th played 14th was my summary of the game (and we’re not 10th). Ball handling and field kicking was generally poor by both sides most of the night on a perfect evening for footy.
    Glass was horrible and should have been dragged after hurting his shoulder. He couldn’t spoil or handball and every possession was a hurried slam over his shoulder after the injury. Bravery is no substitute for brains. The lunatics shouldn’t be running the asylum.
    As for 2 votes for Scott Selwood – how many of his disposals went to advantage??? He is a phenomenally hard worker, but has the poorest disposal in a team choc full of poor skills. If I was the opposition coach I couldn’t care how many touches he gets, as most are turnovers or put his teammates under impossible pressure. Ditto Masten. His skills are an indictment of the West Coast coaches. Shuey is the only good kick/handball in our midfield.
    Brock MacLean is a great story and Gibbs/Walker impressed me last night. Cool sweepers with good disposal across half back. Yarran and Garlett are enigmas. Garlett seems down on confidence. Yarran was clearly a matchwinner, but I wonder if Mick will ever get 120 minutes out of him. He could have got 6 or 7 with the opportunities he had. Is brilliant but flaky just part of the deal with both of them – good but rarely great??

  2. Lachlan Waterman says

    Thanks for your comments Peter. You are quite right about Yarran, it’s unlikely you will ever get 100 minutes, but that blistering speed is always going to cause headaches for opposition coaches. Ratten rarely used Judd forward and that was a big mistake. I never said it was the best game i have ever seen, just relieved to get the result.

    Astounded they are talking of playing Glass next week. The guy has made it almost exclusively on sheer desperation. Sounds like you aren’t much of a fan of his.

  3. Huge fan of Darren Glass. What I was trying to say was that the Captain told the Coach that he was staying on, when he was clearly very restricted. Very brave. Very stupid. His hurried disposals because he couldn’t handball created numerous turnovers. Schofield has bulked up in the off season (and lost 2 yards on pace in the process – doh!!). Schofield is now too slow on a flank – at CHB he could have played on Rowe and at least tried to generate the one thing we needed – some run out of the backline. Woosha doesn’t do Plan B.
    Carlton could be a dangerous team in the bottom part of the 8 if everyone was fit. But I doubt if Waite and Kreuzer are ever going to play full seasons. Warnock, Hampson and Rowe were much better than I expected – but I would reserve judgement as that may be more an indictment of our talls.
    I wonder if Cox is carrying an injury and is only playing because of Naitanui’s absence?? Cox is lumbering and his field kicking is woeful – which suggests a leg/foot injury to me.

  4. Lachlan Waterman says

    Scott Selwood 32 Disposals
    7 Clearances
    8 Tackles
    16 Contested Possessions
    62.5% Disposal Effective

    Luke Shuey 24 Disposals
    1 Clearance (only)
    5 Tackles
    7 Contested Possessions (only)
    70.8% Disposal Effective

  5. Lachlan Waterman says

    I don’t think Waite will be part of Malthouse’s long term plans. You are quite right Peter, he averages around 10 games a season. Kreuzer is still young especially for a Ruckman. Key player.

  6. Kreuzer is very talented, but he seems very fragile. Like his body strength cannot cope with the stresses from his frame and his athleticism.
    What made Carlton’s win most meritorious to me was that you did it without the ‘usual suspects’. Judd was poor. Murphy and Carazzo were average by their high standards. Others stepped up – good sign.
    As for Selwood/Shuey – I don’t know how the statisticians assess ‘effective’ disposals. Seems to me that if its not a clunker or a turnover its classed as effective. No other way I could see Selwood getting a pass for disposal effectiveness. I know sibling comparisons are unfair, but if his disposal was 50% as good as Joel – he would be our best midfielder. Shuey faded after half time, but having bagged him for 3 weeks, I thought he was our only dangerous midfielder in the first half. At his best he has run, penetration and breaks the lines. No other Eagle did that last night. Priddis (who is our most reliable player) had a shocker last night and Kerr is either past it or short of a gallop.
    Our stars of 05/06/07 are fading fast and I fear the young players are not progressing fast enough for them to combine effectively.
    Kennedy and Darling look in good nick but the midfield delivery to them is appaling. Slow build up and long bombs. LeCras was probably second best for me last night (playing in the midfield), but we need him up forward to crumb and kick goals. Hams is B grade and Josh Hiil plays too high and is too spasmodic to be a goal threat. Cripps and Dalziell!!##** (cast offs and you can see why). Hurn and Schofield were world beaters last year – can’t get a kick this year. I’d be giving them a run up forward or in the midfield – worked for Yarran.

  7. C. Yarran is a star. If he were at Geelong or Hawthorn he’d win the Brownlow – for the next three years in a row. He was superb against Geelong, but had only a handful of helpers that night. Our man Travis is his equivalent only C Yarran glides about like a barramundi in shallow water where T Varcoe runs like a young Yosemite Sam in an aths singlet.

  8. Love the ‘barramundi’ analogy for CYarran. What is your metaphor for SMotlop? He went into my ‘serious footballers’ class on Friday night. I thought the Cats would miss Varcoe but Motlop filled his role brilliantly.

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