Round 12 – Carlton v Port Adelaide: Blues get their first win on Australian soil for the year

Port Adelaide travelled to the MCG to play Carlton on a Saturday Afternoon in an intriguing game. There was a lot at stake for Port as a loss would make it tough for them to make the eight. From the Blues point of view they had been playing so much better the last couple of weeks and would have wanted that to continue.


It was the Blues however, in a massive upset beating the Power by 4; their first win on Australian soil this year and for 315 days. With this win the Blues had got some reward for their hard work and good play over the last 2-3 weeks. From the Power point of view they were disappointing as if they wanted to be a top eight, even top four they should have beaten the Blues.


The first quarter began with both sides looking to get off to a good start and it was Port who got that good start by getting the first goal of the game. Port were on top early as they were able to get another goal and it put pressure on the Blues. They needed a settler and they got one through Henderson and this got them into the game. It was a good contest early as it was going end to end. Blues started to get on top and they were rewarded with a couple of goals and this led to them getting the mini break. At this point of the game the Blues were looking good, not only when they had the ball, but when they didn’t, their pressure on the man was great. Port on the other had looked like they were lacking confidence. Port got some much needed goal to get back some momentum, this momentum led to another goal and they had hit the front. With not long left in the quarter the Blues were able to capitalise on another turnover and get a goal and it bought the margin back to 1 point at quarter time. It was a seesawing contest each side had their moments in the quarter, the Blues were well and truly in the contest, it was 4.3 to 4.2.


At the start of the second the quarter the Blues got the quick start they were looking for as they were able to get a goal in the first minute of the quarter. They had hit the front, Port however, quickly responded after a coast to coast goal and they had got back the lead. The Blues and Port were trading goals early in this quarter and like the first it was a tight contest.  All of a sudden in a short period of time the Blues were able to kick 4 unanswered goals and get the margin out to 23 points. Port Adelaide were on the ropes. The Blues were up and about. Which led to the question, where was this 3 weeks ago? Port need to lift and needed a goal, to stay in touch and stop the Blues momentum. They were able to do this through late goals to Wines, Gray and Wingard and get the margin back to 4 points. By half time the Power had clawed their way back into the contest, to only trail by 4 points. The Blues had played a great first half of footy, full of run, pressure and great tackling. It would be interesting to see if they were able to keep this up.


They were able to keep it up by getting the first goal of the third. Like the first 2 quarters their pressure on the Port players was great and they were playing like a side in finals contention. In this period of dominance they managed to get some reward as they kicked 3 goals and 2 behinds. The margin had blown out to 24 points. Blues were playing like a good side, Port on the other hand weren’t. Port looked flat and it was like they couldn’t handle the Blues pressure and tackling. Port needed a goal or two just to get something going and give them life in this game. They were able to get two goals in the space of 4 minutes and it brought the margin back to 11 points. They were hanging around and this could have put doubt in the Blues players’ minds. This wasn’t the case however as the Blues were able to kick two quick goals and the margin was back out to 23 points. So as the three quarter time siren went it was the Blues, who had probably played their best quarter of football up by 23 points, it was 15.7 to 11.8.


The last quarter began and within a minute the Blues had goaled got the margin out to 29 points. This seemed to inspire the Power as they started to take the game on. It started with a quick response to the Blues goal. From that Blues goal, Port started to dominate the play and kicked four unanswered goals. It bought the margin back to 3 points, Port had all the running. It looked like at this stage the Blues had gone into their shells, as it looked like after a couple of Power goals they were looking to save the game. The Blues pressure was still there, it was just more of a defensive mindset. The Blues were able to get a much needed goal through Henderson, which got the margin out to 10, a bit of a buffer for the Blues. This was quickly nullified however, from a goal to Travis Boak and it was 3 points again. The pressure was on and the intensity had lifted for both sides, the tackling was great for both teams. So much was on the line as Port Adelaide were playing for their season. There was a bit of controversy as there was a mark disallowed in Ports forward line with not much time left on the clock. This was a big moment in the game as it led to a ball up and allowed the Blues to get players around the ball and clog it up. As the final siren went the Blues were able to hang on for the win, their second of the year and their first on Australian soil, the final score was 17.8 to 16.10.


While it was a great win by the Blues, who had become unrecognisable over the last 3 weeks with their tackling, run and pressure on the opposition. This game said more about the Power who were seen as a top 4 team at the start of the year, were nowhere near their best and in danger to miss the eight all together.


About Nick Weidmann

Former Honours student in Journalism at the University of Tasmania and passionate Essendon supporter

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