AFL Round 13 – Carlton v Fremantle: Marvel(lous) Massacre at Etihad

Carlton v Fremantle

Saturday 16th June 1.45 p.m.

Etihad Stadium


In this dark era for Blues’ partisans (do I hear “richly deserved” from the cheap seats), there have been few more mortifying single hours than 1.45 – 2.45 p.m. Saturday 16th June. In a fit of inexplicable optimism, I had convinced myself to tip the Blues for the first (only?) time in 2018. I was promptly disabused of this piece of wishful thinking as Fremantle ran in six goals in the first 26 minutes, and my prediction was rendered absurd in the following half hour.


In my defence, I had noted the Dockers’ feeble performances away from Perth this year, which continued a pattern from previous years. What I hadn’t factored into my assessment was that they had lowered their colours – by substantial margins – to Collingwood, Richmond, Sydney, Port Adelaide and the Giants, all of them rather more formidable opponents than the contemporary Navy Blues.


What in fact transpired was a metaphor of the victim of bullies who finds himself encountering someone even more vulnerable, as Freo relished the opportunity to avenge earlier humiliations. Early on the Blues conspired to assist with regular turnovers, careless ball use, poor decision-making and various headless chook manoeuvres. The final goal of the opening quarter was emblematic. Silvagni grabbed the ball in a pack 35 metres from the defensive goal and fired a desperation kick which travelled barely 20 metres, where it was picked off by Nat Fyfe who calmly slotted Freo’s sixth major.


The usual suspects – Mundy, Neale and Fyfe, aided by Sandilands ruck dominance – set the tone. However a raft of unfamiliar names (to me at least, with apologies to devotees of the purple haze), Apeness, Cox, Brayshaw, Giro, Blakely, proved too accomplished for the Blues, as wave after wave of attackers overwhelmed a beleaguered defence.


If the game wasn’t entirely put to bed by quarter time, with the home team trailing 0.4.4 to 6.3.39, the 2nd quarter certainly decided the outcome. Fremantle added goals with monotonous regularity (3rd, 11th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 26th minutes), while Carlton accumulated a mere three additional behinds, and failed to score at all in the final 14 minutes of the half. Half-time saw the Blues trailing by twelve goals minus two behinds.


Carlton’s attempt to salvage something from this wreckage of the afternoon after the break was very limited consolation. Led by the two indomitable warriors, Simpson and Cripps, the Blues mounted a modest revival which saw them register the first three goals of the third term. Encouragingly, the 2nd and 3rd came from Kreuzer, showing some of the initiative which is apparent in his better moments. However Fremantle responded and goals by Apeness and Matera restored the visitors’ massive scoreboard margin. The final quarter was a formality, although the Blues did manage to outscore the Dockers, giving Brendan Bolton a straw to grasp for his press conference in the form of a “winning” 2nd half.


Fremantle were impressive and their younger players offer encouragement. However, they will need to repeat such performances against more challenging opposition. Carlton are in a dire situation and assignments against Collingwood and Port Adelaide present an ominous prospect. Glimmers of a future were apparent from Dow, O’Brien, Petrevski-Seton, Fisher and Silvagni, but these were mere moments in as bleak an afternoon as I have endured watching the Blues.



CARLTON              0.4     0.7     3.7       6.10 (46)
FREMANTLE         6.3   12.5   14.10   15.13 (103)

 Kreuzer 2, Wright 2, Kerridge, Casboult
Fremantle: Neale 3, Fyfe 2, Tucker, Ballantyne, Apeness, Banfield, Cox, Ryan, Sheridan, Matera, Brayshaw, Mundy

: Cripps, Simpson, Kreuzer, E.Curnow
Fremantle: Neale, Fyfe, Blakely, Mundy, Langdon

Fremantle: Matera (knee)

Reports: Nil

Votes3. Fyfe (Frem.)   2. Neale (Frem.)   1. Sandilands (Frem.)



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  1. John Butler says

    Peter, I’m not sure about Carlton injuries being nil. I reckon pride took a fair hammering.

    The first half was as bad as 2015 under Malthouse. That went on for 9 games before it was ended.

    I hope the club realises this is a different situation.


  2. george smith says

    It’s only been 23 years since the mighty Showponies swept aside the hapless Moggies of Geelong in the 95 GF. Since then the world has changed, it is a lot harder to purchase a premiership, and lean times have come to Princes Park. They have chewed up and spat out some of the best coaches – Parkin, Pagan and Malthouse and some promising others such as Ratten. It is hard to believe that lost draft choices such as goddard are responsible for the malaise, it’s more complicated than that.

    It just seemed when they picked up all those first round draft picks, they never gained any bargains later in the draft, or pick a Sharrod Wellingham in the rookie draft. It seems that the money club ran out of money, and unlike Richmond and Collingwood, they weren’t very good at rattling tins. It must really stick in their craw to see Kennedy running around for the Weagles, if only they had thought the Judd trade through…

    I wish them all the fortune in the world, except on Sunday – please, please don’t let them suddenly come good against our mob!

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