Round 6 – Carlton v Essendon: A Morange of a Game to Remember

There’s no word that rhymes with orange and this has bugged me for some time, so I’ve decide to create my own word so the common vernacular now has one. That word is ‘morange’ and it means a contest that it is of such a poor standard that frankly it is not deserving of a winner.

Deference to the expected standard if you like.

Think Trump vs Cruz in the Republican presidential nomination race.

Now think Carlton v Essendon.

It is hard to believe that this game was expected to be a morange and actually lived up to this sad expectations but this game most certainly did. A genuine opportunity for two teams to highlight their wooden spoon credentials. Oasis say in their Wonderwall song, “and all the roads we have to walk are winding” seems to be the right analogue of how this game played out, where the easy became complicated and confused the only explanation for what happened.

To the game.

Despite the forecast for rain, conditions are near perfect with the typical swirly breeze. Cripps is a late withdrawal and I’m pleased to have flown down from the Sunshine Coast to see what I’m hoping will be our first win against the Bombers for nearly 4 years. At the first bounce, it is clear I don’t know many of the Bombers players and I almost feel I’m watching an NFL game with their high jumper numbers. Surely a record for one team with the number of players wearing 50+.

After a few ineffectual 50 metre entries it end up with Daisy Thomas to goal in the first few mins. Carlton has a lot of the ball early but it doesn’t show it on the board, I’m not exactly sure what the game plan is but it is still better than Mick’s. All of sudden the ball gets loose to Fantasia and with some good pace and a lucky bounce a goal comes from nowhere and scores are level. Shortly afterwards, Carlton’s leading goal scorer (Matthew Wright – 7 goals from 6 matches – not quite Eddie Betts yet) scores in his 100th game while standing on the edge of the goal square alone. Literally nothing appears to happens for the remaining minutes of the quarter until (as one fan screamed out during the match) “the fourth quarter specialist” Liam Jones goals from a snap and club discards have kicked all the goals for the quarter.

From there the match goes from bad to worse to ridiculous. The second quarter must go down in the modern era as the greatest morange of all time. A textbook exhibition of ineffectual ball use and drunken-like game plan. You can see why there’s so many lapsed Catholics nowadays as divine intervention is required on this Sunday to stop this charade of professional sport – and it doesn’t happen despite pleas from the melancholy crowd.

What were the players thinking? 10 consecutive behinds and no majors. Thankfully Weitering had the good sense to injure himself rather than say he was part of this schemozzle. Thank you time keeper for saying 24 minutes is enough.

Surely the third quarter will separate the wheat from the chaff and some decent football will be played?

Enter Levi Casboult.

Be it 20 metres, 30 metres or a little further out, he misses it all this quarter. Poetry lost in translation and described via interpretive dance.

Levi is after all, Carlton’s full forward and contested mark leader. His kicking prowess has broken all Newton’s laws of physics. In the last 2 match moranges he has scored no goals, 4 or 5 points and something like 4 out of bounds on the full (his stats now say 3 goals from 15 genuine attempts for the season). Umpire don’t give him 30 seconds to kick, give him tissues, a blindfold and a Melways. With performances like that, he’s cannot be protected from being dropped next week. Knowing Carlton’s luck at the moment, he’ll probably be traded at season’s end and kick more goals than Josh Kennedy, Betts, Jarrad Waite, etc with his new club.

The 3rd quarter is nearly over and finally things start changing with Daniher, Polkinghorne and Parish goaling for Essendon and they are in front. As neither team is worthy of the lead, there’s almost sighs of relief from Carlton supporter who are hoping that this wakes them up.

Happily it does.

Lamb and Gibbs goal before the end of the quarter and the aggregate score is 69 points at 3/4 time with 30 of those points coming in the last 10 minutes. The last quarter continues in this vein and is free flowing, even having had some good moments where the better players actually stood up. Goals are now aplenty and the morange is being wiped away as an acid dream. Essendon nearly take the lead again after a Daniher goal but Carlton showed some mettle and kick 4 goals in quick succession to suggest we may finish as high as 17th. To confuse the crowd more, the Bombers now decide to get onto this shambling’s and kick a few, before “final quarter specialist” Jones marks strongly and missed from close range. Fortunately Big Boy Phillips goals and the game is decided. At this stage, Daisy gets another kick and ironic cheers of “you deserve a pay rise” from the crowd pretty much say it all in terms of how we’re going.

I’m hoping next week’s game against the pies is the opposite of this one – a classic norange (high standard, quality encounter), but like my vocabulary I’m not sure it is or will be real.

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  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Carlton should have played Daniel Gorringe

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