Round 6 – Carlton v Western Bulldogs: A civilized result for an uncivilized time



Gold Coast

6.45 Sunday 12 July, 2020


This is always a conflicting fixture for me as a lifelong Carlton supporter working at Victoria University, which has a partnership with the Bulldogs. I was certainly right on board with them in their 2016 premiership, but I adopted the Adelaide Crows as my second team when I met my Adelaide-born wife Jane in 1996, so I was going for Adelaide when they broke the Bulldogs’ hearts in 1997 and 1998.

This was a first to be playing them in Queensland – indeed it was the first round in which every team was playing outside their home State!

It was an uncivilized time, cutting across Sunday dinner.

I was slightly distracted during the first quarter by my daughter Celia coming in for a chat. I muted the TV and she commented particularly on the players’ hairstyles, facial hair and physiques. It was a very different lens through which to view the game! She found Paddy Cripps to be the most handsome afield!

Carlton were doing well in the game too and at quarter time led 5.2.32 to 2.1.13.

Jack Martin, our future superstar, began Q2 brightly with a goal and almost a screamer. We then missed a couple and the Bulldogs hit back with two goals. Levi Casboult missed a snap but then a brilliant toepoke from Gibbons to McKay brought a goal. The Bulldogs had a quick reply kicking Petrevski-Seton out of a mark a la Toby Green.

Then Eddie Betts bobbed up with a goal, the perfect seal on the first half at which we led 8.5.53 to 5.2.32.

Gibbons opened Q3 with his second brilliant act of the game, the seamless gather of a ball coming at him at ground level, capped off with a goal. Van der Meer replied for the dogs then Murphy missed a gettable one. McGovern, who has been not quite getting it together kicked a great goal from 50, but it was all Bulldogs from then on, luckily two behinds and a goal by the Bont to bring the margin to 3 goals at three quarter – the same margin as quarter time – Carlton 10.6.66 to Bulldogs 7.6.48. They had won the quarter by 3 points!

Q4 began with a Van der meer miss, then the ex-Saint Newnes got it to Martin (Jack to Jack!) for a goal and Eddie passed from 45 to McKay at 30 for a goal and the floodgates opened. Levi roosted one from outside 50, Mitch McGovern got another one and it was Party Time! Kade Simpson heroically dived to save a goal as though the game depended on it, and though it did not, it showed the character of a man who has mostly been unspectacularly effective in his 331 games.
Eddie, who is always spectacular, marked and goaled. Levi just missed another long one, then Eddie crowned the game with his fourth.

Carlton had kicked 6.1 to 3 behinds in Q4. A very pleasing performance – what a pity not to be able to see it in person!


CARLTON                        5.2     8.5     10.6     16.7 (103)
     2.1     5.2      7.6       7.9 (51)


Carlton: Betts 4, McKay 3, Gibbons 2, Martin 2, McGovern 2, Curnow, Newnes, Casboult
Western Bulldogs:
Vandermeer 2, Smith, Dale, Lipinski, Wallis, Bontempelli 


Setterfield, McKay, Kennedy, Curnow, Martin, Gibbons, Petrevski-Seton
Western Bulldogs:
Smith, Liberatore, Macrae, English, Bontempelli


Carlton: Cripps (shoulder), Murphy (hip)
Western Bulldogs: Nil

Our Votes:

3- Betts (Car)   2- Casboult (Car)   1- Simpson (Car)





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  1. Michael Viljoen says

    I was impressed with Matthew Kennedy. That’s the best I’ve seen him play. He stepped up when both Cripps and Murphy were a bit down on the day. That your review of the game was so understated makes me feel like you expect Carlton to win big games like this. It was just another day at the office, just another Carlton win. Yet we are still winning against the odds.

    I want to add what a significant day it was for Carlton. It was, no doubt, the best win of the year. A confidence booster, beating an in-form team, enough to make the team think they can match it with anyone on the day. The first time moving into the Eight for many years. How long is it since we doubled the other teams’s score? This was psychologically important on so many levels. It kept Teague in the positive for his career win-loss ratio. To kick 100+ points in a game with neither Cripps or Murphy really performing, and no Kreuzer or Charlie Curnow. It was an enormous step forward.

  2. Thanks Michael. I am still finding my feet as a match reporter and this was more impressionistic than systematic. It is rather embarrassing that none of the players I gave votes to are listed in Carlton’s best! While blatantly pro-Carlton, it was also not an insider’s close analysis. Kennedy wasn’t really on my radar yet – but he will be now! I agree with all your comments. I’m probably still a bit sore after the St Kilda loss that followed so hard on the heels of the Essendon win that even though this win was great, I’m still taking it week by week!

  3. Michael Viljoen says

    When I say that I haven’t seen Kennedy play that well before, it’s more to the point that I haven’t seen Carlton play that much lately. I’m not the greatest judge. I have been a Runner at my local club, and am sometimes asked to contribute to B&F voting, but I don’t feel very qualified in the matter.
    I don’t think your votes are embarrassing. Those players played well. I think it’s more a case that Carlton had a lot of good players right across the board.
    I enjoyed your write-up. Thanks for it.

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