AFL Round 22 – Gold Coast v Carlton: The Coach doesn’t kick the ball!

I aged ten years tonight; ten years, truth-be-told, I cannot spare!

As a  wet and cool Saturday evening settled over the Melbourne suburbs, I wandered along to my local sports club lounge in anticipation of being treated to a display of solid, strategic running football. Unfortunately that came, very unexpectedly, from the opposition.

Surrounded by Blues supporters, the anguish was palpable by half-time.

Gasps, moans, head-holding … and that was just me. Then I noticed the silver-haired gentleman in the lounge seat next to me couldn’t stop crossing and uncrossing his legs – was his hair that colour when he came in?

Before we knew it, it was all over. Carlton’s season is all but done! It wasn’t meant to be like this, not this round and not after last week’s rort of the Bombers.

I could elaborate and give all the quarter by quarter details of play, but really it wouldn’t change the result.

Basically, the Suns jumped out of the blocks, surprising the Blues’ players, who then spent the first half of the game playing catch-up. When the dust settled at half-time and Carlton started the third quarter looking more like a team with a game plan, the Gold Coast – to their great credit – dug in their heals and refused to be overrun. Add to this, a two goal, seven point final quarter and that really sums up the overall game for the Blues.

The huge win last week would give any team confidence and spark underlying finals’ hopes, but it’s all come to nothing against an opposition that was resoundingly underestimated.

It has to be said that based on Saturday night’s form, the Blues do not deserve a spot in the top eight.

Carlton won the game on the stats sheet across the board bar ONE area – kicking efficiency: 53 per cent will not give any team a win. Thirty-one scoring shots to twenty-three, to result in a loss, is disappointing from any perspective. Even a five-goal-to-one  third quarter wasn’t enough to right the ship in the end.

The other lesson to be taken from this numbing evening is that the AFL have got it right with their faith and determination in in launching two new ‘baby’ teams in the competition.

The Gold Coast Suns should be congratulated on their drive, skill level and down-right tenacity. They may not have many wins on the board but have certainly shown yet again this year they have the talent and game to move forward.

Aside from Carlton’s fall at the penultimate hurdle for a finals’ spot, the biggest issue to come out of this game’s result will be the obvious and inevitable speculation that will again flow forth – despite the temporary reprieve of last week – surrounding the tenure of Brett Ratten.

But, as already pointed out, the stats defy the outcome and the players in this instance must accept responsibility for the skill level (or lack thereof) and the kicking inaccuracy all over the ground and throughout the game that contributed significantly, if not totally, to the final outcome.

Given this, the following has never been truer – ultimately, the coach does not kick the ball!






About Jill Scanlon

Blues fan and sports lover. Development through sports advocate; producer, journalist and news follower. Insanely have returned to p/t study - a Masters of International & Community Development. Formerly with ABC International / Radio Australia in Melbourne.


  1. If Ratts falls on his sword in the next two weeks, it will be a victory for the Twitter illiterati and the whinging morons on Bigfooty and talkback radio.

    If he is replaced by Mick Malthouse, they picked him for his name, and as far as I am concerned they can insert my 2013 membership in the bodily orifice of their choice.

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    I was looking forward to a final round thriller between Carlton and Fremantle for percentage and 8th spot. Not to be. Geelong tried really hard to lose to Gold Coast but couldn’t quite do so. Kudos Blues.

  3. Schadenfreude II.

    “They know we’re crumbling”!!

    Clearly, I went a game early with my rant about enjoying Essendon’s demise. The scenes of anguish and devastation in the Carlton rooms were the most wonderful sight that the rest of the football world could possibly wish for.

    Like Rick, I do feel for Ratten though. The months of discontented rumblings at Carlton are very reminiscent of the treatment of Knights at Essendon. Clearly these hubris-driven clubs are still locked into the mentality that a high profile coach is the silver bullet, rather than admit that their playing lists just aren’t that good.

    I also support Jill’s comment about the Suns. I’ve only seen snippets of them this year but every time I have I’ve been really impressed with their raw talent and endeavour. In their wins last night and (dare I mention it) against Richmond, they looked gone late in the game but found the resolve to fight on. For a young side that’s impressive.

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Good post and I concur, but careful with indulging in schadenfreude, Stainless. Especially being a Richmond supporter. Ninth in 2013?

Leave a Comment