The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 21 – Carlton v North Melbourne: Archer takes out the Blues

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Carlton versus Kangaroos

2.10pm, Saturday, August 25

Telstra Dome, Melbourne



THE WINTER SUNLIGHT ALWAYS SEEMED to bounce off Hobart’s Derwent River brighter than other bodies of water. This sunny and cool Saturday afternoon was no exception. I gazed down at the glistening grey and silver of the harbour from my sister and brother-in-law’s house. My nieces played upstairs. A fabulous uncle would have been playing with them in the backyard.


A good uncle will catch up with them at half-time. Justin, my sister’s spouse, is, like so many Tasmanians, a devoted Carlton supporter. He turned on the telly and grabbed a couple of tinnies of Cascade Draught from the fridge. He watched, patiently, as the Glenn Archer tributes began on Channel Ten. This was Archer’s club-record 307th game for the Kangaroos. I felt guilty for not being at the ground, which is different from feeling sorry that I was missing out. I wanted to thank him for everything he’d done for the club and everything he’d done, so very indirectly, for me. And maybe that’s the difference between an admirer and a fan: a fan feels he or she owes a complete stranger a debt of gratitude.


The game began messily. Basic skill errors led to numerous turnovers for both teams. In fact, a full 10 minutes of play had passed before North’s David Hale kicked the first goal of the match. Channel Ten’s Malcolm Blight, at his distracted best, was assuring us that many of the errors could be attributed to a “dud footy”, a sub-standard ball that was “not spinning right”. Justin and I weren’t having any of it, though we were grateful for an excuse, as our teams clumsily continued to quarter-time. North were only two goals up and, having kicked six behinds from set shots, the margin should have been greater.


During the week, Brett Ratten’s status at Carlton had progressed from care- taker to appointed coach. He’s said to prefer a high-possession style of play as opposed to the kick-it-long brand of his predecessor, Denis Pagan. Adam Bentick and Andrew Carrazzo racked up 20 disposals between them in the second term but so many kicks were of little importance and worth. Keepings-off did not help the Blues’ cause as, almost inevitably, a turnover would give North possession and the timidity of Carlton’s play would be punished.


Daniels Harris and Wells were driving the ball forward quickly and efficiently for the Kangaroos and Aaron Edwards was more than happy to exploit a loose Carlton backline. He kicked four goals for the term. Justin gritted his teeth and pursed his lips (yes, they can be done simultaneously) as the sad figure of Lance Whitnall shot for goal after the siren and, from only 40 metres out, missed everything.


Happily, the standard of the match improved early in the second half. With Jarrad Waite thrown forward and Whitnall improving, the Blues at least had targets. They kicked four goals between them for the term. The Kangaroos’ midfielders, however, were decimating their opponents. Brent Harvey, Adam Simpson and Daniel Wells were controlling the game in the centre and this very young Carlton side (with 10 players under 21 years of age) could do little to stop them. Shannon Grant was playing himself back into form. When he goaled late in the term the margin had moved out to 49 points.


The nieces came downstairs for much of the last quarter and we, particularly Justin it should be said, were pleased for the company. North went on a rampage to turn the match into a non-contest. The girls drew stick-portraits and scribbled on my match-notes as I lent over them to jot down goal-kickers. I wrote the name Petrie three times and he had plenty of company. While North were very focused on what lay ahead for them in September, the Blues, one suspects, were very much more concerned about the events of November and accumulating as much young talent then as possible. With North about 10 goals up I received an SMS from a Blue-girl at the ground. “Just about ready to concede this one,” she wrote. You know something’s a bit on the nose when Carlton supporters are being wry and dry during a thumping.


But Justin’s of the old-school. He, rightly, hates seeing the Blues like this. As the final siren blew he went upstairs to listen to the footy talk-back but promptly fell asleep on his bed. A long week at work and a 13-goal thumping had taken their toll.


But for me, watching Glenn Archer walk through his teammates’ guard of honour, the nieces happily chatting away at my feet and the sun dimming over my old home town, everything seemed, well, at the very least, worth staying awake for.



Kangaroos  3.8 9.11 17.14 24.17 (161)

Carlton  2.2 4.9 8.11 11.13 (79)



Kangaroos: Edwards, Petrie 4, Sansbury 3, Grant, Swallow 2, Hale, Jones, Brown, Rawlings, Harvey, Wells, Simpson, McMahon, Lower.

Carlton: Waite 3, Jackson, Whitnall 2, S. O’hAilpin, Gibbs, Kennedy, Ackland.



Kangaroos: Harvey, Petrie, McIntosh, Harris, Sansbury, Pratt.

Carlton: Waite, Scotland, Bentick.



Hampson (Carlton).



Avon, Chamberlain, Fila.



Harvey (K) 3, Petrie (K) 2, McIntosh (K) 1.



Harvey (K) 3, Petrie (K) 2, Bentick (Carl.) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

Leave a Comment