It wasn’t just Carlton’s finals hopes on the line Friday night, coach Brett Ratten’s job security was hanging in the balance. The Blues responded by beating the competition’s in-form team in Collingwood, 12.13.85-8.14.62, to stay in the top-8 race.
Winners of their last 11 games, Collingwood were surprised by the Blues who were on a hunt for a season defining win.
An ugly altercation involving Sharrod Wellingham is what will make news in the coming days. Running back with the flight of the ball, Kade Simpson was cleaned up by Wellingham from behind, knocking out the midfielder and leaving him in a distressed state on the ground. Wellingham will surly cop a multiple week ban for his careless error.
Chris Judd came through with some great form for Carlton. He collected 32 possessions while sub Brock McLean, Heath Scotland, Bryce Gibbs, Mitch Robinson and Andrew Carrazzo each got plenty of the footy.
Eddie Betts came one goal shy of matching his Round 3 total of five against the Pies while Brett Ratten’s decision to Nick Duigan up forward paid dividends as he kicked three goals.
Collingwood looked to get off to a great start when Cloke kicked the opening goal after outmuscling Jamison in the goal square, but went scoreless for the rest of the term as Collins, Duigan and Armfield each kicked majors for the Blues.
Jackson Paine broke Collingwood’s 40 plus minute drought in front of goal in the second quarter, but only after Carlton had kicked two early goals courtesy of Duigan and Walker. A great dribbling goal from Daisy Thomas in heavy congestion and a free kick and goal to Tyson Goldsack kept the Pies in touch at the half.
Carlton could’ve blown the game apart in the third, but five easy misses from Garlett, Robinson, Betts and Armfield saw opportunities go astray. Yarren finally kicked the Blues breakthrough with two minutes to go in the quarter, giving them an 11-point lead heading into the final period.
The Blues made the fourth quarter theirs by kicking three early goals before Walker sealed it after the halfway mark with a fantastic goal, running in from the boundary line after shrugging off and evading an incoming tackler.
Carlton can really build on their Round 15 win with a lighter schedule approaching, which includes North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs over the next fortnight.