Levi Casboult misses an easy shot at goal.
Levi Casboult misses an easy shot at goal.

We thought Blues were better than this

The murmur of discontent travelling around Marvel Stadium had turned into a collective roar of anger 45 minutes into today's gut-wrenching display.

Patrick Cripps had failed to win a free kick after dumping Jasper Pittard in one of Carlton's few physical acts, and the Blues fans were sick of it.

The screams and catcalls from fans with Carlton trailing 7.5 (47) to just three points showed they were sick of the interminable rebuild.

Sick of the midfield giving absolutely nothing when Cripps fails to find the footy.

Sick of four key forwards over 191cm utterly failing to present a target to the midfield brigade.

Sick of Levi Casboult's sprayed shots at goal, sick of Lochie O'Brien's lack of physicality.

And above all else, sick of paying hard-earned cash to rock up and waste an afternoon watching their side getting belted.

A Carlton side supposedly past these growing pains was roundly thumped by a Kangaroos side not in the mood to be messed with.

We could ask where this physicality and aggression at the man and ball has been all year.

But today, Brad Scott's mob were just magnificent.

Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington hunted Cripps early with telling effect, Ben Brown made this week's trade talk look ridiculous and the Roos' own bunch of kids put on a show.

Tarryn Thomas danced around opponents with dazzling effect and Cam Zurhaar cashed in with a career-high five goals in only his 13th game.

Jy Simpkin's sparkling third-quarter goal had his tricks on display again and Mason Wood what did the Roos require: provide a consistent mid-sized target alongside Brown and co.

Hell, even the wildly talented but fragile Taylor Garner got through a game without breaking in half Bruce Reid-style.

 

Liam Jones collides with North Melbourne’s Cam Zurhaar.
Liam Jones collides with North Melbourne’s Cam Zurhaar.

 

 

 

Brown's first half was extraordinary - four goals against an opponent in Liam Jones who had conceded only three in six rounds and two of them from chase-down tackles.

He touched the ball just twice after halftime - even as Jones was knocked out cold in the third term - but across the ground Roos players belted in to deny time and space.

Jack Ziebell's first 10 minutes were standard-setting, bursting into space off Cripps to mark and kick the game's first goal as he willed his teammates to come with him.

It was a spectacular disassembling of a Carlton side badly missing the organisation of Matthew Kreuzer and Kade Simpson and talents of Mitch McGovern and Nic Newman.

Jon Ralph's votes: 3. Ben Brown, 2. Trent Dumont, 1. Cam Zurhaar

BEST

Carlton: Cripps, Weitering, Walsh, Phillips, Thomas

North Melbourne: Dumont, Brown, Zurhaar, Ziebell, Higgins, Cunnington, Thomas, Macmillan.

 

 

 

FOURTH YEAR FLOPS

Sometimes the statistics say it all.

At halftime Charlie Curnow had eight possessions including six ineffective kicks.

One of them missed Jack Silvagni in acres of space, with the son of SOS having amassed an ineffective kick and an ineffective handball by that stage before two late goals.

Just back from bone bruising in his knee, does Curnow need a spell in the reserves to fly at the ball and win some confidence after a single contested mark this year?

Harry McKay's single kick by that stage was a free kick from a marking contest, which he pushed across the face.

 

Patrick Cripps tries to break through a Kayne Turner tackle.
Patrick Cripps tries to break through a Kayne Turner tackle.

 

David Cuningham's three possessions to the long break were all ineffective.

That quartet were four of the five players taken in the 2015 draft told to perform by Brendon Bolton this year, with No.1 pick Jacob Weitering at least holding his head up high.

 

MEN AGAINST BOYS

In keeping with the mood of domination, North Melbourne's players worked harder and played tougher.

At one stage Shaun Higgins didn't even baulk Tom Williamson, he decided to bust straight through him and did so easily.

 

Ben Brown was dominant early against the Blues.
Ben Brown was dominant early against the Blues.

 

Cam Zurhaar's third goal came as four North Melbourne players ran into goal without opposition and raffled the easiest score.

Then minutes later as Jed Anderson snapped another goal he was one of five Roos at close range against a single hapless Blues defender.

In the radio box Blues coaching legend David Parkin was bemoaning young Carlton defenders being outworked by Roos onballers both running forward and back.

News Corp Australia


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