A commanding performance by the Carlton Blues’ skipper, Patrick Cripps, has left the Adelaide Crows exposed to attack from other teams, as the Crows struggle to maintain their position in the top eight. The Crows faced their D Day at the MCG, as they attempted to establish a beachhead for a finals campaign. Their attack on the Navy Blues failed and they are now hunkering down on the shoreline waiting to make their next move.
The Crows started the game with guns blazing. In the first five minutes ruckman Rory O’Brien had taken a strong mark and veteran Marc Murphy had passed to new recruit Tyson Stengle to goal; this was followed by Lachlan Murphy snapping accurately from the forward pocket to have the Crows two goals up.
Cripps then stepped in at a forward stoppage to grab the ball and boot Carlton’s reply. Adelaide’s co-captain Taylor (Tex) Walker then blasted a long bomb from 55 meters, to signal to Carlton that the Crows were in town and that they weren’t there for R and R. The teams traded then traded goals for the rest of the first quarter with Carlton having a slight ascendancy at the first break.
The Blues launched a sustained assault in the second quarter. Their main ruckman Tom Phillips matched the imposing talents of Adelaide’s ruckman Reilly O'brien; but it was Cripps, Sam Walsh and Marc Murphy who were winning the clearances for the home side. In the middle of the quarter Levi Casboult turned on his goal shooting radar to boot Carlton’s second and third goals for the quarter. Adelaide’s only goal came at the 19-minute mark when Tom Lynch, Jake Kelly and Rory Atkins combined to work the ball to Tex Walker, who kicked truly from 50 meters. The ball use from both teams was at times poor, with both sides electing to attack via the wings rather than claim the center corridor. Turnovers and missed shots on goal predominated.
Levi Casboult added his third goal at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter to fortify Carlton’s lead. Adelaide were desperate to claim some territory with Rory Sloan, Brad Crouch and Brad Smith digging in; but it was the superior Carlton air power with Casboult, Harry McKay and Jacob Weitering taking big marks (catches) at critical times. Adelaide’s normally prolific Matt Crouch was unable to wield his usual influence, as Cripps with 39 possessions (24 contested) and 19 clearances ran amok in the midfield. Adelaide put up some token resistance half-way through the quarter, with Brad Crouch kicking well to Paul Seedsman who goaled; and then Tyson Stengle goaled from a free kick after successfully tackling Sam Walsh. Carlton re-established control when Lachie Plowman marked and centered a kick to Kade Simpson who marked and kicked truly from 40 meters in front.
Adelaide had to start the final quarter with a frontal assault, but it was Cripps who cleared from the center bounce down to boot long to Josh DeLuca, who goaled for the home team. The Crows launched a desperate counter-attack, with goals to Brad Crouch at the 6-minute mark, and then Josh Jenkins at the 14-minute mark. The Crows lifted their running through the middle of the ground and began to threaten. It was Cripps again who stood up to end the Crows run. He handpassed to Harry Settlefield who snapped accurately to seal the game at the 20-minute mark. The Crows fought on, without scoring another major. The Blues lost some of their run out of defense when Dale Thomas was rested, but their big men were able to fight off Carlton with strong marking on the final defensive line. A goal to Carlton’s Michael Gibbons at the 25-minute mark was the final wound for the Crows.
Next week the Crows return home to meet the revived St Kilda Saints in a game the Crows must win to stay relevant in the competition for finals. Carlton remain at the MCG to test themselves against the powerful West Coast Eagles.
Scores: Carlton Blues: 4.4 7.8 10.9 13.9 (87) Adelaide Crows: 4.0 5.4 7.5 9.6 (60) Best Carlton Blues: Cripps, Simpson, Murphy, Phillips, Thomas Adelaide Crows: O’Brien, Sloane, Laird, Smith, B Crouch
Article last changed on Monday, July 29, 2019 - 11:17 AM EDT