Carlton’s Juddernaut has stalled
James Kelly of Geelong tackles Chris Judd of Carlton during the AFL Round 09 match between the Carlton Blues and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. Slattery Images
Dual Brownlow Medallist and Carlton champion Chris Judd looked shot in last night’s 10-point loss to West Coast.
Facing his old club at Patersons Stadium, Judd was appalling. Eagles midfielder Scott Selwood wore the champ like a glove, not leaving his side until the final siren sounded.
When the game needed to be won Judd was nowhere to be seen. At the start of the final quarter, with the Blues holding a slender three-point lead Judd did not start in the middle, nor was he there for the next centre bounce after the Eagles had regained the lead through a Jack Darling goal.
Obviously the finger cannot be pointed solely at Judd for not being included in the starting midfield, but it is testament to Scott Selwood, forcing Carlton to restructure their side in an attempt to free up their skipper.
Judd managed just one touch in the final quarter, making it a grand total of just 12 disposals for the match.
Truth be told even superstars are entitled to have an off-game occasionally, but Judd’s below par statistical output was just the beginning.
The Carlton captain’s attitude was atrocious. His job as skipper is to set an example and provide leadership for his club. His reaction to a free-kick paid against him late in the last quarter was terrible.
The resulting 50 metre penalty for remonstrating with Matt Priddis gifted Dean Cox a goal from the square. The game was still very much alive, the Blues trailed by just 11 points with half the quarter remaining. Judd selfishly let his frustration overcome him and consequently his team paid the price.
An earlier incident further accentuated Judd’s poor performance when he spilled an uncontested mark on centre wing much to the pleasure of the Eagles fans, who booed Judd’s every move. Judd in top flight is so clean and fumble-free, dropping an uncontested mark at the best of times is unacceptable let alone for a player of Judd’s class.
Judd’s form throughout this year has been below his lofty standards. His Champion Data average this year is 102 points per game, his lowest average since the statistical indicator was introduced in 2005.
Perhaps injury is weighing down the champ. Whatever the problem is, Blues fans will be hoping the bye cures their captain, for he will be needed in the coming weeks as Hawthorn and Collingwood await.