Judd loses his cool as Eagles beat Blues
Judd tallied just 12 possessions and lost his cool late in the match as the Eagles overcame a valiant Blues fightback to post the 10.19 (79) to 10.9 (69) triumph in front of 34,224 fans.
West Coast shot out to a 26-point lead late in the second quarter, but their wayward kicking for goal came back to haunt them as Carlton slammed through the next five goals to take the lead.
The Blues led by three points at the final change, but two quick goals to Eagles forward Jack Darling in the last quarter turned the match on its head.
Judd endured a frustrating night opposed to Scott Selwood, and the former West Coast star lost his cool late in the match after giving away a free kick to Dean Cox in a marking contest.
The two-time Brownlow medallist exchanged harsh words with Matt Priddis amidst some push-and-shove.
And Judd was left stunned seconds later when he gave away a 50m penalty for a soft elbow nudge on Priddis.
Carlton’s fifth loss from their past six games leaves them outside the top-eight with a worrying 6-6 record ahead of their bye week.
And it doesn’t get any easier for Brett Ratten’s charges, with tough games against Hawthorn and Collingwood to come after that.
The Eagles’ ninth win of the year was enough to lift them back to the top of the table in what was a perfect way to celebrate their 600th game in the competition.
West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui was best afield with 25 possessions, seven tackles and 31 hit-outs, and the high-leaping Fijian almost kicked a contender for goal of the year after embarking on a dazzling run from the middle.
Priddis, Scott Selwood and Darling (three goals) were also crucial in West Coast’s 17th straight win at Patersons Stadium.
Blues tagger Andrew Carrazzo, playing his first match since injuring his shoulder in round four, was brilliant in restricting Daniel Kerr after quarter-time, while Heath Scotland was also impressive in his return from a calf injury.
The Eagles were dealt a blow late in the match when in-form defender Will Schofield appeared to injure his hamstring.
Darling is likely to be given a reprimand for staging after throwing his head back theatrically following a hard but fair tackle from Scotland around the chest.
After the match, Carlton coach Brett Ratten revealed Judd had been carrying a minor niggle in recent weeks.
“Chris has battled through this period with a fair bit of duress in regards to his own body,” Ratten said.
“He’s done a fabulous job to get up and play.
“It wasn’t his day today. He got beaten. There’s not too many games where you say Chris Judd got beaten for four quarters, and today was just one of them.”
West Coast coach John Worsfold praised Scott Selwood’s job on Judd.
“He played a good, hard-running game. He’s grown again as a footballer this year,” Worsfold said.© AAP 2013
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