Video aids Blues’ AFL comeback over Dogs
A video score review proved a crucial last-term turning point as a depleted Carlton fought out a valuable AFL win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Carlton had trailed by as many as 25 points during the first half but fought back to win 16.6 (102) to 12.12 (84).
While the Dogs entered the match on a four-game losing streak and the Blues’ win was not quite enough to lift them into the top eight, the four points and the fight Carlton showed were a welcome tonic after their horror week.
They had lost skipper Chris Judd to a four-match suspension and Matthew Kreuzer and Lachie Henderson to injury, with late withdrawal Mitch Robinson also adding to several missing first-choice players, forcing the Blues to field three AFL debutants.
But with Heath Scotland (31 disposals) and Brock McLean (29) gathering a heap of the ball, Andrew Collins (three goals) proving an unlikely target in attack, Chris Yarran adding dazzle in defence and Jeff Garlett firing up forward, the makeshift Blues outfit triumphed.
Bryce Gibbs overcame a poor start to kick two crucial last-term goals, with Eddie Betts also snaring two majors in a nerve-tingling, drama-packed final quarter.
It started with three lead changes, Bret Thornton and Gibbs each goaling to put Carlton a point up, either side of Luke Dahlhaus kicking his fourth for the Dogs.
Betts made it a seven-point lead with a brilliant snap from tight in the pocket, before a rushed behind reduced the gap to a straight kick.
Then came the pivotal episode.
Thornton gave away a free kick for a deliberate rushed behind.
Dahlhaus took the shot, which was initially called a goal to level the scores.
But, after desperate Carlton protests, a video review revealed the shot grazed the post.
The score was changed to a behind and the Blues stayed ahead for the rest of the match.
Dogs midfielder Ryan Griffen had a chance to give his side the lead almost immediately after, but missed a snap.
The Blues made him pay, Betts setting up a Gibbs goal, then scoring one himself to seal the win.
Griffen and Tom Liberatore, with 28 touches each, fought hard for the Dogs, who lost Shaun Higgins to a hamstring injury early in the second half.© AAP 2013