Carlton rallies to first win of AFL season

By Ben McKay, Ben McKay is a Roar Guru

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    Carlton’s Curnow brothers have powered the Blues to their first win of the season, denying Essendon by 13 points in a gritty AFL thriller.

    The Blues claimed their first win at the MCG in over a year after emerging victorious 14.7 (91) to 10.18 (78).

    There were nine lead changes on a wintry Melbourne afternoon, with neither side able to kick clear in an engrossing – if not high quality – affair.

    At the last, the young Blues side stood up, led by Charlie and Ed Curnow.

    Charlie took four thumping marks inside 50 and kicked two goals in the third term to arrest Essendon’s momentum, while Ed powered the Blues at ground level all afternoon with 13 tackles.

    Patrick Cripps, Matthew Kreuzer and Liam Jones were also super for Carlton, roared on by their patient fans among the 44,669 in attendance.

    The result will heap pressure on besieged Bombers coach John Worsfold.

    The West Coast legend signed a contract extension after a round one defeat of minor premiers Adelaide, but has led Essendon to just a single win since.

    Worsfold said he was “frustrated and disappointed”, suggesting his team were paying well inside themselves.

    “We’re not playing at the level that we’d like to be,” he said.

    “(We’re) seeing players that are making errors that maybe that you don’t expect from those players. Across the board.”

    Carlton began as if sensing an opportunity for a breakthrough triumph.

    The Blues were bright and determined, and led by two goals when Harry McKay’s long bomb from 60 metres eluded a retreating Essendon pair to bounce through.

    They couldn’t maintain the rage, yielding the momentum to Essendon in the second term.

    Bombers leaders Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis converted marks inside 50 to push them to a one-point half-time lead.

    After three losses in a row, the Bombers’ lack of confidence seemed to be holding them back from turning territory into a larger lead.

    Then the Bombers fell victim to their third-quarter hoodoo once more.

    Essendon were yet to win the term all season and Charlie Curnow kept that streak running.

    Both sides missed chances in front of goal, but Essendon’s wastefulness – kicking 4.12 in the middle two quarters – was especially costly.

    Shaun McKernan’s goal to open the final term made him the Bombers’ first multiple goalkicker and gave Worsfold’s side a lifeline.

    Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti put them ahead at the five-minute mark but from there Brendon Bolton’s side took control.

    Sam Petreveski-Seton, Jed Lamb and Sam Kerridge took the contest away from Essendon with consecutive goals, allowing a host of Blues to sing the club song for the first time.

    Carlton coach Brendon Bolton said pride was his dominant feeling after ending the club’s longest-ever wait for a first win of the season.

    “They’ve been up against it, our players,” he said.

    “We had quite a few youngsters out there … for them to experience that feeling of winning is really important for them.”

    © AAP 2018
    The State of Origin teams for Game 1 of the 2018 series have both been revealed! Check out our expert reaction and analysis to the NSW Blues squad and the Queensland Maroons line-up.

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • May 12th 2018 @ 9:21pm
      Blue said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

      Nice work blue boys, and a good team to beat.

      Measured by scoring shots though, we were fortunate. There’s plenty of work still to be done, but nice putting *Essendon under pressure.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 13th 2018 @ 12:47pm
        Murphster888 said | May 13th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

        Actually they only had 1 more scoring shot as there where 5 rushed by Carlton.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 6:35pm
          Macca said | May 13th 2018 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

          I would say the blues missed the easier shots for the day as well.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 12th 2018 @ 9:33pm
      Mattician6x6 said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:33pm | ! Report

      Tipped Carlton and well done

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:47pm
      Rissole said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:47pm | ! Report

      This was the easiest tip of the weekend. Could see it coming two weeks ago.
      It’s very strange to see professional footballers not trying. Something stinks at Bomberland.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 2:30pm
        Bobburra said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

        Something does appear to on the nose at Tullamarine, or should we say a few things appear to be on the nose there,probably not the least was Goddards’ spray publicly to his team mates, since then the cracks seem to have got wider and more numerous.The spray by Goddard was probably justified, but should have been kept indoors. Interesting times ahead.

    • Roar Guru

      May 13th 2018 @ 2:32pm
      Col from Brissie said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      Where’s that ‘bloke’ Harry? Is he at Tullamarine asking why they extended Worsfolds contract when he gets outcoached by a Jockey or at AFL House begging Gill not to relegate the Bombers to the VFL? Maybe that was Harry burning his scarf.

      There’s another bloke who is usually first to blog after a Carlton loss – wonder where he is?

      • May 13th 2018 @ 4:03pm
        Kane said | May 13th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re the same person along with The Ghost, Col.

    • Roar Pro

      May 14th 2018 @ 12:43pm
      Ryan Geer said | May 14th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      In 5 years time Cripps and Charlie Curnow could easily both be in the top 10 players in the league. We’ve seen glimpses of what Curnow we can do and he will only improve still only in his third season. We all know what a beast Cripps is as well and only just turned 23 and starting to head into his prime. Good win for the Blues, persistance pays off, good on Bolton for sticking to his guns.

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