When you wake up on a Sunday morning and you get this warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with a win that not many thought would happen – but it did!
We all knew that playing against Geelong in Geelong was going to be a tough match and given our performance last week, we had to come out from the first bounce, firing. Boy did we ever! I’m not going through the details of the match as that has been already done; suffice to say that after the match, I had a really bad sore throat and needed a defibrillator to try and get the pounding of my racing heart to calm down! What an incredible win!
We all knew that Geelong were going to come out hard and we had to either try and follow them, or make them follow us. From the very first goal to the end of the third quarter, Geelong followed us. We all knew realistically that Geelong would not give up and they didn’t in the final quarter and at times it looked like the Carlton of old, give up, give in, just too damned tired to try.
In the very last minute of the quarter a little man came running out of the starter gates and downed Geelong with one great tackle and the sounds of a whistle signalling “ball” echoed in GMHBA Stadium. The cheeky grin of that player knowing that he had the control of the game in his hands, irrespective of a score or not, brought a tear to my eyes and when the siren went…wow! Gobsmacked, stunned and elated was this Carlton supporter.
Even though we only won by two points, the fact is that WE WON! So, let’s dissect it a bit. Firstly, let’s start by saying what an amazing get Marc Pittonet is and what a bloody beast he is proving to be. Every Carlton fan was concerned regarding the injuring of Kreuz; who could ever take his place? Sure, we had youngster Tom De Koning, but he needed more time to grow and develop, we needed a ruckman who could be the beast that the big Kreuz is on the field, now.
In the second half of the Melbourne game, we saw the birth of the Pittonet game. Sure, he is a tad slow, but his ability in the centre and tap it off to one of the mid-fielders, especially to Crippa, was a revelation! Kane Cornes (one of my least favourite ‘media’ person) stated on the Footy Show on Sunday morning that it was surprising that Geelong allowed Crippa to be manned by a player not really suitable to combat his abilities. That Geelong gave so little respect to what Crippa could and did achieve in the mid-field. He did this because he had a dynamic ruckman who knew exactly where he would be, and this set up for an incredible goal feast in the first half of the game, all going Carlton’s way.
The way the players moved the ball around was something that we had not seen for a while, and we bloody loved it! Seeing Eddie Betts, one of the most beloved players in the league right now, not only kick a few goals, but be the player that every team wants, earning the title of being the leading goal assist player since statistics began. Seeing him wearing the Navy Blue that he has always loved and be that player that made the difference in the dying minutes of the game, made every Carlton supporter jump, scream and cry.
While this season will now take another turn due to COVID19 and that our next game which was to be against Essendon and may not take place, we have a belief that we can, if we come out from the first bounce to play every single minute as if it is the last. That we can beat top teams. This match showed that we have the talent, we have the Pittonet, the Betts and the Crippa to be up there with the best.
One of the best moments of the match might go un-celebrated for some, and that was that our co-captain, Sam Docherty, played an outstanding game down back. How great was it to see him fit, healthy and ripping it up on the field.
I know the season will be a long and stretched out one because of COVID19, but right now, that warm, fuzzy feeling of a win just cannot go away and warms the cockles of this heart. Chris Scott said in his presser after being asked what is going on down at Geelong, that he had no idea what was going on and that it had been like this for some time. To know that we, a bottom team where nearly everyone had no hope for this season, would be one that dug them more into a hole, is, well, bloody sensational!
With each match Carlton will now be playing, they have the belief that they can be up there with the best. There might be times when this doesn’t work, but right now, they should and must know that every single game played is an opportunity to come out first bounce, and play as they did against Geelong. Do this, and with time, the end won’t be so close as it was on Saturday night. Do this and over time, playing four quarters with such intensity won’t be tiring, but exhilarating, just as it was against Geelong.
P.S Get on to the Carlton FC website and watch the interview with Eddie Betts!