Hello everyone, and welcome to my live coverage of today's game between the Carlton Blues and the Gold Coast Suns at the Etihad Stadium.
I will be covering all four quarters for the day, giving my insight into each play, making notes of every score, and will incorporate videos, images and stats from the game, if available.
Before I start, I'll give the warning I give before nearly every article. I am a Port Power supporter, so I will be doing my best to make sure all the player's names are spelt correctly, and that the right player gets the credit for each score. I apologise in advance if I make an error or two.
-Charlie Dixon spills an easy mark under no pressure, 5 metres clear of his defender. You can't drop marks like that and expect to get off the bottom of the ladder.
-BEHIND: Matera marks on his own 40 metres out. He lines it up, but drags it across the face.
-Menzel takes a good mark, going back with the flight of the ball just outside the attacking 50.
-BEHIND: The ball gets bombed to the Carlton goal square, Henderson goes for the mark but he can't hold it, and it's spoiled over the line.
-GOAL: A quick clearance from a boundary throw-in, puts the ball onto Menzel's chest. He goes back and fires it home for the first goal for the game. (Note: I had money on Menzel, so thanks buddy!)
-BEHIND: Henderson runs the ball through the forward pocket, centres it, but it comes off hands for a behind.
-GOAL: Casboult takes a solid contested mark in the goal square. He lines up and makes no mistake. Carlton 14, GC 1.
-GOAL: A free kick is paid to Dixon for a nudge out of the marking contest. He kicks from about 30 metres out, and he kicks it true for Gold Coast's first.
-GOAL: Gold Coast get a 50 metre free kick which puts them within scoring range. Lynch takes the kick and it's through.
-GOAL: Another quick one to the Suns, the ball getting bombed in, and Lynch snaps it home for his second in about a minute. Carlton 14, Suns 19.
-BEHIND: Casboult takes a mark on the goal line. He runs around to improve his angle, but can only hit the post.
-BEHIND: A goal line scramble in the Suns forward 50 dribble over the line for a point.
-BEHIND: Boston has plenty of options around him in the forward 50, but shanks a kick towards goal for a behind. Blues 15, Suns 21.
-GOAL: Everitt takes an uncontested mark in the forward pocket. Lines up and sends it home. Scores are level at 21 a piece.
-GOAL: Bennell finds just a few feet of space near goal, snaps on his right, and he breaks the deadlock.
-BEHIND: Dixon has a kick from a set shot, but drags it and it's only a behind.
-BEHIND: Dixon takes a strong, tall-man mark in the forward pocket. He hands off to Bennell, who snaps for a behind.
-GOAL: Boston bombs a long one, from 45, and it just clears the line for a goal. Blues 21, GC 35.
-The Suns are winning nearly every contested ball at the moment, Carlton need to get in hard at the ball.
-Menzel has headed down to the rooms. Didn't see what happened, but he must be in a fair bit of pain.
-The first quarter comes to an end, and it's 14 points to the impressive Suns.
-A bit of news on Menzel:
-BEHIND: Cripps barges through the forward 50, but is tackles as he kicks and he misses.
-BEHIND: Bell goes for goal and it flies wide. Casboult takes the mark but it's on a tight angle. He opens it up but it's a miss.
-GOAL: Tuohy makes a blazing run through the centre square. He picks it up, does the one-two, and slams it home. It's back to 6 points! Blues 29, GC 35.
-Kruezer works hard to take a chest mark inside 50. His shot at goal doesn't register on the scoreboard, and the Suns are able to get it out.
-GOAL: Almost a repeat! Yarran this time with the run, another one-two, and he bombs it home from 50. Level game!
-GOAL: Three in a row to the Blues! The ball pops out at ground level to Armfield, who picks it up and makes no mistakes! Carlton have hit the lead!
-The Blues work it down the wing well, got away and Henderson takes the mark about 20 metres out from goal. That was a great passage of play.
-GOAL: Henderson gets it right, and the Blues have now kicked four in a row. They are looking MUCH better this quarter. Carlton 47, GC 35.
-GOAL: Dixon wins a free kick within the Suns' forward 50. He takes the shot and it's a goal. That's the Suns' first score of the second quarter.
-Sorry folks, I missed a point to Carlton somewhere along the line. Scores are Carlton 48, Suns 41.
-Just over 5 minutes to go in the half, and it seems the Suns are trying to slow the game down, not letting Carlton get their dangerous running game going again.
-BEHIND: A scramble at the Suns' goal line ends up being a rushed behind.
-BEHIND: Henderson picks the ball up well at ground level, hand passes to Murphy, and he takes the wrong option, hitting the ball with the outside of the boot, dribbling it through for a point. Jason Dunstall would be screaming at his TV.
-WOW! Everitt comes from the back of the pack with some blistering speed to take a juggling mark inside 50, and to get a shot on goal.
-GOAL: Everitt goes back on his line and he kicks true. Carlton 55, Gold Coast 42.
-Dixon with a great effort, spinning out of trouble on the wing, continues his run, and takes a mark inside 50.
-BEHIND: Dixon's shot starts left, and stays left. 12 point game with 15 seconds remaining.
-It's half time, and that was a much better Carlton outfit than what we saw in the first term. Carlton 55, Gold Coast 43.
What have you thought of the first half? Leave your comments below and keep the conversation going!
-BEHIND: Cripps is on the end of a good ball inside 50. His shot goes wide and it's only a behind.
-BEHIND: Kruezer intercepts the kick-out, runs forward and fires. It goes across the face and Carlton are pressing hard again.
-GOAL: Armfield side-steps two Suns defenders, has a look and kicks the goal. Carlton 63, Gold Coast 43.
-GOAL: Bennell finds space on the 50 to bomb the ball forward, and Dixon stands tall near the goal square to take the mark. He kicks accurately and it's the Suns' first goal of the 3rd term.
-GOAL: Gold Coast win a free kick for a drag on the shirt. A very weak call. Lynch goes back and kicks the goal under some controversy. Carlton 63, Gold Coast 55.
-Menzel wins a free kick inside the forward 50 for holding the man after Armfield pops it over top. Armfield is having a great day.
-Menzel's bad knee shows as his kick goes well across the face. Casboult is paid a mark by the goal square, and he's also been given 50 metres!
-GOAL: Casboult makes the most of the set shot and puts it home dead in front.
-GOAL: WHAT A GOAL!!! A mix-up in the middle by the Blues ends up in Buckley's hands, he absolutely BOMBS it from inside the centre square, and it goes through without bouncing!!! That kick had to be over 70 metres. Carlton 76, GC 55.
- Gold Coast have made their sub:
-BEHIND: Bell snaps one from tight in the pocket, it goes across the face.
-BEHIND: Rushed behind to the Suns. Carlton 77, GC 56.
-Everitt does well to handball to the ground before he's tackled, win a holding the man free kick.
-BEHIND: Everitt takes the shot from the pocket, but can't guide it home.
-Good hands by the Suns on the half-back line.
-Carlton have activated their sub:
-BEHIND: Boston almost pulls off a miracle goal, but a Carlton defender's body is in the way and it's touched.
-BEHIND: Everitt is on the end of an inside 50, and takes the chest mark. His kick is wayward and only goes for a minor.
-BEHIND: A scramble in the forward 50 ends in a Henderson shot at goal, but it goes wide.
- The three-quarter time siren sounds, and the Blues are up by 23. Carlton 80, Gold Coast 57.
-BEHIND: After some great work from Carlton through the corridor, Bell wastes the opportunity after marking 28 metres out.
-GOAL: Henderson gets a good delivery onto his chest about 20 metres out. He goes back and kicks the goal for the first of the quarter.
- Bell picks the ball up out of a pack, clears it with a shot at goal. He misses everything and it's out on the full.
- A bit of a scrap inside the Carlton forward 50 results in a free kick to the Blues, and Cripps on the deck. Raines has been reported.
-BEHIND: Cripps gets back up to take the free kick, but he can't kick it straight. Carlton 88, GC 57.
-BEHIND: A foot race inside the Suns forward 50 results in a rushed behind to Gold Coast.
-BEHIND: Russell takes a shot at goal, but it stays right. Only a minor score.
-BEHIND: Armfield snaps at goal, almost the same second he gathers the ball. It's touched on it's way over the line.
-GOAL: Lynch takes a mark just inside the Suns' forward 50. He kicks the goal and runs straight back to get into the ruck contest.
-GOAL: Everitt arrives late to a contest, but still manages to pick it up, snap, and kick the goal. Carlton 95, Gold Coast 65. 6:45 on the clock, the Suns need some repeat inside 50's from here.
-BEHIND: Saad gets some free space outside of the forward 50, he lets one rip, and it just hits the inside of the post on the way though. That looked to be a goal for all counts.
-BEHIND: RIshcitelli dodges a tackle near the 50 metre line, looks towards goal, but the kick is poor.
-BEHIND: Carlton moves it well by hand down the wing, and the pass to Casboult is spot on. It's a shame his kick at goal isn't. Carlton 96, GC 67.
-BEHIND: Everitt takes a mark about 40 metres out and lines up. The kick looks good, but swings and hits the post.
-BEHIND: End-to-end footy as Matera goes forward and kicks a behind.
-GOAL: Casboult takes a mark about 35 metres out, and it's on a tough angle. He goes back and kicks truly. Carlton 103, Gold Coast 68, with 25 seconds to go.
-BEHIND: Bennell takes a mark and will kick after the full time siren. He takes a good look, kicks, and it hits the post. Final score, Carlton 109, Gold Coast 69.
My Man of the Match: Dennis Armfield
Summary: The Suns were almost non-existant in the second half, the Blues ran all over them, and if it wasn't for inaccurate kicking, it would have been a much larger margin. The Blues looked to be in trouble in the first quarter, but to their credit, they stepped up and took the game on. Armfield was fantastic for the Blues, kicking a couple of goals and being involved in quite a few scoring shots. He was just everywhere Coach Barker needed him to be. Credit to the forwards in Casboult and Henderson. Some inaccurate kicking, but they always presented as dominant options up forward. Also credit to Kruezer and, as always for the Blues, Kade Simpson. Simpson is an absolute gun, and whatever he gets paid, it isn't enough.
Thank you for joining me today, and I'll see most likely see you on Thursday for Port Adelaide vs. Sydney!