After one round of football, there still are a lot of questions which need to be answered about Carlton and Brisbane.
Both were impressive last week in comfortable victories at the MCG, yet the standard they faced will leave them both wanting to prove themselves as challengers in 2012.
Carlton will be disappointed that they allowed the Tigers back into the game last week and will be looking for a more even effort throughout the game, whilst Brisbane will face a sterner test for their makeshift forward line.
Although the attacking combination of Tom Rockliff and Daniel Merrett was undoubtedly a success last week, Carlton’s back half will provide a challenge for the Lions not only in the contests, but also for Brisbane to prevent going forward.
Chris Yarran will look to provide run and carry and will require stopping and for that you need someone who chases, tackles and can hurt sides the other way. It won’t come as a surprise that Todd Banfield appears to be the man for the job.
Carlton will look to show Brisbane an increase in stoppage pressure after the Lions dominated last week, and they certainly have the cattle to do so. Chris Judd, Marc Murphy and Kade Simpson form one of the league’s best midfield groups, so they can expect a much tougher duel this week.
Interestingly, it was the Lions that held Carlton scoreless in the second half only a few weeks ago in the NAB Cup, so you can be assured that Carlton will not be taking them lightly.
Matthew Leuenberger vs Matthew Kreuzer:
Two young versatile ruckman look set to go head-to-head in this matchup, and the winning side is likely to come from whoever wins this duel. Both look to move forward at every opportunity and have proven themselves in front of goal, so naturally the pressure increases on their respective defensive games.
Simon Black vs Chris Judd:
Brownlow medals, premierships, Norm Smith Medals, All Australians, Best and Fairests: These guys are two superstars of the game.
At 33, it would not surprise many to see Black begin winding down his illustrious career, yet he was best on ground last week in a dominant display.
Judd is coming off a quiet pre-season and still looked a little rusty against Richmond, but if these two match up, expect them to bring the best out of each other.
Carlton Forwards vs Brisbane’s Defence
It was apparent that Carlton had a distinct height advantage over the Tigers last week, and it is something that can’t simply be addressed through the week.
Shaun Hampson, Kreuzer and Jarrad Waite all floated forward with success and Brisbane needs to get the match-ups right.
Joel Patfull, Matt Maguire and Merrett give coach Michael Voss options, but the wrong decisions will see Carlton with an easier avenue to goal.
Although Brisbane was impressive last week, they come up against a side which is simply better than the Demons.
Carlton’s playmakers and experience across the ground should see them the victors, even if Brisbane is enjoying a home ground advantage.
Carlton by 27 points.
B: Niall McKeever, Matt Maguire, Ashley McGrath
HB: Mitchell Golby, Joel Patfull, Pearce Hanley
C: Jed Adcock, Tom Rockliff, Daniel Rich
HF: Jared Polec, Daniel Merrett, Todd Banfield
F: Jack Redden, Matthew Leuenberger, Ryan Lester
Foll: Ben Hudson, Simon Black, Claye Beams
I/C: Cheynee Stiller, James Polkinghorne, Jesse O’Brien, Rohan Bewick
Emg: Sam Sheldon, Ryan Harwood, Billy Longer
In: Jesse O’Brien
Out: Sam Sheldon
B: Bret Thornton, Lachlan Henderson, Jeremy Laidler
HB: Heath Scotland, Paul Bower, Chris Yarran
C: Kade Simpson, Chris Judd, Andrew Carrazzo
HF: Jeffrey Garlett, Jarrad Waite, Kane Lucas
F: Mitch Robinson, Matthew Kreuzer, Eddie Betts
Foll: Shaun Hampson, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy
I/C: Jordan Russell, Dennis Armfield, Zach Tuohy, Edward Curnow
Emg: Brock McLean, Andrew Collins, Sam Rowe
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