Carlton 7.1 9.7 15.11 18.14 (122)
Collingwood 3.2 6.3 8.6 9.8 (62)
Carlton have continued their strong start to the season in emphatic fashion, beating an out-of-sorts Collingwood by 60 points at the MCG.
In front of nearly 85,000 people, the Blues upped their premiership credentials as a huge third quarter effort led them to their first 3-0 start since 1995, the year of their last premiership.
Andrew Carazzo was fantastic against Scott Pendlebury, restricting the Collingwood star to 15 disposals for the game while racking up 29 and a goal himself.
The usual suspects in Chris Judd (35 disposals, 1 goal) and Marc Murphy (39 disposals, 2 goals) were outstanding, with strong support coming throughout with fantastic performances by Heath Scotland (35 disposals), Mitch Robinson (28 disposals, 7 tackles) and Eddie Betts (5 goals).
The opening minutes were frantic: play was filled with congestion and intense attack at the ball before Betts managed to kick the first for the game. Betts was immense in the first term, leaving opponent Harry O’Brien looking at his feet everywhere he went.
Collingwood did not take their chances, which compounded with errors like an awful hacked kick from Thomas leading directly to a Tuohy goal, that left them 23 points adrift at quarter-time.
Three injuries occured in the first term, with Luke Ball going down clutching his knee and Ben Reid substituted off before quarter-time.
Dennis Armfield was also injured for Carlton, twisting his knee after coming down in a marking contest. The Carlton staff did not call for a stretcher, which led to an odd moment where a limping Armfield kicked the contested ball away while heading to the interchange.
In the second, Armfield managed to return to the field without any further problems and Carlton continued to miss chances. Steele Sidebottom launched a fantastic goal from outside 50, followed by a goal to Tyson Goldsack which brought the margin back to 9.
Sadly for the Pies their good work of the quarter was undone with late goals to Jeff Garlett (who took a strong mark over Dane Swan) and Murphy (off an awful Heath Shaw turnover to Judd) taking the margin back out to 22 points.
The third quarter started with both teams trading goals before Carlton took the game by the scruff of the neck and opened the floodgates.
The lead blew out to 47 points after a five-goal Carlton surge left little hope for the Magpies faithful. Betts kicked two, Yarran one, Waite assisted and kicked one himself before Shaun Hampson kicked Carlton 53 points clear.
The final quarter again went Carlton’s way. The lively Kane Lucas was subbed off for Nicholas Duigan’s first quarter for 2012 and he immediately made an impact with a brilliant smother of a Dale Thomas kick (he finished with 9 disposals).
Judd joined the party with one of his own and Hampson capped off a strong game with a pirouetting goal from a ruck contest.
Swan, who had been workmanlike all game, centred a pass to Sidebottom who kicked the Pies’ only goal for the quarter, but by then, the Collingwood cheer-squad behind the goals was all but deserted.
Nathan Buckley will be left to scratch his head at a poor 1-2 start from last year’s runners-up while Carlton face an enticing two weeks to solidify their early run for a top 2 spot.
3. Marc Murphy
2. Andrew Carazzo
1. Heath Scotland
Carlton: Betts 5, Waite 3, Garlett 2, Murphy 2, Hampson 2, Tuohy, Carrazzo, Yarran, Judd
Collingwood: Sidebottom 2, Cloke, Fasolo, Beams, Goldsack, Dawes, Shaw, Thomas
Carlton: Murphy, Carazzo, Betts, Scotland, Judd, Hampson, Robinson, Waite
Collingwood: Swan, Sidebottom, Shaw, Clarke, Beams
Collingwood: Reid (quad), Ball (knee)
Crowd: 84,259 at the MCG