Carlton boss Michael Voss urged his club to “walk away with pride” from their pulsating draw with Richmond, claiming that if the same game had been played last year, the Blues would have lost on a grand scale.
The Blues and Tigers closed out Thursday night at 8.10 (58) each when the final siren sounded at the MCG in front of over 88,000 fans. This was the first first-round draw since 2011.
Tiger star Tom Lynch pulled a contested mark in the last minute before calmly hitting a set piece to level the goals. The Blues then pushed the ball forward off the center bounce, only for Blake Acres to drop a marker, forcing a loose ball and then an up volley as the final siren sounded.
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Asked if he walked away from the contest feeling his team had won or lost the game, Voss told reporters after the game: “I don’t know how to answer that, because there was a lot of being proud and there are some other parts where you’re like ‘I wish I Take it back.” Both sides had chances to win that match.
“It looked a bit different than what we won games with – and that was through domination of the ball and the forehand half – and we had to do it differently. All those numbers were against us for most of the day, but what worked our way was our efforts and our intensity in The whole match remained elevated.”
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Although the margin was only 14 points all night, Richmond dominated the territory and scored 21 points inside 50 seconds more than the Blues. However, the Carlton backfield, led by Louis Young, Mitch McGovern, Jacob Wittring and Adam Saad, stood tall amid the yellow-and-black collapse.
“There was a little over the shoulders tonight for sure. There were moments when we had to wait for long periods of time…we held on really hard – and I don’t think that’s been said of us for a long period of time, so I think that’s something we can do without and build on,” said Voss. .
At the end of the game, I was very open to our team and the football department: ‘Go away proud tonight. It’s a missed opportunity, but we have to come away from that game and be proud of our efforts.
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“I can’t stress enough: I think if that game had happened last year, we’d lose by six goals. So for this game to play the way it was and still be ahead and be a chance to win – and still be disappointed that we didn’t get the result – I think They show real progress in our group.”
The Tigers made 37 forward half turnovers throughout the game but couldn’t take advantage of their chances.
Coach Damien Hardwicke said Thursday night’s game “looked like the Richmond game” but in the end, his team “lacked polish”.
“What we were really happy with was our system and our defense. We kept them at a manageable level. We just couldn’t get the time we needed,” Hardwick told reporters after the match.
“We just missed some shots and goals and weren’t clean enough to get into 50. We know Carlton rolls defensively hard to come back and they do it really well. I thought we got it, we couldn’t execute exactly what we were after for some parts.
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“Our system was strong and our pressure number was 1.88, which is an elite system. We were really happy with that part of our game, but it was the basics and the polish inside 50 that let us down.”
Tigers star Shay Bolton had a chance midway through the last quarter to pull Richmond within one point of Carlton. But instead of taking a penalty from 30 metres, Poulton opted to make a surprise try – which was deflected.
“We want the player to take responsibility for the way they shoot. For a player of my age, drop a punt for sure. But these days players practice that, but they have to implement it,” Hardwick said of Bolton’s attempt.
“Maybe, for me, he rushed it a little bit. He could have taken a little more time, got his breath and been a little more relaxed with his shot.”
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