Fevola takes Carlton into top eight - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fevola takes Carlton into top eight

By Adam Cooper 15/06/2008 07:26:06 PM Comments (0)

The planets don't have to align for Brendan Fevola to fire but give the Carlton spearhead the right AFL occasion and watch him strut his supersonic stuff.

Fevola's eight goals took the Blues to a memorable victory over Collingwood at the MCG and it's doubtful the walking headline could have scripted it better.

Dominant early but astray with his kicking, Fevola booted six goals after half-time - including a hand of party pieces in the final quarter - as the Blues stormed home to win 17.17 (119) to 12.17 (89) before a heaving crowd of 80,310.

If all that is the stuff of dreams, on Monday Fevola and his Carlton teammates will wake up in the eight, for just the third time since 2001.

But while Carlton celebrated, Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse made his displeasure at the umpiring known, hinting that a bad decision shifted momentum the Blues' way.

The game was marred by several bad decisions, none worse than a stinker against Collingwood defenders that gifted a goal to Carlton's Brad Fisher and sparked the Blues' comeback.

Fevola's brilliant performance bettered his seven-goal haul in round four, when Malthouse said even superheroes would not have stopped the Carlton star.

The superheroes again stayed well away as Magpies Nathan Brown and Harry O'Brien took turns being tormented.

Carlton's better use of the ball in the first quarter gave Fevola plenty of chances but he managed only 2.5 to half-time when the Blues trailed by ten points.

But with Marc Murphy outstanding in the midfield and Chris Judd shaking off Rhyce Shaw's tag after half-time, the Blues dominated possession and lifted across the field.

Fevola's fourth goal levelled the scores at three-quarter time and, although the Magpies kicked the opening goal of the last term, Carlton's spirit could not be dampened.

Fevola put Carlton back in front when he got boot to ball as he and Brown lay in the goalsquare and, in between giving it to the Collingwood cheer squad members, he kicked three more, including his 50th for the season after the siren.

Carlton coach Brett Ratten rated Fevola's performance "nine out of 10" and was again delighted with the way his full-forward chased, tackled and blocked.

"Even the way he shielded (Simon) Wiggins to come back and take that mark, just the team aspect of his game is really growing from week to week and right at the end he's still diving and chasing and tackling," he said.

"Brendan's really matured as a player, he does the things he does well but he's also thinking of all his teammates around him."

Malthouse conceded his side was "murdered" in contested possessions and could not contain Fevola, but he was clearly annoyed by the umpiring, which included a 23-13 free-kick count Carlton's way.

In the most glaring poor decision awarded, Fisher was gifted a goal by umpire Justin Schmitt from the goalsquare despite the three Collingwood defenders barely touching the Blue.

That major, late in the third quarter, cut Collingwood's lead to ten points.

"A few players were very disappointed over a few bits and pieces that happened within the space of a few minutes, or less than a minute, quite frankly," Malthouse said unprompted.

"Maybe that takes the wind out of your sails and the momentum shifts and it all breaks open."

Malthouse refused to nominate which decision most annoyed him, as Paul Medhurst was also denied a goal halfway through the fourth quarter because the umpire deemed he pushed his opponent out.

But Malthouse's bigger problems lay with an inability to stop Fevola.

"We've got to teach players the right way of playing football and if they get a touch-up from time to time, I'll guarantee ... they'll be better for it," he said.

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