Fev the difference as Blues down Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fev the difference as Blues down Tigers

By Sam Lienert 11/07/2009 07:08:31 PM Comments (0)

Carlton spearhead Brendan Fevola was the clear difference between the Blues and Richmond on Saturday, producing the biggest goal haul of his AFL career to strengthen his club's finals bid.

Fevola mixed audacious party tricks with conventional forward play to boot 9.1 and lead Carlton to a 16.13 (109) to 12.17 (89) win at the MCG, shoring up their top eight berth ahead of a difficult run of matches.

It also put him top of the AFL goal-kicking table, with 55 majors from 15 rounds.

The high-profile full-forward had previously managed eight-goal hauls on eight occasions, including twice already this season, but never before notched nine.

Fevola booted the first five on Will Thursfield before he was replaced by Luke McGuane early in the third term, but Richmond coach Jade Rawlings said neither should wear too much blame given the Blue's magical form.

"He was just too good," Rawlings said.

"He was in one of those frames of mind where anything in his area he was going to be able to do something special.

"This will sound weird but I thought Thursfield was pretty good on him ... McGuane, it's pretty hard to go back to a bloke after he's kicked five, but no doubt he was the difference."

The spearhead's display added much to a match that had little early appeal, both sides making a heap of errors as they struggled in windy conditions.

Carlton trailed by a point at the first change, at which stage Fevola was goal-less.

He gave the Blues the lead with the first goal of the second quarter, added another midway through the term then, after a brief Tigers rally, kicked the final two majors of the half to open a 20-point buffer.

The last goal of the half was a gem.

Fevola scooped up a Jeff Garlett pass on the bounce with Thursfield on his tail and, while Thursfield held him in a tackle, spun and rolled through a brilliant 45m snap from a tight angle.

His hot form continued after the break, with a juggling mark and booming goal from outside 50m.

The Tigers chipped away at the deficit with a string of missed shots, before Fevola made them pay with the final two goals of the third term.

The first came from a one-handed mark in front of McGuane, the next was the match highlight; a bouncing ball booted over his head.

He stretched the lead to 38 points early in the last then, after a Richmond rally, sealed the game from the goalsquare with his ninth.

Carlton coach Brett Ratten attempted to deflect some attention from Fevola post-match, talking up the contributions of some lesser lights, but acknowledged the spearhead was the match-winner.

"He kicks nine goals, you'd have to say he was probably the best man on the ground," Ratten said.

While it was a superb individual effort, a touch of the erratic discipline which has frustrated the Blues also surfaced late in the game, when Fevola took a light swing at Richmond's Daniel Jackson, which looked innocuous but was still a silly risk.

It cost him a 50m penalty, but not a report, and Ratten said the star forward had assured him it was not a strike.

"He said he stopped, he didn't hit the player," Ratten said.

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