Blues face consistency test against Port - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues face consistency test against Port

12/05/2010 07:37:18 AM Comments (0)

Carlton's quest for AFL consistency will face a stern test on Sunday when they play Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

In the wake of three tough games, the Blues have a rare five-day break and must also travel.

They have beaten last year's grand finalists over the last fortnight, downing premiers Geelong in round five and thrashing St Kilda on Monday night by 61 points.

But in between, likely top-four side Collingwood easily beat the Blues by 53 points.

While Carlton are 4-3 and showing promise, Port are making a habit of storming home in the last quarter and they fear no-one.

"We go over with a bit of confidence, but it's another game and the competition is so even," said Carlton coach Brett Ratten.

"It will be a big one for us, they're in great form, they found a way to win against Essendon (last weekend) ... that's what good teams do.

"We might get a few back, with (Shaun) Grigg and (Richard) Hadley, there are a few boys who are close."

While the five-day break will stretch Carlton, the Port match opens a great run of games where the seventh-placed Blues can cement themselves in the top eight.

After Port, Carlton's next four opponents are Hawthorn, West Coast, Melbourne and North Melbourne - all in Melbourne and all currently below them on the ladder.

They go into the next month with key forward Jarrad Waite back in the side and showing ominous form.

The Blues dropped Waite and key defender Bret Thornton after the worrying round-three Essendon loss and recalled them for the Saints.

Thornton was solid against St Kilda, but Waite kicked three-straight goals in a dominating first quarter.

"It's an interesting one, you have a player there with the X-factor that Jarrad has and we've seen how he can influence a game," Ratten said.

"His timing was completely out, it was more the Essendon game that highlighted (it).

"He did a great job for us ... he's still just working out his fitness and his all-round game, but I give it three ticks.

"When the game was up for grabs, he had a huge influence on the result."

The Blues coach also heaped praise on midfielder Andrew Carrazzo, who kept prolific Saints midfielder Nick Dal Santo to only 12 touches while having 24 possessions himself.

"I was really pleased for Andy Carrazzo to do that role for the team ... he could get the ball 40 times in an AFL game and he has," Ratten said.

"To sacrifice his ball-winning ability to do something for the team was really important.

"It was important for Andrew to reduce his impact early, he (Dal Santo) is such a creative player and it's shown when he gets the ball in his hands and then he uses those magic feet of his, St Kilda get it back or they have the opportunity to score.

"To reduce his impact was critical for the win."

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