Gibbs stars as Blues cruise past Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gibbs stars as Blues cruise past Eagles

By Sam Lienert 30/05/2010 07:05:23 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has accused the Blues of flirting with their form, despite a comfortable 15.15 (105) to 11.10 (76) AFL win over West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Carlton were in control from the start and led by as much as 50 points midway through the third quarter.

While the Eagles never mounted a serious threat, they kicked the last four goals of the third term, then won the final quarter by three points to prevent a scoreboard blow-out.

Ratten said Carlton should have won by more, but criticised his team for wasted chances in front of goal and undisciplined use of the ball, after the lead ballooned.

"Our ability to win the game by 30 points, I would tick the box, but I think the way we played, maybe we tried to flirt with our form a bit, it wasn't great by the end," he said.

"I thought we had elements of that right through the game, when maybe we took our foot off the pedal or just made some poor choices or tried to be too cute, it was a little bit frustrating."

One thing he was delighted with was the large number of tackles his team laid which restricted the Eagles while winning enough of the ball themselves countered for some wastefulness.

One player who did not waste the ball was young gun Bryce Gibbs, who was superb running off halfback.

The 21-year-old picked up 45 touches and one goal, almost all of his disposals finding a teammate.

But despite his brilliance, and Marc Murphy also picking up a heap of the ball through the midfield, Ratten preferred the performances of small forward Jeff Garlett and tagger Andrew Carrazzo, who restricted long-kicking Eagle Shannon Hurn.

Ratten said Gibbs used the ball "magnificently", but was allowed plenty of freedom, whereas Garlett, who kicked two goals, had to work in heavy traffic.

"He had nine tackles as a small forward, that's incredible, he hit the scoreboard, that's nearly the perfect game for a small forward, he couldn't do much more than he did," the coach said.

The Blues were also boosted by good comeback games from defender Andrew Walker and midfielder Brock McLean, both returning from injury.

Along with Garlett, fellow small forwards Mitch Robinson and Eddie Betts were both very lively, while tall forward Setanta O'hAilpin kicked three goals.

For the Eagles, ruckman Dean Cox dominated the hit-outs in a hard-working game, and also kicked a goal, while Mark LeCras (five goals) and Josh Kennedy (four) were good in attack.

Coach John Worsfold praised his side's effort, despite being outclassed.

"We were pretty happy with the way the boys took it up to them today. They got beaten but they're having a dip and learning a lot," Worsfold said.

"They're not too disappointed about today. They're very disappointed to lose but they had a crack."

The win lifted the Blues to a 6-4 record, pushing for a top four berth, while the Eagles fell to 3-7.

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