Another loss has Blues low - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Another loss has Blues low

By Adam Cooper 18/07/2010 05:44:23 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten admits his team's confidence is low but says the Blues can still dictate whether they reach the finals this AFL season.

Another poor defeat, this time to Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, made it four losses from five games for Carlton, who are in the eight on percentage only.

Sydney's 16.11 (107) to 10.8 (68) win, after a superb first half, moved them into sixth spot, a game clear of Carlton, who are level on 32 points with ninth-placed North Melbourne.

North's 15.13 (103) to 7.11 (53) over Richmond at the MCG on Sunday revived the Kangaroos' chances of reaching the finals, although they trail the Blues by almost 20 percentage points.

Carlton were again poor in disposal, entering attack and winning the hard ball when the game mattered, and Ratten said the past month had been costly.

"We look like a team that's lost confidence in our pursuit to play in finals again, and that doesn't waver at our football club from any year - that's our expectation," he said.

But Ratten moved to quell disapproval about his performance from Blues fans, as he said his side's development was on track and that there were no concerns over his tenure.

"The (onus) is on me, the coach is the person in charge of the place," he said.

"You'd think through talk we're in the bottom four, not actually even with wins and losses, that's the thing I scratch my head about.

"Our group's growing. Yes, the way we're playing is not exactly right but we've shown when we're on our game we can play some good footy.

"The ability for us now to change it around, it's all in our hands. We control our destiny and that will be the challenge in the last six weeks."

While Carlton slid in round 16, their great rivals Collingwood were the notable mover, as the Magpies shot to top spot after thrashing St Kilda by 48 points at the MCG on Saturday.

Geelong's 11-point loss to Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Friday night, meant the Pies and Saints were playing for the lead, but it was Collingwood who were more desperate and posted their first win over St Kilda in five attempts.

The Cats (second) and Saints (third) are half a game behind Collingwood.

The Western Bulldogs moved into fourth spot by coming from behind to beat Port Adelaide by 36 points in Darwin on Saturday night, in what was Port's 10th successive defeat, but first under caretaker coach Matthew Primus.

Fremantle can overtake the Bulldogs and regain fourth spot if they beat Melbourne at Subiaco Oval later on Sunday.

Hawthorn are in seventh place after walloping the Brisbane Lions by 75 points in Launceston on Saturday even despite the absence of star forward Lance Franklin.

The only game of the round which had no bearing on the eight produced the best individual effort, as West Coast's Mark LeCras kicked 12 goals in his side's 32-point win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The Bombers' defeat was their sixth in succession and forced coach Matthew Knights to brace for another week of close scrutiny.

West Coast's resurgence has further concern for Carlton, as the Eagles host the Blues next weekend, while North play Essendon.

Adelaide, who are in 10th spot but in good form, are a game further back but play Port.

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