Judd needs to play forward: Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Judd needs to play forward: Ratten

Greg Buckle 21/05/2011 03:41:16 PM Comments (0)

Necessity was the mother of invention for coach Brett Ratten as he pushed limping skipper Chris Judd to a forward role in Carlton's heartbreaking two-point AFL loss to Geelong.

The unbeaten Cats pipped the fourth-placed Carlton 15.12 (102) to 14.16 (100) on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

Geelong's win came after Blues ruckman Robbie Warnock missed a simple shot at goal from 15 metres out with 77 seconds remaining.

Ratten said Carlton's poor goalkicking in the last term, 3.6 to Geelong's 3.1, was a key factor in the loss.

However the Blues mentor was upbeat about Judd's move forward in the second half after the 27-year-old suffered a sprained ankle just before halftime.

The Blues released a statement on Saturday saying the dual Brownlow Medallist was expected to be fit for next Friday night's clash with Melbourne at the MCG.

"He just couldn't get I suppose the last five or 10 per cent of his power to run through the midfield so we thought we'd play him forward," Ratten said.

"It was a great goal that left-footer and he looked dangerous all the time up there so it was worth keeping him out there.

"It's good for our (midfield) group to have to adjust and take up the slack when Chris is not in there.

"He's a great player to play forward and for Chris' longevity he needs to play forward a little bit more in his games."

Ratten said the Blues showed a great hunger to compete, although he was critical of goalkicking and concentration errors.

"It hurt us. Three goals six in the last quarter to three-one, we had our chance," he said.

"It was 15 inside-50s to nine but we couldn't put it through the big sticks."

Ratten said a free kick paid against Nick Duigan for mouthing off, which gifted Geelong's Matthew Stokes a goal late in the third quarter, proved crucial.

"There's big moments in games. We gave away a 50-metre penalty and a free kick that was turned around, they're enormous," Ratten said.

"It's hard enough for us at the moment to kick more goals than points and then we do that and shoot ourselves in the foot a little bit.

"But if you had to rate 10 things that we wanted to do, we would have ticked seven or eight out of the 10 things.

"There's enormous positives from the game. But we didn't get the four points and that's the hard bit."

Warnock was kept in hospital overnight after suffering a heavy knock to the head but has been cleared of any structural damage, the Blues said.

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