Grinding AFL win shows Blues' maturity - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Grinding AFL win shows Blues' maturity

Sam Lienert 28/05/2011 12:25:57 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has hailed his AFL side's grinding 47-point win over Melbourne as another sign of their growing maturity.

Ratten described Friday night's 13.15 (93) to 6.10 (46) victory at the MCG as "workmanlike".

It was a notch down on the Blues' performance a week earlier against unbeaten Geelong, despite Carlton falling two points short in that encounter.

But the win lifted them back into the top four and Ratten said it was the kind of match against a lower-ranked and depleted opponent that his side might have slipped up on in the past.

"Sometimes over the last couple of seasons if we've gone into games being the favoured team, sometimes we haven't carried that burden as well as we should have," he said.

"There's no doubt, as we've said in the past month, that our group has really matured and taken responsibility.

"And I can see that coming out in our performance, that was very workmanlike."

It comes after some narrow victories earlier in the season that Ratten has said Carlton teams of recent seasons might also have failed to clinch.

The win had a cost, with defenders Jordan Russell (hamstring) and Jeremy Laidler (knee) sustaining what were believed to be minor injuries and Nick Duigan (glute) also leaving the field late in the match.

But a nine-day break before Carlton's next match, against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, gives them some hope of not missing any football.

But Ratten said star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, out with a knee injury since round 13 last year, was still several weeks from an AFL return.

Kreuzer played about half a game in the VFL last weekend and will play about three quarters on Sunday.

But Ratten said he would still need at least one more VFL game next weekend, before being considered.

"We want Matthew Kreuzer to come in and really feel confident about his body," he said.

"We've probably learnt a couple of lessons along the way, rushing Jarrad (Waite) last year back a little bit early and no doubt we rushed Lachie Henderson this year back too early."

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