Kreuzer worth the wait for Carlton in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kreuzer worth the wait for Carlton in AFL

Greg Buckle 19/06/2011 07:43:43 PM Comments (0)

Carlton AFL coach Brett Ratten tried to make the point on Sunday that Matthew Kreuzer had made a big contribution to the team, no matter what his stats sheet said.

The former No.1 draft pick was playing only his second game for the year after suffering a season-ending knee injury in round 13, 2010.

Carlton had their running game going on Sunday and put enormous pressure on Sydney's ball-carriers to claim a 15.10 (100) to 10.6 (66) win at Etihad Stadium.

And it was Kreuzer, with two goals, 24 possessions, seven tackles, five inside-50s and 13 hit-outs, who played a leading role alongside midfielder Marc Murphy.

But according to Ratten, even if Kreuzer doesn't get a heap of possessions, he plays his part with great energy every week.

The 22-year-old ruckman/forward's work-rate was outstanding, whether it was winning the ball at the stoppages or leading hard to a forward position to give Carlton's endless stream of running players a marking target.

"You can get caught up with stats. Probably five years ago, you'd always just look at the stats and say this player did x, y and z," Ratten said.

"Nowadays, you look at what they do for the team. It's not all about possessions.

"What he does for the group, I think he had 24 possessions.

"But take that aside, I thought his second and third (efforts) and the way he just followed up and cracks in is outstanding.

"Second-up, he did a mighty job today when Shaun (ruckman Shaun Hampson) got injured.

"He (Kreuzer) was the best player on the ground today."

The 200cm Kreuzer could find himself spending more time in the ruck, with Hampson expected to miss up to six weeks and key forward Jarrad Waite tipped to return in a week or two.

"I'm slowly getting there and hopefully I can continue to improve next week," Kreuzer said modestly of the jump to AFL level, after playing three games in the VFL then two in the big league.

"I've still got a little bit to do in the match fitness side of it.

"As a tall forward, you've got to keep running and running, backwards and forwards.

"The boys move it nice and quick. When you've got it in the hands of guys like 'Yaz' (Chris Yarran) running off half-back, they are just lightning.

"It's good for our game plan."

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