Judd shows the way for Blues: Ratten - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Judd shows the way for Blues: Ratten

Sam Lienert 24/07/2011 03:37:04 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten credited the inspirational effect of captain Chris Judd for the team performance the Blues have been seeking.

The dual Brownlow medallist produced one of the great individual AFL games to lead the Blues to a 24.9 (153) to 12.7 (79) win over Essendon at the MCG on Saturday night.

While Eddie Betts kicked a career-high eight goals, Judd was the standout, setting up a big proportion of those and kicking one himself, while amassing 33 disposals, seven clearances and 12 tackles.

What pleased Ratten was that after three losses in the previous four rounds, during which the coach believed there were "too many passengers", there was a broad spread of contributors on Saturday night.

But Ratten felt that was largely because Judd produced the type of effort that demanded others follow.

"I thought his first half was amazing, just him winning the ball and doing what he did, I just thought he really helped us be where we were at halftime," Ratten said.

"He's one of those ones that everyone jumps on board with.

"What he did tonight was say 'OK, there's a few blokes down, but I'm going to lead the way.'

"As the team got humming along a bit and we kicked a few goals, he just sort of snuck off into the background and just played his part brilliantly."

Asked what set Judd apart, Ratten nominated his competitive drive and willingness to push himself to contest after contest.

"He's a marvel at just getting to the next one and halving contests, let alone winning them, he's brilliant."

While the skipper has inspired his team-mates, Ratten believes they have also driven Judd to a new level this season, particularly the rise of fellow midfielder Marc Murphy to elite status.

"When you've got a challenger within, that actually drives him a little bit more as well," Ratten said.

"Whether that's been some of the things that have really pushed him at our football club, which he might not have been confronted with, except for back in his West Coast days, when (Ben) Cousins and (Daniel) Kerr and that were challenging him.

"Now he's got Murphy and (Bryce) Gibbs and (Kade) Simpson really pushing, (Heath) Scotland's in fantastic form this year as well.

"He's got people within actually challenging his reputation as the No.1 player at our football club and I think that's drawn the best out of him."

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