Carlton's Marc Murphy says AFL bye is good - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton's Marc Murphy says AFL bye is good

By Guy Hand 02/09/2011 02:07:43 PM Comments (0)

Carlton midfielder Marc Murphy has no doubt - the bye will help the Blues say hello to the AFL finals in style.

Murphy is confident his side will show the benefits of a week-long freshen-up in Saturday night's clash with St Kilda and the finals the following week.

Carlton had the bye last weekend following a tough loss to Hawthorn, and play the Saints at the MCG in their last home-and-away match of the year.

Murphy said on Friday the bye came at the right time for the Blues.

He feels they will be able to capitalise on their freshness for the Saints clash, and again in their first final against Essendon the following week.

"It's (the bye's) a good thing for us. Having the bye later in the year gives you a freshen-up, not just physically but mentally as well," Murphy said.

"It's a good dress rehearsal for the finals playing a good side like St Kilda ... it's a good test for us going into finals footy.

"They're going really well."

Carlton have played just two finals in the past 10 years, and narrowly lost both.

But they can take heart from the fact both those matches were outside Melbourne, and they will play Essendon next week at the MCG.

Murphy said the Blues had earmarked a good performance in the finals, not content with just making the top eight or even winning one.

"We want to make it deep into the finals," Murphy said.

"We want to really go as far as we can and winning one final is probably not good enough."

And he believes the Blues are as well placed as any of the top sides to make a serious tilt at the flag.

"It's a pretty even sort of year. There's maybe five or six sides that can challenge for the premiership," Murphy said.

"It's still a pretty open finals series ahead."

For the St Kilda match, the Blues have recalled tall target Setanta o'hAilpin, midfielder Kane Lucas and defender Zach Tuohy, as coach Brett Ratten tries to uncover his best 22 amid an embarrassment of fit-again riches.

St Kilda will give veteran ruckman Michael Gardiner his first AFL match of the season after a year wrecked by injury.

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