Carlton’s Voss on finally winning a close one

These were the sorts of critical battles and moments Carlton fumbled last week but should be celebrated this week.

They were not without error – Mitch McGovern’s kick-in straight to Cameron for one of this last quarter goals was a howler – but in the main they got their critical moments right.

Jeremy Cameron single-handedly dragged Geelong back into the game. Credit:Getty

Last week those pieces unwound Carlton’s lead against Richmond; this week they saved them from the ignominy of carrying the growing burden of being the team that doesn’t know how to win the close games.

It is worth remembering that while Carlton lost two games at the death last year to cost them a place in the finals, and then drew with Richmond from a winning position last week, the teams they have lost to or drawn with have been very good. Last night, they won against the best team of last year in a close one.

Of course this game should never have been close. The Blues led a couple of times by 28 points and save for a period in the first half of the second term, looked for three quarters like the significantly better team. But it was Cameron’s intervention that dragged Geelong back into it.


Even Michael Voss could joke fatalistically about the comeback and the close result … after they won.

“It had to be that way, it just had to be that way. I said that to the players afterwards. It just had to be that way, really tough at the end and we got the correction we were after which was really pleasing,” Voss said.

“To be able to go back after last week and have a bit of a look at it and learn off it. And there were some guys there that had some tough learnings [last week] but what we were confident of was that our system was standing up.

“There was some great big plays. Harry [McKay] was down the line, took some really special marks. Lewis Young was another one, young Ollie Hollands was amazing in some efforts, but that’s some individuals but what that’s surrounded by is a team doing their job. And so it was nice to be able to get through that moment.

“Today I thought we had great balance in our game. Our contest was A-plus but also balance on both sides of the ball was pretty good tonight.

“In any game there’s moment when you have to absorb because when you play a really good team like Geelong you know they cover for each other and know how to put a surge on … sometimes you have to be able to absorb that and that’s what we have done.”

For small forward Matt Owies it was just relief. He’d had a very good night – seven score involvements including three goals of his own – but it threatened to be unwound if they lost composure in that last quarter.

“That’s a pretty awesome feeling,” he said.

“Geelong are such a good team we knew they were going to never give up and we tried to break their back but that’s what good teams do. Again it was all the little things – Big H taking a few marks helps – but when those moments happen in the last quarter you know we train for them.

“Absolutely this sort of win gives us enormous belief. I think we already had believed but this puts the cherry on top.”

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