20/04/2024

Carlton senior coach Michael Voss speaking at Ikon Park. Image: carltonfc.com.au

Carlton senior coach Michael Voss has spoken to his players about the high-tackle interpretation after clarity was provided by the AFL as his side looks to keep its hopes of a top-four position alive.

Carlton coach Michael Voss has spoken to his players about how to approach the clarification of the high-tackle rule as his side looks to keep its hopes of a top-four position alive.

The Blues had an official umpire at training on Friday to better prepare themselves for the way high free kicks will be adjudicated going forward in the season.

Voss said he welcomed the clarity that had been provided on the rule and that he was comfortable with his side’s ability to adapt to rule interpretations.

“We’ve got one (umpire) out here today, it’s a cost of presence for us,” he said.

“If we’re going to replicate the environment of what we’re seeing on the weekend, then we should be able to replicate it out here.

“The umpires have been here right throughout our preseason and it’s an opportunity for us to be able to have a chat to them about how they see it and give further clarity to these guys [the players] about how they go about it.”

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With 11 wins this season, Carlton gets the chance to secure a finals berth with two extremely winnable matches in the next fortnight, starting with GWS at Marvel Stadium this Sunday.

The Blues average almost 100 points per game under the roof and have looked at their attacking best in their six games at the Docklands. However, Voss is also wary of the offensive game style the Giants have implemented in the second half of the season.

”They (the Giants) haven’t had as good a two weeks as what they’d like but they clearly move the ball pretty powerfully when they need to,” he said.

”They’ve obviously got some really damaging players there that when they get on the end of it, they can really challenge you, so it’s a really important game for us.”

The Blues will be bolstered by the return of Mitch McGovern who recorded 17 disposals in the VFL last weekend, while Lochie O’Brien also comes into the side in place of the suspended Will Hayes.

“It’s been a long time, we’ve missed him (McGovern),” Voss said.

“He was obviously a pretty important member to our team early in the season. To get him back from a personnel point of view … is a real bonus for us this time of year.”

Carlton has had an inconsistent past two months, registering four wins and four losses throughout that period, including last week’s convincing defeat at the hands of ladder-leaders Geelong.

With matches against Brisbane at the Gabba and reigning premiers Melbourne still to come in the home and away season, Voss said last Saturday was a good opportunity to see where Carlton sits against the competition’s best sides.

“I think when you play against a mature football team like what they are, they ask questions of every part of your system,” he said.

“I’d like to be able to sit here and say there was one particular thing that we take away, but the reality is is that they demand your system to be right on for four quarters and if you’re not, they’ll capitalise on those mistakes.

“The challenge for us right now is just how to stay on us and execute it for a little longer.”

Important midfielder George Hewett will miss the clash with GWS after reporting back soreness on Thursday.

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