Old met new and tall met small in the Carlton forward line today, with Matt Owies and Eddie Betts combining for six goals and helping their side to victory over traditional rivals Essendon.
Owies in game two and Betts in game 336 helped keep the Blues in it when the Bombers looked like running away with the match.
The return to form was timely for Betts, with Harry McKay having no influence in the first half.
“We’ve relied on our talls, well… Harry anyway,” coach David Teague admitted.
“I thought it was good to have a spread of goal kickers.
“His (Owies) ability to watch the ball, both him and Eddie – there weren’t often too many nice passes to them. It was more them watching the play and reacting quickly.
“I thought the small forwards this week did a [much] better job at getting the ball once it hit the deck.”
McKay’s second half dominance was even more impressive, as Teague admitted that he was a bit under the weather.
“I was super proud of Harry’s game,” he said.
“He won’t want me to say this, but he was a bit under the weather going into the game, and he put his hand up and said, ‘no I can get the job done for you coach’ and didn’t complain, didn’t tell any of his teammates, he just went out there and kept competing.
“Everyone understands that once you walk over that white line, you’re fit to play. Harry knew that, and he got the job done, so I thought it was a great effort.”
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Carlton’s comeback victory was not without casualties though with forward Mitch McGovern suffering a hamstring injury, Teague suspects.
“I went up to him, and he just shook his head, so he’s pretty disappointed,” Teague said.
“But he said, ‘I’ve been here, I know what to do, I’ll be right,’… I think it’s a hamstring.”
Midfielder Paddy Dow, meanwhile, was subbed out after a bad knock to the eye.
“He (Dow) actually went back on, and got a possession, he reckons it nearly missed his foot,” Teague said.
“He just couldn’t see. It’s a decent black eye, so hopefully that settles down.”
With a tough fixture to come, Teague is buoyed by performances like today.
“I’m really confident that if we play near our best, that’s our challenge, to play near our best, so we can beat the Bulldogs, or Melbourne,” he said.
“I think our best is good enough to beat anyone.”
The Blues will have the chance to keep the ball rolling when they take on the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium next Sunday.
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