Carlton has been left to lick their wounds following their heartbreaking five-point loss to Melbourne on Thursday night.
With the loss meaning the Blues are still yet to sew up a finals finish, Carlton fans have been left to question how they could possibly lose a game with the side seven points up inside two minutes.
Dissecting the final 120 seconds of the game, Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes analyzed what went wrong for Carlton when the game was on the line.
“Carlton have been beaten up by Adelaide in Round 20, beaten up by Brisbane in Round 21 and then lost almost the unlosable last night,” Cornes said on Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
“Let’s look at some of the mistakes Carlton made since Charlie Curnow put them eight points up with three minutes to go.”
Carlton’s first error comes at an inside 50 stoppage with just over two minutes remaining.
Cornes is critical of the Blues allowing Max Gawn to stand unopposed one kick behind the stoppage as ben brown takes the ruck duties.
carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet wins a clearance kick but the free Gawn intercepts, leading to an inside 50 kick which Jake Melkham marks in a four-on-two contest, leading to a goal and reducing the margin to just one point.
“Look at Max Gawn drop out, Ben Brown did the ruck work, but you’ve got to squeeze up on Max Gawn, you can’t leave a dangerous player (by themselves) just on the edge of 50,” Cornes explained.
“That (clearance) kick from (Marc) Pittonet has to go boundary, then there’s a four-on-two in the goal square, where you’ve got to kill that ball.
“(Lewis) Young doesn’t do anything, (Mitch) McGovern doesn’t put a fist through it and there’s (Jake) Melksham taking that contested mark in the goal square.
“There’s one mistake that they made, that cost them.”
With just one kick it in, Cornes is impressed with Carlton’s work following a quick Melbourne inside 50 from a center clearance.
With 1:22 remaining, charlie currow marks the rebound 50 kick near the edge of the center square, then passes to a leading Harry McKay on the wing with 1:15 remaining.
“Now it (the margin) is one point,” Cornes explained.
“Then (Charlie) Curnow marks the ball on the wing, beautiful, you’ve got control and an uncontested mark, he does the right thing and finds Harry McKay on the wing.
“You don’t lose this game from here, you don’t lose it.”
Following his mark, McKay makes the smart decision to go backwards where he finds matt owies with a short kick on the wing, helping take precious seconds off the clock.
Owies then makes the crucial mistake of failing to wind down the clock and missing his next kick to adam saadwho instead of marking and taking more time off, is forced to pick up the ball and kick to a contest down the line.
“You want to go back and you want to kick it to (Matt) Owies – perfect, fine, you’ve got control of the footy,” Cornes said.
“Owies kicks the ball on the ground, which means (Adam) Saad has to play on.
“All he had to do was hit that kick, Saad has to find one more and it’s game over.”
Saad’s down-the-line kick is then returned but to a three-on-one marking contest in Carlton’s favour.
Cornes is critical of Carlton trio Jacob Weitering, Caleb Marchbank and Lewis Young who send the ball across the line instead of intercepting with their numerical advantage.
“The ball comes out and comes back in,” Cornes said.
“Carlton is three on one here, you’ve just got to block Ben Brown out and mark that footy.
“Mark that ball with 48 seconds to go and the game is gone.”
A throw-in stoppage then allows Melbourne to set up, but Cornes praises Carlton for sending three spares behind the ball.
demons defend Jake Lever then wins a ball on the wing and kicks inboard to a contest which is won by Jayden Hunt who looks inside 50.
“Now Melbourne have got an opportunity to set up,” Cornes said.
“You’ve got Saad behind the ball, two spares behind the ball and even numbers at the stoppage.
“What are those spares behind the ball doing? There’s three of them remember.
“Ball comes out, goes back in and this is smart from Lever, he doesn’t want to kick it to the three spares, so he goes inboard and takes a bit of a risk.
“Three on one, they’re going to win the ball through (Jayden) Hunt who drives through and then he kicks the ball inside 50.”
While Carlton was set up at the time of the stoppage, Cornes notes that their structure has shifted since Lever’s kick.
The Demons are allowed to meet Hunt’s inside 50 with just one opponent each to deal with.
Kysaiah Pickett then wins the football and kicks the winning goal.
“Where have Carlton’s spares gone? Remember there was three of them, where are they gone?,” Cornes asked.
“There’s no three there, there’s all even numbers inside forward 50, Carlton had to have a spare inside 50 to kill the ball.
“Kozzie Pickett brilliance, he worked some magic and was too good really on the day.
“Game over, but Carlton will look back and go, ‘We lost an unlosable game’.”
Following the loss, Carlton will now have to either beat Collingwood in Round 23 or hope Hawthorn beat the Bulldogs in Launceston to play finals this season.
Check out Cornes breakdown the footage on video below.
“Carlton will look back and go, ‘we lost an unlosable game.'”
The mistakes the Blues made in the final moments, that cost them dearly against the Demons. #9AFLSFS | Watch on @Channel9 pic.twitter.com/odeoLrCQTa
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) August 14, 2022