Carlton’s 2022 season came to a devastating end on Sunday, as Collingwood kicked the last five goals of the game to steal a one-point win at the MCG.
The Blues had been in the top eight all year, but Sunday’s loss meant they heartbreakingly slipped just 0.6 per cent behind the Western Bulldogs and out of the finals race.
“It very rarely happens,” Fox Footy’s Leigh Montagna said.
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“They blew it.
“They lost the unlosable today.
“They still had 20 inside 50s to 11 so you’re already four goals up and you lose from there!”
Carlton had enjoyed a 25-point lead almost five minutes into the final term before their game completely unravelled.
They could manage just 0.6 for the quarter as a host of mistakes cost them the four points they needed to progress to September.
Leigh Montagna highlighted the six ways the game fell apart for the Blues in the final term:
3.58 Charlie Curnow miss
Score: Carlton 10.8 (68) to Collingwood 6.9 (45)
Curnow took a big grab early in the fourth quarter and could have shut down a Magpies comeback. But instead of going back and taking his time from 30m out on a slight angle, Curnow opted to quickly play on.
Even teammate Harry McKay was unaware of what was happening as he then tried to shepherd on the mark. Curnow’s quick snap sailed wide, gifting Collingwood possession.
“Curnow just needed to go back, take his 30 seconds,” Montagna said.
4.51 Lochie O’Brien sets sail
Score: Carlton 10.10 (70) to Collingwood 7.9 (51)
Looking inside 50 early in the fourth term, O’Brien assessed his options. But he missed the short pass to a teammate and instead opted to bomb it long to the square where Jesse Motlop was outnumbered in a two-on-one. The Magpies defence easily rushed the ball through.
“He had one short!” Montagna said.
18.31 Charlie Curnow ignores teammate
Score: Carlton 10.13 (73) to Collingwood 8.9 (57)
Charlie Curnow didn’t have the best last quarter. With less than seven minutes remaining, and the Blues still holding a 16-point lead, Curnow missed his open teammate inside 50.
Instead of going the short kick or handball over the top, he opted for the quick snap and missed.
“Carlton still could have iced the game,” Montagna said, if Curnow had given the Blues a 22-point lead.
23.20 Sam Docherty blasts wide
Score: Carlton 10.14 (74) to Collingwood 10.9 (69)
Docherty has been one of this season’s feel-good stories, but he had a moment he’d like to take back when he put his kick inside 50 out on the full trying to find Harry McKay.
“Even Docherty kicking it out on the full when they are up by five points instead of getting the stoppage,” Montagna highlighted.
25.48 Curnow kicks to contest and Collingwood score
Score: Carlton 10.14 (74) to Collingwood 10.9 (69)
Charlie Curnow had the ball 10m outside of his attacking end with the Blues up by five points. Looking inside 50, it was seven Collingwood players to two Blues. As he held up play waiting for the cavalry to arrive, he had Corey Durdin come back in as the short option bang on 50.
He also had Adam Saad open if he opted to go backwards.
When the umpire called play on, Curnow rushed the kick as Jeremy Howe ran forward off the mark and kicked it to a contest 20m out from goal.
“Charlie Curnow is a leader. Two minutes to go on the clock, just kick it to Durdin. Take time off the ball,” Montagna said.
Collingwood were able to win the ball at ground level and go straight down the corridor.
Young Ash Johnson took the mark in the centre square and went wide to find Jack Ginnivan and Jamie Elliott in a two-on-one against Blue Adam Saad.
Elliott was able to gather and snap brilliantly from the pocket to give Collingwood the one point lead with less than two minutes remaining.
Fox Footy’s David King was especially critical of that play from the Blues backline, particularly leader Jacob Weitering for not setting up while Curnow assessed his options.
“Why isn’t there an extra for support?” he said on First Crack.
“There is no way in the world it should have been so disorganized behind the ball like that.
“They should have had one extra, two extra, three extra. Weitering should have been saying: ‘I’m staying back, you’ve got my man’. Pull a wingman back. Give up something in the forward half of the ground because you didn’t need to score.
“That’s not having your head in the game when you’re a senior core player.
“They play in finals if he gets that right.
“They had time to set it up, time to orchestrate it.
“That’s the gap in leadership there.”
Montagna said the good finals teams would have had that outlet play covered.
“Your fullback should be like a soccer goal keeper,” he said.
“What do you think Steven May at Melbourne would be doing?
“Geelong would be doing it. We’ve shown (Collingwood’s Scott) Pendlebury, (Steele) Sidebottom doing it all year.”
27.47 Corey Durdin misses short option
Score: Carlton 10.14 (74) to Collingwood 11.9 (75)
Corey Durdin had the ball just outside 50 with 1.07 remaining in the match and his side down by one point.
He had teammate Harry McKay open short but opted against the chip kick and instead bombed wide to the boundary where Collingwood defender Jeremy Howe picked it off with ease.
“He kicked it to no man’s land,” Montagna said.
“They had more than enough opportunities.
“This one is going to hurt them for a long time.”