What a glorious day at the MCG on Sunday afternoon, 9th April, 2017! There was no sun shining down, warming those that went. It rained, nay, pelted down. It was cold, windy. Raincoats, ponchos were dragged out, but not for one minute did anyone there move to a dryer location. We sat behind the goals at the Robert Heatley Stand, standing behind our team for what would be a battle of massive and very wet, proportions.
No-one in the media predicted that we would win. Even ex-Carlton legend, Greg Williams said we would get smashed. What no-one counted on was that Carlton is not the same club as it was a few years ago. We are better.
We saw a group of players come out on to the ground who from the very first bounce of the ball to the end, not give in or give up for one second. We saw the amazing Sammy Rowe keep a frustrated Joe Daniher to just one goal. We saw the amazing tenacity of Marc Murphy blitz the field with not only 32 disposals, but 2 goals to his name, one which was ranked number four in the round’s top 10.
We witnessed Bryce Gibbs, who people said last week that his heart was not in this club, finish with 35 disposals. Who at the final siren, showed a look of sheer joy. We saw the big man, Mr Mathew Kreuzer become more and more agile around what was a very soggy ground, proving how valuable he is as a key man in this team. There were so many players that stood up and never gave up, but I think what was more prolific was the newbies, the younger players who are showing not only what SOS and Bolts saw in them, but what they will be capable of in the future.
Sam Petrevski-Seton who scored a beautiful goal, with 17 disposals, will only get better and better with each game. Thrown into the senior side from the start, he is proving with every game of how dynamic he is, but he is not alone.
The team showed a game style that I had not seen in them for a while, they played their hearts out for every single second of the match and were there on the ball every single time in what was really difficult circumstances. When the ground is that wet, the ball is that greasy, it is up to players to dig in just a little bit deeper and run just a little bit faster. This Carlton did.
I’m not saying that this game will ensure that Carlton will be guaranteed a top 8 position based on their performance, but I’m saying that this game was a massive turning point for all involved. It showed that no matter what the conditions playing every second of every quarter and not giving in will mean certain victory.
For those that braved the weather on Sunday afternoon, this turning point was one of sheer and utter euphoric elation. It didn’t matter that we were cold, wet, it mattered that the team tried with every fiber of their being, and they did. For those who watched around Australia, I bet they just hugged the screen joining those at the G in singing.
It was a glorious day on Sunday!