In other NAB Challenge matches, North Melbourne won by 13-points over the Western Bulldogs, Fremantle won by nine-points over West Coast, Port Adelaide thrashed Greater Western Sydney by 95-points, Sydney won by 31-points over St Kilda and Hawthorn won by 29-points over Melbourne.
And yesterday, the Brisbane Lions thrashed Gold Coast by 67-points.
Carlton had its chances in front of goal and it wasted them in the early part of both the first and last terms; similar to what it did against Collingwood in which it had more scoring shots than the eventual premiers in the opening NAB Cup match.
“I think it was a reality check for the boys that the game goes for the full 120 minutes and the work rate is really important,” Carlton coach Brett Ratten said.
“It probably just leaves a little bit of a sour taste in the mouth which has been an outstanding pre-season.”
“We knew we’d feel a bit heavy in the legs but I just thought across the board, we shouldn’t have lost that game and we did and that’s something we’ll address.”
“If you don’t hurt them on the scoreboard, then they come back to bite you,” he said.
But the Blues appear to be in a far better place with their forward line than they were this time last season – post Brendan Fevola.
Yesterday, they had three notable goalkickers with Jarrad Waite, Jeff Garlett and Andrew Walker all kicking three each, while Lachie Henderson was on limited game time.
Eddie Betts was also missing but can be marked down for round one according to Ratten.
“I thought today… we ticked the box (up forward),” Ratten said.
“We’ve had 26 shots to their 22 and we’ve lost the game but just to have those shots that our methods to get it in there and put the opposition under pressure. Then we’ve got the next bit and that’s the accuracy and we didn’t achieve that today,” he said.
Walker has given the Blues an extra viable option and inside the club, most agree that he is thriving on the challenge of becoming a scoring powerhouse rather than an extra midfielder.
Chris Yarran showed plenty of bursts from half back, Heath Scotland continued to prove his worth in the midfield with plenty of leadership and poise and Garlett has improved significantly over the pre-season with his scintillating bursts now that bit longer.
One highlight was when he trailed Andrew Mackie for the ball in the third term, he swooped on it, clicked into an extra gear, then Mackie kept up to desperately lunge for the tackle but Garlett used plenty of finesse to pin-point a pass on Levi Casboult’s chest.
Key position prospect Matt Watson also stood tall and contested well against Cameron Mooney at times. The Blues were cautious of their defenders – Paul Bower and Simon White who both copped knocks – after losing Michael Jamison to injury during the pre-season.
“It was great to give Watson a go,” Ratten said.
“He’s one kid that will get a game this year. We’re not sure if it’s round one or round twenty odd, but he just shows that he can really play at this level which is encouraging.”
Geelong would be rapt with the development of midfielder Mitch Duncan, who impressed again yesterday alongside Selwood in the centre clearances.
Dawson Simpson showed plenty as a back up to Brad Ottens in the ruck, while Nathan Vardy showed versatility up forward. It puts a question mark over Mark Blake, who was left out of the side yesterday and already faces a huge hurdle to get back into the senior team because of the new substitution rule.
Key returns: Travis Varcoe, Joel Corey, Cameron Mooney
Key absentees: Cameron Ling, James Podsiadly, Paul Chapman, Shannon Byrnes
Key returns: Lachie Henderson, Andrew Carrazzo
Key absentees: Eddie Betts, David Ellard, Marc Murphy, Bret Thornton, Robbie Warnock