An inspired performance from West Coast forward Josh Kennedy sealed an emphatic 69-point win over a dismal Carlton, with the game ending Eagles 20.11.131, Carlton 9.8.62.
Kennedy was outstanding for the home side, as he put on a masterclass goal-kicking performance. The power forward kicked 10 goals against his former team and was practically unstoppable in the Eagles first win of the 2015 AFL season. Match summary and video below.
The Blues started brightly with six goals and were helped by some mercurial brilliance from Marc Murphy who scored an incredible goal.
Carlton never threatened after quarter-time, with Eagles midfielders Luke Shuey and Matt Priddis accumulating plenty of the ball and using it to good effect.
The Eagles grew in stature and the Blues were no match for a damaging Kennedy, who helped his team to an important 13-point lead at the half-time interval.
When play resumed the visitors were in desperate need of a spark, but when Levi Casboult missed horribly from a decent set-shot opportunity (see below) it summed up the Blues’ inept finishing.
The third quarter belonged to Kennedy, who scored at will both on the deck and from long range shots. His agility at ground level was something to marvel at with this fine effort.
The Blues’ defenders had no answer to his strength in a marking contest as he took this grab and fired through his seventh of the game.
If there was one passage of play that summed up the Eagles’ dominance then this was it. A series of pressure acts on the Carlton defenders ended in a turnover in their forward half, and with an onrushing Kennedy streaming into goal he could have been forgiven for demanding the ball. However, rather than call for the ball, the forward elected to shepherd his the opposing defender and ensure that Shuey would all but seal the points for the home team even before three quarter-time.
When Kennedy slammed through a ninth after on the three-quarter time siren things went from bad to rotten ugly for a sluggish Carlton side. This goal meant that the Blues were 46 points adrift and staring at a crushing defeat.
Things didn’t improve in the last quarter as Mark LeCras got in on the act, scoring three goals in the final term to give him a handsome total of four for the match. Aside from a fiery melee, as the Blues vented their frustration at the situation, the Eagles continued their onslaught and put an agonising first round defeat behind them with a resounding victory. On the other hand, a terribly disappointing display for the Blues means they start the season with two losses and bereft of confidence.
Next weekend West Coast host a derby showdown with Western Australian rivals Fremantle on Sunday, while for Carlton they face old foe Essendon at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.