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Blue heavens: Newnes rescues Carlton from defeat after final siren

Docherty had kicked the ball out on the full and if the free kick wasn’t paid Fremantle would likely have won.

Moments earlier, Harry McKay and Liam Jones missed difficult set shots from the boundary with under two minutes and one minute to play in the game, respectively, to put the Blues in front.

Before Newnes’ stunning goal there had only been four behinds scored in the final term, two to each team, in a desperate and willing end to the contest.

The Blues were staring down the barrel of three consecutive losses courtesy of a Dockers side on the rise; a disciplined unit in defence and not dissimilar to the Blues in attack using a swag of small forwards to buzz at the feet of their big targets.

From the jaws of defeat: Jack Newnes celebrates his after-the-siren goal.

From the jaws of defeat: Jack Newnes celebrates his after-the-siren goal. Credit:Getty Images

Carlton led for two minutes in the game, taking the lead early in the first term then again after the siren.

Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Ed Curnow led Carlton’s push in the third term from the midfield given they trailed by two goals at half-time. Nat Fyfe moved into the middle more in the final term to blunt this impact but the Blues kept pushing and got their reward as late as they possibly could.

Fremantle could only kick one goal in the second half to Carlton’s three and will rue chances they had early in the last quarter to take the four points.

Winning this match was crucial given the Blues play Collingwood, GWS and Gold Coast in the next three weeks, who are all teams that will be gunning for one of the spots in the bottom half of the top eight on current form.

One problem the Blues had early, which coach David Teague spoke about on the television coverage at half-time, was committing too many men to the contest and then getting beaten on the spread outside.

They improved at this in the third term and began to run through the Dockers’ zone but their kicking inside 50 remained a problem, granted the conditions were slippery.

While he’s not kicked huge bags like Tom Hawkins or Josh Kennedy this year, Matt Taberner continued to be one of the best key forwards in the competition with his haul against the Blues. Taberner did it against Jacob Weitering too, the Blue probably beaten for the first time in 2020.

Along with Rory Lobb the duo remain underrated, even though they’re among the most powerful contested marking pair in the league.

The Blues win was one of their best, if not their best, in recent years and renews their push for a finals spot.

They didn’t play their best football in the first half but crucially they made sure they did not get blown out of the water, and remained within striking distance all game.

This after-the-siren victory will make up for their post-siren loss against Port Adelaide earlier in the season.

BEST
Fremantle: Fyfe, Ryan, Taberner, Cerra, Aish
Carlton: Walsh, Cripps, E Curnow, Casboult, Murphy, Newnes

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