commentary team – Michmutters

Round 21 analysis, highlights, Talking Points, reaction, results, storylines, Rory Lobb trade, Collingwood 2021 mulligan

As the Bulldogs watched their final hopes fade on Saturday, there was a cruel irony in front of them.

Plus the ‘five years with a mulligan’ theory that helps explain Collingwood’s year.

The big issues from Round 21 of the 2022 AFL season analyzed in Talking Points!

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Saturday was bad for the Bulldogs in 2022; their loss, combined with Richmond’s win, has them outsiders to make the eight (though Carlton’s loss to Brisbane keeps them alive).

But it might’ve been good for them in 2023 and beyond.

The irony wasn’t lost on Fox Footy’s commentary team as Rory Lobb, reportedly on his way to the Kennel in free agency on a deal of around $1.5 million over three years, dominated the game.

The Dockers key forward has always shown flashes amid an inconsistent career – this is the first season where he’s reached the 30 goal mark – his four big majors at Marvel Stadium showed him at his absolute best.

Best three kicks at goal since Plugger | 00:58

“First four kicks were goals, it looked like he could kick them from everywhere,” goalkicking legend Jason Dunstall said at three-quarter-time on Fox Footy.

Melbourne great Garry Lyon added: “If you believe everything that’s been said, the Western Bulldogs whilst they’d be shattered if they lose and Rory Lobb leads them (Fremantle) to victory, they might be rubbing their hands together, given many think he’s heading to the Western Bulldogs.

“That’s what they’re saying; he’s playing unbelievably well.”

Some have questioned whether the Bulldogs need Lobb, given they’ve got Aaron Naughton (three goals on Saturday), Josh Bruce, No.1 pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and father-son prodigy Sam Darcy, who made a strong debut with a team -leading eight marks and seven intercepts.

But as those intercepts suggest Darcy played in defense, where the Bulldogs desperately need tall help – while Luke Beveridge remains a Ryan Gardner stan and defends his backs when questioned, they’ve long struggled to defend one-on-ones.

So if Lobb truly is coming on board, that just adds more tall weapons to their armory.

More magnets to spin for the AFL’s most prolific magnet-spinner can’t hurt, surely?

Meanwhile for the Dockers, their win on the road was yet another example of their terrific away record in the 2022 season.

They’re the only non-Victorian team to win more than one game in Victoria this season – and they’ve won five, plus that draw against Richmond.

Taking 22 premiership points from trips to the home of footy is a big reason the Dockers are current flag contenders this season. After all, if they can win in Melbourne, they can win on the biggest day of all.

Buckley on 2018 Crows: ‘It’s harrowing’ | 06:33


Few experts pre-season tipped Collingwood to feature in this year’s finals series. Nathan Buckley, however, did.

And while the former coach didn’t expect his Magpies to be sitting second on the ladder with two rounds to go, he’s of the firm belief the side’s 2022 surge is a result of an exciting five-year build.

The Magpies’ destiny is in their own hands. Win two more home and away games and they’ll jump from the bottom-two last year to the top-two this year – a simply remarkable feat. Those last two games will be tough – Sydney at the SCG and Carlton at the MCG – but it seems nothing, not even the prospect of watching The Exorcist in the dark, scares this team.

While many outside the club had low expectations for the Magpies this year after a 17th-placed finish in 2021, Buckley said it was important to remember the build and list turnover in the previous three years.

“I’m going to suggest – and I’ve been involved in the footy club – but this is five years of good footy with a bad year last year,” Buckley told Fox Footy on Friday night.

“The nucleus of this side is established and we’re seeing some young players come in and play really big roles – and it’s brilliant and it’s exciting to see.

“This Collingwood side has exceeded my expectations. I thought they were 15 wins at the top end – and they’ve still got two more to go. What ‘Fly’ (McRae) has done has been amazing, but it’s been built off the nucleus of a senior core that have been there for five or six years doing this now.”

Maynard BUZZING after big hit and win | 00:47

The Magpies on Friday night claimed a remarkable 11th straight win – the first time they’ve achieved the feat since 2011 – in another tantalizingly close game.

Asked how the Pies keep winning such tight games, coach Craig McRae told reporters: “Yeah, this group’s got some belief hasn’t it? We just get ourselves into positions where at three quarter-time, there’s a few smiles on their faces – like, ‘here we go again’.

“It’s just been our story. I haven’t been part of a team like it that gets themselves in a situation that they just think: ‘Here we go, we’ll get the job done.’”

The On The Couch team last week compared the profile of Collingwood’s 2022 team to the Richmond premiership side of 2017. Like the Tigers, the Pies aren’t a strong clearance team, but are among the top-four clubs for interceptions, pressure and opposition score per inside 50.

Brownlow Medalist Gerard Healy added to the comparison on Friday night.

“This could be a premiership built on pressure, like Richmond in 2017,” Healy told Fox Footy Live. “They didn’t win all the stats, but they won the flag, so there’s a lot to like about this Collingwood side.

“They are certainly in the conversation – you can’t win 11 in a row and beat last year’s premiers twice and not be a genuine chance.

“Collingwood and Sydney sit underneath most people’s favorites of Geelong and Melbourne, but we do know they are capable of beating the top sides.”

Asked if he’d reassess his message to his playing group considering the circumstances, McRae said: “We’re living in the moment of getting better. That’s always been our message. We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves.

“You look at the stats sheet (after the Melbourne game) and there’s a lot of red in it, so we’re not naive and we’ve got a little work to do.

“We don’t know where our ceiling is at – and that’s exciting. We’re in discovery mode… and that’s an exciting place to live.”

Consider comments heard! | 00:26


Ed Langdon was something of a sitting duck when he was swamped only moments into Friday night’s epic between Collingwood and Melbourne.

We wouldn’t normally put so much time into dissecting a wingman’s game, particularly one as consistent as Langdon. But after the former Freo man spoke on radio about Collingwood being “all duck and no dinner” and a “one trick pony”, all eyes were on Langdon.

It created one of the most memorable moments of the season – and added some spice to a game that barely needed it.

Sitting second and third on the table respectively, Melbourne and Collingwood were playing on a Friday night for the first time since 2007, so the stage was already set for a dynamite contest.

Collingwood coach Craig McRae made light of Langdon’s comments pre-game, telling Fox Footy’s Kath Loughnan he had “duck for dinner last night”.

Feet assistant Brendon Bolton told Fox Sports News’ AFL Tonight he “loved it”, while Adem Yze reiterated the respect the Demons have for the Pies.

Kennedy chaired off in charming scenes | 01:23

The 24 hours prior to the opening bounce were gripping as a football lover. All that anyone was talking about were those comments and how good the game was going to be. The AFL even bumped up their crowd estimates off the back of the comments.

And when Brayden Maynard and co. engulfed Langdon in a brutal gang tackle, we got one of the most memorable and electric moments of the season — and the game itself didn’t disappoint either.

Ex-Saints and North Melbourne star Nick Dal Santo suggested it might have been a slip of the tongue after similar language was used in a team meeting, but the triple All-Australian noted “we shouldn’t be knocking that down”.

“Our game needs more of that,” Dal Santo told Fox Footy Live after the game.

“Our game is a combative game. The people who least speak about that combativeness is the players.”

“We need to embrace the rivalry and the competitiveness. If someone is to put out a comment like that, brilliant. More of it.”

The Melbourne media department, privately, would’ve been scrambling after the comments were made. The beauty of it was being so close to bounce-down, everyone could just enjoy the ride — even Ed, who had a smile pre-game, got booed by Pies fans and performed solidly in the 7-point loss.

“All duck no dinner” made for a footy feast.

Ban likely for Cripps after heavy bump | 02:00


Amid doubts already over whether Collingwood should be pursuing Dan McStay, just how does he fit into this Pies forward line?

The Magpies have been heavily linked to the Lions free agent on a five-year deal worth $3 million as the club looks to add another marking target in attack.

But this is a Collingwood side already firing on all cylinders, with Friday night’s epic win over Melbourne seeing it climb into second place on the ladder.

Jamie Elliott and fourth-gamer Ash Johnson were both instrumental with four goals apiece, while Brody Mihocek, who’s led the goalkicking in each of the last three seasons and is on track to do so again in 2022, chipped in two goals.

“Mihocek, Elliott and Johnson look so good — so where does Daniel McStay fit into all this?” Demons great Garry Lyon posed on Fox Footy.

Heck, if McStay was available to play for Collingwood next week, it’s hard to see him cracking into the 22, especially with star ruckman Brodie Grundy and young gun Ollie Henry already out of the side.

McStay has booted 16 goals from as many games this year and been held goalless on eight occasions, while the key forward’s 28 majors in 2021 mark his best-ever return.

Franklin kicks four in big Swans win | 02:29

There’s a possibility that Collingwood could look to play McStay in defence, although it still raises questions of whether he’s worth the $650,000-a-season price tag and at a club that’s only two years removed from a trade exodus due to salary cap pressure.

“They believe he can help the forward line like Josh Bruce has been able to help Jamarra Ugle-Hagan get better match-ups… Daniel McStay is coming to Collingwood, but it’s going to be some kind of juggling act, especially with Ollie Henry not in the side right now,” Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph said on Fox Footy.

To which Saints great Nick Riewoldt responded: “Josh Bruce is a brave, brave workhorse. Is that Daniel McStay?”

Triple-premiership winning Lion Jonathan Brown believes his former club see him as the “workhorse, down-the-line guy.”

“They like to kick it long to him, put it on his head. Hipwood and Daniher tend to be more the runners,” he said.



Eddie Betts book, excerpt about Adelaide Crows training camp, trade to Carlton, Don Pyke

Melbourne champion Garry Lyon says it’s no surprise an infamous pre-season camp “destroyed” Adelaide after reading Eddie Betts’ confronting recollection of his experience.

An excerpt from Betts’ upcoming autobiography, ‘The Boy from Boomerang Crescent’, was released on Monday night via The Age in which the triple All-Australian labeled the camp “weird” and “completely disrespectful”.

Several players, including Betts, and officials departed the club in the years following the pre-season leadership camp, which revealed details of in March that year.

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In the most damning first-hand account of the 2018 camp yet, Betts claimed private details shared in a counseling session during the camp were misused, while sensitive Aboriginal cultural rituals were misappropriated.

“There was all sorts of weird shit that was disrespectful to many cultures, but particularly and extremely disrespectful to my culture,” he wrote.

Betts also wrote he was told he would “come back a better husband and father, a better teammate” after the camp – terms veteran players Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane used when defending the four-day event.

speaking on SEN Breakfast on Wednesday morning, Lyon said he was stunned by Betts’ account, but added it provided important context as to the turmoil that followed at the Crows.

Rory Sloane and Eddie Betts during an Adelaide Crows game in 2019. Picture: Scott BarbourSource: Getty Images

“When you read those words from Eddie, there is no debate about how it impacted on him. He talks about the Indigenous players, the cultural differences or sensitivities that he were not adhered to. That’s Eddie … and that’s unequivocal, right? You can’t argue with any of that,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.

“And then you read this from Taylor Walker: ‘The camp that we went on as a footy club, personally I found one of the most beneficial and rewarding camps I’ve ever been on as an individual. I encourage any of my mates, family members to do the same. Our footy club, like most other AFL clubs, are trying to get an edge over (other teams).’ Rory Sloane: ‘I can speak about what I got out of it personally. I absolutely 100 per cent came back from that camp feeling like a better husband, a better son and a much better teammate than when I was before. For me, the experience was unbelievable.’

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“Now, clearly, everyone’s own experiences have been caught up in this and from an Indigenous point of view, a lot of it since Eddie said that cultural sensitivities weren’t adhered to – and that is very, very real.

“In the end, it was untenable. We talk about the atmosphere and environment … take apart who you agree with and you don’t agree with, the fact of the matter is it split the club down the middle. When you get the Sloane’s and the Walker’s, who have their recollection, and then you’ve got Eddie and others I would imagine… no wonder it destroyed that joint.

“You’ve got a section of the football club – and I’m not just putting this at the feet of Walker and Sloane, there may be others in the same boat – saying ‘I got so much out of this, it was good ‘. And then on the other hand, right at the other end of the scale, you’ve got ‘no, it ripped me apart, it ripped my relationship apart’. No wonder then from a footy club point of view and trying to stay together and on the same page, it ended up where it was.”

Eddie Betts was a star for the Crows. Picture: James ElsbySource: Getty Images

Essendon legend Tim Watson said he was shocked by the claims of cultural insensitivities during the camp.

“Given what they did at that camp you would think the planning that went into that – as part of that planning from a football club perspective – they would’ve said to these guys: ‘OK, what is it that you’re planning to do?’ And you would expect them to outline all the different areas that they were going to go, how they were going to go about it, what their objectives were – all those sorts of things,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.

“So you would think somewhere in there, there would be somebody representing the Adelaide Crows and there would be somebody there as part of the Adelaide Crows group who would understand the cultural sensitivities for some of those Indigenous players if they were to present the camp in the way that it was obviously presented. At that point, you would think somebody would say ‘no, you are going into territory now that we shouldn’t venture into’.”

Lyon said Betts’ belief his private details he shared were then misused during the camp was a “betrayal”.

“I’m just reading the excerpt, so I haven’t read the whole book. But if you are told, whether you’re black or white or otherwise, ‘these camp people want to speak to you and they say to step aside from everyone else privately and we want you to have a conversation where you are open and vulnerable’ … And I go ‘OK. In terms of building me as a better player and a leader, I’ll share and I’ll give you these really sensitive things that, to me, are important’. Then to have that thrown back in my face, that’s not cultural for me,” Lyon said.

Crows surprise Blues at Adelaide Oval | 01:31

“How it affects me and someone else might be different based on culture, but that’s a betrayal for me.”

After kicking 310 goals across six seasons with Adelaide, Betts was traded back to Carlton at the end of 2019 to finish his career.

Four-time Power best and fairest winner Kane Cornes dubbed Betts one of the two most popular players to ever represent Adelaide alongside Tony Modra. So for Cornes, to “read how he was treated by his own football club – of which he is an icon of – that was the saddest part for me”.

Cornes said he would be fascinated by how the Crows, as well as South Australian media personalities, would respond to the Betts book.

“The question is, all of the people who have defended the camp and have said nothing went on… what do they do now?” I have asked on SEN SA Breakfast.

“How are they going to deal with that? Because we do now have a ‘blow-by-blow account’, which is pretty harrowing that your second or most popular player in the club’s history was treated like an animal, really, on this camp.”

Cornes added: “There’s a lot of egg on the face from Crows supporters, from the footy club and a few players that were there.”



Casualty Ward, injury, update, sidelined, progress, post match, Collingwood Magpies, Carlton Blues, Hawthorn Hawks, Zac Bailey, Dylan Grimes

Carlton’s loss to Adelaide has been compounded by a string of injuries.

Plus the latest on a star Richmond duo.

Get the latest AFL injury news in our Round 20 Casualty Ward!

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CARLTON has suffered some significant injury blows after the loss to Adelaide.

corey durdin is set to miss a week with a shoulder injury he suffered during the game, while George Hewett’s back issue will see him miss a second straight game, which this one being a crunch clash against Brisbane at the Gabba.

Nick Newman is set to miss the rest of the regular season after sustaining a shocking cut to his knee.

Newman was injured by his opponent’s footy boots which dragged across his leg as he attempted to lay a tackle.

late in the contest matt kennedy was assisted from the field after a head knock, with scans revealing he suffered a fractured jaw, which will see him sidelined for at least a fortnight.

Crows surprise Blues at Adelaide Oval | 01:31

RICHMOND admits it is “doubtful” star defender Dylan Grimes will play again in the home-and-away season after his latest hamstring injury.

Grimes suffered the injury in the second half of Sunday’s thrilling win over Brisbane, adding to a streak of soft tissue injuries for the 31-year-old.

Tigers fitness boss Peter Burge said on Tuesday that Grimes’ injury required “further investigation”.

“At this stage it’s probably looking doubtful that he’s going to play in the last three home and away games of the season.

“So, we’re going to need to have a look at what lies beyond that. We’ll gather some information over the next couple of days and we’ll give everyone an update.“

Meanwhile, Dustin Martin remains in a “holding pattern” with his hamstring injury.

The club says it’s “hopeful” a round 23 return is still on the cards, but admits, “if we’re not able to progress significantly in the next week or so, that starts to become a little less clear.”

The Lions Also Lost Zack Bailey in the first half of Sunday’s contest, with the mid-forward taken to hospital with a chest issue after a collision with Richmond’s Marlion Pickett.

Remarkably, despite Bailey spending Sunday night in hospital as his teammates returned home without him, the Lions are yet to rule him out of Round 21.

Scans cleared the 22-year-old of any serious injury and he was able to be discharged.

“Bailey spent the night in hospital in Melbourne after receiving a knock to his sternum in Sunday’s match with Richmond at the MCG,” the Lions said in a statement.

“Bailey was released from hospital on Monday and cleared to fly home to Brisbane.

“He will be further assessed to determine his availability for Sunday’s match against Carlton at the Gabba.”

COLLINGWOOD will be without star taylor adams for the remainder of the home and away season after he limped off in the win over Port Adelaide.

Coach Craig McRae confirmed Adams’ suffered a groin injury.

After scans, the club released a statement confirming the extent of the injury layoff.

“Collingwood vice-captain Taylor Adams will miss the remainder of the AFL home and away season after scans revealed a strain to his groin,” the statement read.

“The 28-year-old will be assessed further in the coming weeks.”

But there is good news for defending Jeremy Howeafter he suffered a heavy knock.

“Howey just got a knee in the backside and unfortunately just couldn’t function,” McRae said.

“He’ll be fine but he just couldn’t get back on the ground.”

Howe was able to complete a pool recovery session with teammates on Monday.

“He is expected to complete limited training on Tuesday before being assessed on Thursday,” the club said.

Brodie Grundy is no certainty to receive an AFL call up for Round 21, while Brody Mihocek is in a race to provide his fitness after missing Round 20 with a hip injury.

Grundy made his return in the VFL last weekend after 13 weeks on the sidelines with a PCL injury.

“Grundy played into the fourth term and collected the typical bumps and bruises sustained during a first game back,” the club said.

“He will also be assessed on Thursday.”

GEELONG are set to be without Gary Rohan for the clash with St Kilda after he was subbed out with a head knock.

Coach Chris Scott was unsure if Rohan was officially concussed, but said he was told Rohan “couldn’t go back on”.

“He said to me he’s perfectly fine, so that’s a good sign,” Scott said post-match.

“You never know how these guys are going to pull up.

“You know when it’s bad… but this isn’t one of those if appearances are anything to go by.”

Feet pip Port to the points at the MCG | 02:20

HAWTHORN coach Sam Mitchell is counting the cost of the loss to St Kilda.

The Hawks gallantly fought back in the final term, despite being down to three on the bench.

mitch lewis injured his knee early in the contest but tried to run it out, Josh Morris suffered a shoulder injury while Jacob Koschitzke suffered a cork.

“We lost three today,” Mitchell said.

“Tank Morris, he was going really well. I was sad for him – he finally got his chance. He’s put together a really good month of footy.

“He popped his shoulder, it came back in but obviously wasn’t going to come back on the field.”

Mitchell said the club wasn’t going to risk Lewis even though he tried to play on with his knee injury.

“Mitch Lewis has had a little bit of a sore knee for a while and just landed on it awkwardly,” he explained.

“It wasn’t OK to keep going.

“It’s one of those injuries where there’s a small amount of risk to it… the game was put away so we weren’t going to risk an important player like him.”

Mitchell praised Koschitzke’s ability to play on despite being clearly hampered by injury.

Saints survive fast-finishing Hawks | 01:00

“Kossie really worked hard. He has got a really nasty corky – he could hardly walk even to half time but we were already three on the bench so we needed him to soldier on,” he said.

“I have committed to that and gave us what I could. He couldn’t run or lead very much but he gave us a reply.

“Sometimes as a young player having to fight through when your body is nowhere near its best is an important lesson to learn.”

MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin says young ruckman Luke Jackson will be right to go against Collingwood after passing his concussion test in Perth.

Jackson came from the ground in the win over Fremantle appearing to be dazed but was given the all clear.

“He just had a little knock late in the game. He was checked by the docs and got the all clear,” Goodwin said.

“There’s nothing wrong with him, he’ll be fine. He’ll be ready to go next week.

“He got checked and passed his test.”

Goodwin also said Christian Salem would be able to back up after a blow to his face left him bleeding from the nose.

“Salem had a bit of a cut to his face, but we’ve come through unscathed,” Goodwin said.

james hames (concussion) and ben brown (knee soreness) will both need to provide their fitness to face the Pies on Friday night.

“Brown, following two weeks on the sidelines due to knee soreness, has ramped up his training program this past week and will also look to be available for selection,” the club said.

Joel Smith played his first VFL minutes since suffering a serious ankle injury back in Round 7.

the WESTERN BULLDOGS are sweating on star Adam Treloar‘s fitness ahead of this weekend’s must-win game against Fremantle.

Treloar has been battling a calf complaint and finished his past two matches early.

“Adam suffered some calf tightness in the game against Melbourne,” Dogs head of sports medicine Chris Bell said.

“He still wasn’t 100% during his fitness test last Thursday, so was unavailable for selection.

“We will again assess Adam as this week progresses and make a call on his availability towards the back end of the week.”

Anthony Scott (concussion) and hayden crozier (ankle) remain in the hunt for selection.

Scott was now “symptom-free” after being convicted in the clash with Sydney in Round 17, while Crozier has made steady progress since his ankle injury suffered in the VFL a month ago.

“We couldn’t be happier with how he has progressed over the last two weeks since coming out of the CAM boot,” Bell said.

“He will start to integrate back into training this week and we will determine if he returns to playing this weekend or next.”

Jarrod Brander‘s first season with GWS is over after the utility injured his hamstring playing the VFL.

Jacob Wehr is also unavailable for selection this weekend through injury.

Wehr suffered a calf strain against the Swans, ending his run of 10 straight game since debuting in Round 10.

Matt Flynn (ankle) and Conor Stone (hamstring) will have to provide themselves fit to face Essendon on Saturday.

In some good news for the club, Bobby Hill has been medically cleared to return after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer.

Hill hasn’t played since his shock diagnosis back in May.

PORT ADELAIDE are confident Travis Boak may back up against Richmond, despite fracturing his hand in the loss to Collingwood.

The 34-year-old was able to play out the match, after suffering the injury in the second term.

“He will be monitored throughout the week with an expectation that he will be able to take on the Tigers,” the club said in a statement.

Darcy Byrne-Jones will need to pass a fitness test after spraining his ankle early in the clash with the Pies.

The club expects Riley Bonner to be available for selection after he clears the AFL’s Health and Safety protocols, while dan houston could come into the mix after serving his 12-day concussion break.

FREMANTLE will be without skipper Nat Fyfe until at least Round 23 as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Fyfe hasn’t played since the Round 19 draw with the Tigers and remains no guarantee to play before finals.

“We’ve got a target of round 23 for Nat, obviously there’s a bit of work to do before we get there but that’s our target,” Dockers footy boss Peter Bell said.

Sam Switkowski is another Docker pushing to return before finals, as he recovers from a serious back injury.

“Sam’s a really important player for us, so if he is to come back it will be really positive,” Bell said.

The club it was still to put a line through Jye Amiss despite the rookie’s kidney injury landing him in hospital.

“Jye is going pretty well, we’ll be in constant dialogue with the specialist,” Bell said.

“Every day he’s getting better, it’s great to have him back out there. We haven’t put a line through him for the season, that’s for sure, so he’s training well.”



finals predictions, Carlton Blues fixture, run home, loss to Adelaide Crows was insipid says Mark Robinsion

Carlton’s “insidious” display against Adelaide on the weekend suggested it had “pop-up problems everywhere”, according to AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson, ahead of a fight to remain in the top eight.

But Brownlow Medalist Gerard Healy believes there’s been an overreaction to the loss, claiming some Blues fans “want to death-march their team to ninth spot on the ladder”.

Carlton suffered a shock 29-point loss to the Crows on Saturday night, leaving Michael Voss’ side vulnerable inside the top eight with three tricky home and away matches left. The Blues need one more win to guarantee them a finals spot, but games against top-four sides Brisbane, Melbourne and Collingwood will make it no easy task.

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“It was really insipid. Most Carlton people would say that,” Robinson told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 when analyzing the Blues’ performance against Adelaide

“Adelaide, fantastic performance… But this mob (the Blues) let themselves down badly and they let themselves down in a couple of areas.

“They’ve got pop-up problems everywhere. I describe it like a water park where the water keeps on popping up … it’s like Vossy’s saying: ‘We’ve got a problem there, problem there, problem there.’

Crows surprise Blues at Adelaide Oval | 01:31

“They had problems on the weekend in defence, they had problems turning it over, they’ve got two players getting 40 (disposals) and only one having impact, the forward line’s struggling – Harry (McKay) is not marking the ball, the smalls aren’t kicking goals – and now we’re saying Jack Silvagni didn’t play and it had a psychological impact on the club. Well if it did, how fragile is the team if Jack’s not playing? That’s just crap.

“They had their chance and they blew it badly.”

Co-host Gerard Whateley said it was “a significant misstep” by the Blues.

“If you missed the eight from 8-3, it would be bitterly disappointing for all the work that’s gone into it,” Whateley told AFL 360.

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“I think we accept they’re a futures stock who there might’ve been a moment for now and that’s going to play a major role in thwarting the capacity to do that. But don’t be missing your spot from here.

“I don’t know whether they can take care of their business before then, but you have a sneaking glance at Carlton and Collingwood on that last Sunday of home and away football and if the Blues are scratching for it at that stage to book themselves a place … maybe they’re good enough to do it before then, but they’ll have an angry Lions to deal with (this weekend).”

Robinson added: “Part of building your future is playing a final at the MCG in front of 80,000. Even if you get beaten, it’s getting out there and building up and running out there and the expectation’s rally high and the pressure is hot – that’s part of the building. You can’t do that sitting on your ass after Round (23) when you were 8-3 at the half.”

Harry McKay of the Blues. Picture: Sarah ReedSource: Getty Images

Speaking on 3AW’s sports day on Monday night, Healy said he’d noticed a lot of negative feedback from Blues fans after the loss – feedback that didn’t truly reflect where the Blues were at.

“Yes, it was a horrible loss on the weekend, but the negative reaction to it for mine at this stage has been over the top,” he said on Sportsday.

“It seems Blues fans, or many of them, want to death-march their team to ninth spot on the ladder, despite being so good for most of the year and doing so with a lot of injuries.

“I reckon the team is entitled to a mulligan – and they got it on the weekend – and a bit more belief from those who have already written them off.

“It’s been a tough journey over the last 10 years for the Blues fans and they’re getting used to disappointment too much. But I wouldn’t be writing them off just at the present time.”

Healy said Carlton’s best footy was still at the top-end of the competition. He said the returns of George Hewett and Jack Silvagni, as well as a form lift from Harry McKay, should help turn things around.

“So much to think about for Michael Voss, but at this stage it’s still glass three-quarters full for me for the Blues, not the totally empty schooner or pot that too many Carlton fans appear to be drinking from this weekend,” Healy said .