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Blues down Saints

What has been an achilles heal for Carlton proved the difference in their 36 point win against St Kilda last night, breaking a four game losing streak.

With their main target Jarrad Waite succumbing to bone bruising in his knee in the teams worse loss last week against Collingwood, Carlton were forced to restructure.

A genuine weapon across the AFL this season has been the swingman: the fullback that can go forward.

Geelong has Harry Taylor, Brisbane has Daniel Merrett, and as Carlton found out last week, Collingwood has Ben Reid.

Last night, alongside full-forward Sam Rowe, coach Mick Malthouse placed Lachie Henderson forward.

Initially brought into the club as a forward from Brisbane via the Brendan Fevola trade, Henderson was successfully thrown down back by former coach Brett Ratten.

That was when the team lacked the defensive presence to counteract those teams who had two forward targets, relying mainly on Michael Jamison.

But last night saw Jamison supported by youngster Matthew Watson, who after 11 games last year was given his first opportunity under Malthouse.

Andrew McInnes’ return from a knee reconstruction this year has also provided more support down back.

Now with Carlton needing a target up forward, Henderson looked more than comfortable in a tag-team with Rowe.

Kicking their first two goals of the match, Henderson finished with four goals and 12 marks, while Rowe finished with three goals.

Up the other end, the ever-consistent Saints captain Nick Riewoldt was threatening but wayward, kicking 1.4.

With Justin Koschitzke out with a calf injury and coming to the end of his career, Tom Lee proved a shining light and a possible player to fill the void.

Lee has been in the system for 5 years, drafted by Adelaide in 2008 and recruited by the Saints last year.

In his fourth game of the season, Lee kicked 3 goals.

Amidst the quality of Carlton’s midfield, including captain Marc Murphy, Chris Judd and Kade Simpson, Malthouse has shown the ultimate faith to Ed Curnow and Jaryd Cachia.

With Andrew Carrazzo once the main tagger, both Curnow and Cachia have managed to throw continuous games together and undertake the shutdown role.

Last night, Curnow kept Leigh Montagna to 22 possessions after the Saint ran riot in the first quarter with 11.

The Blues knew the win was essential in the scope of their season, coming out from the first bounce with physicality and invoking scuffles across the field.

They now sit one game outside the eight, after Port Adelaide’s loss to Hawthorn left the fight for eighth spot wide open.

The Blues verse North Melbourne next Friday Night, in arguably the most important match of their season.

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