Nervous wait for Blues star after preseason loss to Saints

Nervous wait for Blues star after preseason loss to Saints

By Lance Jenkinson

Star recruit Zac Williams faces a nervous wait for the match review officer’s findings after Carlton’s 26-point loss to St Kilda in the AAMI Community Series at Marvel Stadium on Thursday.

Williams left his feet in a hip-and-shoulder and made contact to the head of St Kilda young gun Hunter Clark.

Clark was able to run out the game, finishing with 21 disposals, but was initially a bit groggy getting to his feet following the impact of the Williams bump.

Williams’ action gives the AFL the chance to send a renewed message to the players about head high contact because of its careless nature.

If Williams does receive a week, it will see him miss Carlton’s season opener against Richmond.

Williams, recruited from the GWS Giants in the off-season, settled nicely into a new midfield role with the Blues, finishing with 17 disposals, six clearances and two goals.

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Zac Williams takes possession for Carlton.

After trailing by 27 points at half time, Carlton, minus the injured Harry McKay, Jack Newnes and Jacob Weitering, mounted a gallant fightback.

The Blues got back to within a kick in the last quarter before St Kilda found a second wind to run out comfortable winners.

St Kilda, a semi finalist last season, showed that it was ready to begin its push for a top four berth.

The Saints sparkled early, banging on eight goals to five in the opening term and 13 majors in the first half.

Jack Lonie was a livewire for the Saints with four goals, while twin towers Max King and Tim Membrey kicked three goals apiece.

Membrey ruled the airwaves with five strong marks.

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Jack Sinclair releases the ball for St Kilda.

St Kilda leg speed was a feature throughout.

Jack Sinclair excelled off half back, Jack Steele never stopped running in the midfield, Bradley Hill dominated on the overlap and Jack Higgins, a new recruit from premiers Richmond, kept presenting across half forward.

Carlton’s top ball winners were Sam Docherty with 27 disposals across half back, Sam Walsh with 25 in the midfield and Zac Fisher with 23 roaming in the attack.

Liam Jones was rock solid in the defence – nullifying any aerial raids by the Saints.

Adam Saad, traded from Essendon in the summer, fitted into the Carlton backline seamlessly.

Jack Silvagni was instrumental in the Blues comeback with three goals. With Charlie Curnow out indefinitely and McKay now under an injury cloud, Silvagni becomes an even more important cog in the Blues forward line.

After a solid hit out with plenty of bumps and bruises, round one now beckons for St Kilda and Carlton.

Carlton will feature in the AFL season opener against Richmond at the MCG on March 18, while St Kilda has to trip to Sydney to face GWS Giants on March 21.

Lance Jenkinson

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