Carlton coach Brendon Bolton. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Carlton coach Brendon Bolton. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

‘Indefensible coaching’: Bolton’s huge error slammed

SYDNEY premiership coach Paul Roos has declared Carlton's handling of Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell on Sunday as "indefensible".

The Brownlow Medal fancy had yet another stellar game against the Blues, recording 46 disposals - his fifth haul of 46 or more for his career - in a best-on-ground performance.

But while Mitchell has racked up huge numbers against many teams this season, Roos was left befuddled by Blues coach Brendon Bolton's tactics regarding the Hawk.

"We back our own in and around the contest," Bolton said pre-match.

"We've just got to work (out) how many score involvements (he's having) and where he's winning the ball to make that decision in-game."

That set off Roos.

Tom Mitchell gathers the ball in front of Zac Fisher. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Tom Mitchell gathers the ball in front of Zac Fisher. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

"I think we've all been supportive of Carlton in this environment, and we still are, we're not going to jump off what they're doing," he said.

"That's indefensible. You can't defend that as a match committee.

"Let me tell you, we've watched Tommy Mitchell. He's going to be involved in some scoring chains. You don't have to wait until halftime or quarter-time to work out what's going to happen.

"That's indefensible coaching from the Carlton match committee."

Rather than putting a tagger on Mitchell, the Blues sent Ed Curnow to Isaac Smith, with Sam Petrevski-Seton and Nick Graham playing on Mitchell at times.

Tom Mitchell finished with 46 disposals. Picture: Michael Klein
Tom Mitchell finished with 46 disposals. Picture: Michael Klein

"He had 14 in the blink of an eye," Melbourne great Garry Lyon said of Mitchell.

"He had score involvements, he was the leading tackler on the ground. Clearly the best player on the ground. And maybe they're not equipped to, but someone had to go to him.

"Ed Curnow chose to go to Isaac Smith. Petrevski-Seton was with him. Graham played nominally on him. Within the space of a second, he (Mitchell) had 10 metres."

Roos called for Carlton to try and develop some of its younger players by putting them on Mitchell, although not in necessarily in a pure tagging sense.

"You talk about developing young talent, give a young player a chance," Roos said.

"Even if he gets 30 Tommy Mitchell and (Matthew) Kennedy gets 15 or whatever, he'll teach him around stoppages, teach him about bodywork, teach him where to go with the ball. You locked away Smith. Lock two away."

"Give Paddy Dow a go on some of the best midfielders. There's nothing better than running with an opposition midfielder.

"And I'm not talking about some of the grabbing and scragging and all the garbage that goes on, just play on him. Play on someone this week."



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