Blues debutant and Larakian man Jesse Motlop was standing tall when his side needed it on Sunday, launching the first major of his career to return a match against the Giants in favor of Carlton over the weekend.
After a hot start, the Blues launched a renaissance team from Greater West Sydney, driven by a desire to give longtime coach Leon Cameron a victory in his last game at the helm.
The Giants reduced the lead to the first half before Motlop’s textbook strike set the tone for the rest of Carlton’s day shortly after the main break.
“It’s a cliché, a dream come true, but every moment I enjoyed it,” Motlop said after the match.
“I just went back, did my routine and put it on, and all the guys walked around me.
“It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Despite a quiet start to his career with just nine touches and seven kicks, Motlop contributed to the scoreboard with a forward pressure of half, laying down five rebounds.
The little forward comes from a handy reserve: the son of former indigenous star Daniel Motlop, who has scored more than 200 goals in his time with the Kangaroos and Port Adelaide.
Cousin Daniel Motlop has been in Power since 2018 after nine seasons with Geelong.
Despite the excitement, it wasn’t all good news for Carlton on Sunday.
Early in the first quarter, midfielder Zach Williams suffered an inconspicuous but seemingly unpleasant shin injury.
Williams is expected to spend time aside after an already interrupted start in 2022.
In the second half, the Blues played back, gaining 30 points and entering the top four, ending the day from 15.15.105 to 11.9.75 over GWS in Sydney.