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Blues under the glare of Suns: What's at stake for Bolton

2 0 2
13.04.2019

Brendon Bolton's future won't rest on whether the Blues are eclipsed by the Suns. His position will be judged on a body of work in 2019 and on whether the Blues feel they are making sufficient progress.

In more ruthless and reactionary times, a loss in this kind of game – against a lowly off-Broadway team from the Gold Coast – would be enough for the moneyed men on the Carlton board to authorise a hit on the coach.

Carlton coach Brendon Bolton's future will be judged on a body of work this season, not a single loss.Credit:AAP

There's a rich heritage of Carlton coach sackings triggered by losses to pedestrian or poor Queensland teams. Robert Walls was terminated, in round 10 of 1989, when the Blues were torpedoed by a Warwick Capper drop punt (and goal) near the siren at Princes Park, as the beleaguered Bears got up by three points. This was the game in which Walls stubbornly kept Wayne Johnston on Brad Hardie as the rotund redhead booted nine goals.

Brett Ratten's fate was sealed, too, when the Blues were upset by the Suns in 2012 up in the Carrara killing fields. "Am I gone?'' Ratten, who won 11 games that year, asked a senior official in the rooms. He knew his club.

Ratten's predecessor, Denis Pagan was removed when – in a quintessentially Carlton moment – the late billionaire president Richard Pratt placed a phone call from his private Lear jet on the way back from the Gabba in 2007 after an unacceptably heavy loss to the Lions.

Don't expect anything so dramatic or typically Carlton if Bolton's Blues fall this Sunday, when Walls, fittingly, will be sitting alongside Bolton in the coach's box, acting as........

© The Age