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Mick has Carlton playing longer and wider

Mark Macgugan  March 19, 2013 9:00 AM

Carlton go long and wide Malthouse's gamestyle is beginning to take shape at Carlton
AFL 2013 NAB Cup Rd 01 - Sydney v Carlton

Mick Malthouse already has the Blues playing longer and wider

THE DISTINCTIVE Mick Malthouse gamestyle is already appearing at Carlton, with early figures indicating the Blues are kicking longer and using the centre corridor less.

Champion Data statistics from the 2013 NAB Cup show similarities developing between the veteran coach's new team and his former club Collingwood circa 2011.

The Blues ranked 17th in long kicking under Brett Ratten in 2012, going long just 34.7 per cent of the time.

That figure has increased dramatically after one pre-season with Malthouse in charge; their 46.7 per cent ratio of long kicks during the NAB Cup was higher than any other team.

The Blues also ranked first in metres gained per disposal, compared to 11th in 2012.

In Malthouse's final season at the Magpies, the grand finalists ranked sixth in long kicks and second in metres gained per disposal.

The NAB Cup figures also show Carlton is beginning to adapt to Malthouse's preference for moving the ball around the boundary line.

Already somewhat reluctant to use the corridor under Ratten, the Blues went down the middle less than any other team during this year's pre-season competition (19.5 per cent), while going around the boundary 45.3 per cent of the time (ranked third).

Collingwood was the No.1 boundary-hugging team in 2011, a trend that is changing under Malthouse's successor Nathan Buckley.
Malthouse's long-kicking plan includes a licence for certain players to use the torpedo, particularly from full-back.

As revealed by in January, he spent time over summer working with the club's longest kicks , including Matthew Watson and Zach Tuohy, on the often-shunned spiral punt.

Carlton went long from kick-ins 51.4 per cent of the time during the NAB Cup, significantly up on its figure of 37.5 per cent last year.

The Blues won three games and lost two during the pre-season, going down to the Brisbane Lions by 40 points in Friday night's Grand Final.

They face Richmond at the MCG on Thursday week in the teams' now-traditional round one encounter.

Carlton: the Malthouse effect
Corridor % 26.8% (16th) 19.5% (18th) 20.5% (18th)
Wing % 32.1% (6th) 35.2% (6th) 27.4% (18th)
Boundary % 41.1% (6th) 45.3% (3rd) 52.1% (1st)
KICKING 2012 NAB 2013 COLL 2011
Long Kicks % 34.7% (17th) 46.7% (1st) 37.2% (6th) %
Short Kicks % 65.3% (2nd) 53.3% (18th) 62.8% (12th)
Metres Gained Per Disposal 16.1 (11th) 19.0 (1st)  17.1 (2nd)