Setanta's reputation grows but Aisake on ice

Monday, July 09 2007 @ 08:25 pm ACST

Contributed by: Brett Northey

Setanta O'hAilpin has shown some good form in 2007 under difficult circumstances and is certainly developing a cult status amongst Blues supporters. The tall athlete has been forced into ruck due to a long list of injured or poorly performing Carlton big men. At this stage it's fair to say "Carlos" is struggling in ruck, rarely winning the tap, so against Melbourne on Sunday coach Denis Pagan used him somewhat differently. Setanta took the centre bounces then switched to playing as a lead-up forward while Anthony Koutoufides, more a ruckrover (to use old terminology) did the bullocking work at boundary throw ins and around the ground. Setanta did an admirable job in the absence of regular forward Brendan Fevola, kicking two goals (and missing another) from his 14 possessions including 8 marks. Originally starting the season as fullback, the big Irishmen has become Mr Fixit for Pagan, filling holes wherever needed. His centre bounce leap is certainly improving, and there's promise as a forward, but at this stage he's likely to move back to the key defensive post if Carlton has all hands on deck.

Meanwhile younger brother Aisake could well have stepped up from the rookie list to fill the rucking void if not for an ongoing groin injury. The Blues lost the hitouts 19 to 60 against the Demons and goes a long way to explaining their recent run of losses. But unfortunately Aisake is now listed as out for the remainder of the season and most likely has undergone surgery to fix the problem. Hopefully that will allow him a full pre-season and to push for a senior squad spot. It's believed there are restrictions on how long a player can be on the rookie list, so Carlton may have a major decision to make.

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