Pressure ramps up on Malthouse in AFL

Three years after Carlton sacked Brett Ratten, another upset AFL loss to a Queensland team has ramped up the pressure on Mick Malthouse.


Brisbane posted their first win of the season on Sunday, beating the Blues by nine points at Etihad Stadium.

The 12.12 (84) to 11.9 (75) leaves Carlton ahead of the Lions and Gold Coast only on percentage at the foot of the ladder with 1-5 records.

“We know where we’re at – if we’re not on the bottom then we’ve bottomed right out,” Malthouse said.

In the wake of last weekend’s appalling capitulation to arch-rivals Collingwood, Malthouse conceded that no club board could sustain a coach who is not winning.

But when asked on Sunday about the inevitable increase in pressure whether he remains determined to see the job through, Malthouse was typically defiant.

“I find that strange that you’d ask,” the three-time premiership coach said.

“What’s my history? Turn the toes up and go, you reckon? No – the simple fact is that while there is a job to be done I will be doing it as best as I possibly can, along with the rest of my match committee.”

There is no obvious short-term relief, with Carlton playing emerging GWS, Geelong, Sydney at the SCG and Adelaide ahead of the Blues’ round-11 bye.

Three years ago, Ratten’s fate as Carlton coach was sealed when Gold Coast upset his team in the second-last game of the season.

The Blues sacked him a few days later.

On a weekend where the unexpected became commonplace, West Coast capped the shocks late on Sunday with a 10-point win over Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

The injury-plagued Eagles kicked seven of the last 10 goals to win 11.12 (78) to 10.8 (68) and claim their biggest scalp so far this season.

The Giants had the biggest win in their short history on Saturday night, shocking reigning premiers Hawthorn by 10 points.

And outsiders St Kilda staged the equal fifth-biggest comeback in AFL history to beat the Western Bulldogs.

The Saints were 55 points down early in the third term before they came marching in to down the Bulldogs by seven points.

On Friday night, Collingwood’s favouritism lasted as long as it took for Geelong to blast them away with the first seven goals of the match.

While the Cats are deep in transition, the 41-point win showed their best is still lethal.

Carlton’s loss was manna from heaven for Richmond coach Damien Hardwick.

Without the latest instalment of the Blues’ crisis, the blowtorch would have been firmly on Hardwick and the Tigers.

Saturday’s 35-point loss to North Melbourne left Richmond mired in a 2-4 mess.

Sydney predictably took care of Melbourne by 38 points and Adelaide similarly were too good for undermanned Gold Coast, beating them by 41.

Fremantle’s 28-point win over Essendon leaves the unbeaten Dockers two games clear at the top of the table.

It is the first time since Melbourne in 1956 that the top team has held a two-game buffer after six rounds.

That season, the Demons won the second of three-straight premierships.