Blues beat Freo with after-the-siren goal

Carlton players celebrate their dramatic win at Optus Stadium as Fremantle players lament defeat.
Carlton players celebrate their dramatic win at Optus Stadium as Fremantle players lament defeat.

Jack Newnes kicked a controversial goal after the final siren to lift Carlton to a pulsating four-point win over Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

In a dramatic finish to the match, Carlton received a down-the-field free kick after Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw knocked over Sam Docherty with just seconds remaining.

Debate immediately raged as to whether it should have been a free kick given Brayshaw was just attempting to smother the ball.

Docherty's kick had sailed out-on-the-full but the free kick gave Newnes the chance to kick the goal from 45 metres on the boundary line.

The space was so tight the former Saints player had to ask a photographer and security guard to move so he could get a proper run-up.

The odds were against Newnes, given it was the wrong side for a right-footer, but he calmly nailed the major and was mobbed by his teammates as he celebrated wildly.

Another controversial aspect was that it should have been Michael Gibbons who took the shot on goal given he was clearly the closest Carlton player to the ball when it sailed out of bounds.

"I wasn't even sure what the free kick was paid for," Carlton coach David Teague said.

"I was looking ahead of the ball, saw it go out of bounds on the full and was yelling, 'number off, number off' and didn't realise we had the free kick."

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir didn't feel like the free kick should have been paid.

"From what I saw, Andy Brayshaw goes to smother and makes contact," Longmuir said.

"All I can talk about is Andy Brayshaw. I'm not going to sit here and talk about the umpires. But if the same situation arose again, I'd ask Andy Brayshaw to put frontal pressure on and try to smother the ball. That's where I sit with it."

The 5.10 (40) to 5.6 (36) win kept Carlton's finals hopes alive, improving their record to 5-6.

Blues midfielder Ed Curnow starred with 33 disposals and nine clearances, while Patrick Cripps tallied eight clearances from 24 disposals.

Fremantle's Luke Ryan continued his outstanding season in defence with 24 disposals and eight rebound 50s opposed to Levi Casboult (one goal).

Nat Fyfe led from the front as the Dockers dominated the opening term, with the hosts winning the inside-50m count 15-4 to go into the first break with a 20-1 advantage.

Carlton scored their first goal of the match at the 12-minute mark of the second term when Casboult pushed Lobb away in a ruck contest before snapping truly.

The Blues made their charge in the third quarter on the back of their midfield dominance, and they would have hit the lead if not for inaccuracy in front of goal.

Carlton continued to push in the final quarter but McKay and Liam Jones both missed in the dying minutes.

The wasted chances looked set to cost Carlton until Fremantle forward Matt Taberner got pinned for deliberate out of bounds and Docherty was bowled over as he sent the ball forward from the ensuing free-kick.

Australian Associated Press