K rock Football

Attacking Blues upset Dogs

CARLTON has ended an occasionally dour round six of the AFL season with a free-flowing 52-point upset victory over the Western Bulldogs.

Low-scoring and defensive tactics were a constant in most other games across the weekend, but the Blues attacked from the outset at Metricon Stadium on Sunday night to record the biggest AFL score by any team since round two.

Never relinquishing the lead they gained three minutes in through a Harry McKay goal, Carlton’s 16.7 (103) to 7.9 (51) win was their third since the season restart.

But the Blues have injury concerns after their first game in the Queensland hub, with star midfielder Patrick Cripps enduring troubles with his shoulder.

Carlton’s co-captain went off late in the first quarter, and although he played out the game after returning in the second term, Cripps was hampered by the suspected AC joint injury.

Former captain Marc Murphy (hip) failed to play out the game, going off late in the last quarter.

But other midfielders stepped up as Cripps struggled, with former GWS player Matt Kennedy all class in his first game of 2020 and ruckman Marc Pittonet taking the spoils in an entertaining duel with Bulldogs big man Tim English.

The Dogs dominated the inside-50 count 53-41, but Carlton’s forward line functioned far better through Eddie Betts (four goals), McKay (three), Michael Gibbons, Jack Martin and Mitch McGovern (all two each).

Young gun Laitham Vandermeer’s missed opportunity to pull the Dogs back within 12 points early in the last quarter proved costly as McKay and Martin booted the next two majors, before a Levi Casboult long bomb sealed Carlton’s success and the floodgates opened.

A better sign for Luke Beveridge’s Dogs was the promising return of premiership midfielder Lachie Hunter following a four-game suspension for an alleged drink- driving incident during coronavirus lockdown in April.

The Dogs blew an opportunity to win their fourth-straight game and jump to equal second on the ladder.

Instead, the Blues go into the top-eight head of the Dogs and be among seven teams locked on three wins.

(C) AAP 2020

CARLTON 5.2 8.5 10.6 16.7 (103)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.1 5.2 7.6 7.9 (51)

Goals: Carlton: E Betts 4 H McKay 3 J Martin 2 M Gibbons 2 M McGovern 2 E Curnow J Newnes L Casboult. Western Bulldogs: L Vandermeer 2 B Dale B Smith M Bontempelli M Wallis P Lipinski.

Umpires: Andrew Stephens, Nick Brown, Brent Wallace.

Official Crowd: 2,178 at Metricon Stadium.