Blues no match for high-flying Eagles

August 4, 2019 6:35 pm in by

WEST Coast has served Carlton a reminder of their place in the AFL pecking order, easing to a 24-point win over the Blues.

Carlton’s undermanned defence was found wanting by the flag-hunting Eagles, who prevailed 15.9 (99) to 11.9 (75) at Marvel Stadium.

High-flying Liam Ryan (4.0) and prominent forward Jack Darling (2.2) were Carlton’s chief tormentors, though nine West Coast players kicked goals in the rout.

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Jeremy McGovern was dominant within the Eagles’ defensive arc, taking a game-high 13 marks and restricting the Blues to just a handful of their own inside their forward 50.

Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo were also superb in midfield as Adam Simpson’s side improved to sit alongside ladder leaders Geelong with 14 wins from 19 games.

They remain on track for an all-important top-two finish, or better yet, the minor premiership.

A home clash with Adelaide before a mouth-watering MCG date with Richmond in the next fortnight will prove critical to their hopes.

For Carlton, the result ended a fine run of three straight wins under interim boss David Teague, though the loss shouldn’t affect the caretaker’s chances of landing the full-time role.

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There was plenty of effort from the Blues, who simply came up against a credentialed side tuning up for September.

Carlton battled without three first-choice defenders – Liam Jones (bereavement), Dale Thomas (illness), Caleb Marchbank (injury) – as well as long-term absentee Sam Docherty.

That much was evident in the second term.

They led mid-way through the second quarter after a spell of midfield dominance, led by Sam Walsh on a quiet day for Patrick Cripps.

Then, in the blink of an eye, West Coast took the contest away.

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Three goals in three minutes saw the Eagles regain the lead and three more in time-on turned a seesawing contest into a comfortable afternoon.

The procession – including a run of six straight goals – was a timely reminder of why axed coach Brendon Bolton was so intent on implementing defensive structures before free-flowing football.

Ryan’s star shined brightest.

The 22-year-old kicked truly and buzzed around the contest, taking a courageous high-flying mark as a pack of defenders loomed.

Nic Newman was Carlton’s best, kicking a career-best four goals in a prominent showing off half-back.

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© AAP 2019

WEST COAST 2.5 9.5 14.7 15.9 (99)

CARLTON 4.1 6.3 8.6 11.9 (75)

Goals: West Coast: L Ryan 4 J Darling 2 J Waterman 2 L Shuey 2 J Cameron J Kennedy J Petruccelle O Allen W Rioli. Carlton: N Newman 4 M Gibbons 3 D Lang H McKay M Murphy S Walsh.

Umpires: Chris Donlon, Sam Hay, Cameron Dore.

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Official Crowd: 32,802 at Marvel Stadium.


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