CARLTON 2.2 6.6 13.11 17.11 (113)
BRISBANE LIONS 2.6 4.11 5.13 10.17 (77)
When Carlton skipper Chris Judd was suspended for four matches after his ‘chicken wing’ incident, it appeared all hope was lost for the Blues in 2012.
Instead, an undermanned side has managed to win three of the contests and kept its season alive after comfortably beating the Lions at Etihad Stadium on Saturday by 36 points.
The Lions effort in the first half could not be faulted, with Brisbane taking a lead into the quarter time break and only trailing by seven points at the half. The Lions had every right to feel as though they deserved a lead, with several opportunities at goal being wasted by poor kicking.
Eventually, the Lions wore down as the Blues dominated the third term, kicking seven goals to one in order to completely end the contest. It was more than enough for the Blues who would be outscored in the final quarter.
The loss should greatly disappoint the Lions, who, aside from the third term, played football which would have given them every chance of claiming an interstate victory.
Bryce Gibbs played one of his best matches for the year with 33 possessions and a goal, but it was the depth of the Blues’ midfield which did most of the damage, with the Lions unable to compete as Brock McLean, Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson, Andrew Carrazzo and Heath Scotland all playing strong games.
With Essendon losing ground to the chasing teams outside the eight, Carlton now has a perfect opportunity to claim a finals berth as they face the Bombers next week.
Carlton: Betts 3, Garlett 3, Armfield 2, Casboult 2, Kreuzer 2, Walker, Gibbs, Carrazzo, Waite, Bell
Brisbane Lions: Bewick 2, Brown 2, Green 2, Beams 2, Lester, Zorko
Carlton: Carrazzo, Gibbs, Simpson, Murphy, Betts, Garlett, Scotland, Walker, Bell
Brisbane Lions: Redden, Rockliff, Hanley, Lester, Bewick, Lisle, Green
Carlton: Betts (calf)
Brisbane Lions: Matt Maguire (ankle) replaced in the selected side by Elliott Yeo
Carlton: Rhys O’Keefe replaced Eddie Betts (calf) in the final quarter
Brisbane Lions: Claye Beams replaced Todd Banfield at three-quarter time
Umpires: Dalgleish, Ryan, Findlay
Official crowd: 25,977 at Etihad Stadium