Collingwood cruised to a 34-point win over Carlton on Friday night, making a mockery of their AFL arch-rivals in a scrappy clash at the MCG.
Dale Thomas’ first match against his former club was one to forget, with the Blues outclassed and out-tackled in the 14.20 (104) to 10.10 (70) defeat.
Blues coach Mick Malthouse remarked in the lead-up to the game that Thomas’ personal game would not have any bearing on the result.
How right he was, with Thomas well below his best.
But even if the 26-year-old was able to ignore the chorus of black-and-white boos every time he touched the Sherrin and put on a clinic in front of the 68,251 in attendance he wouldn’t have made a difference.
The Magpies, led by gun midfielders Scott Pendlebury (26 touches) and Dayne Beams (21, four goals), gained possession and moved the ball swiftly and slickly through the middle with ease.
Jamie Elliott was also outstanding for the Pies, with 20 disposals and three goals.
Carlton were woeful when the game was in the balance – stagnant in their defensive 50m for too much of the contest and turning the ball over under pressure far too often.
Collingwood led by 57 points in the third quarter, their inaccurate goal-kicking and eight final-term goals from Carlton being all that saved this from turning into a shellacking.
But the fashion in which the Magpies ran rings around their opposition and collected the Richard Pratt Cup was nonetheless “humiliating” for Carlton, according to Garry Lyon.
“It’s just like training. It’s worse than training,” Lyon said of the one-sided third term while calling the game for Triple M.
“There’s no statement being made anywhere. You don’t have the footy, and yet you don’t tackle.”
The Blues averaged 80 tackles in their past two wins – the club’s only success after seven rounds of a season that promised much after the recruitment of Thomas.
Against the Magpies they managed 49 and only eight in the second quarter, despite frequently being second to the ball.
It all started so positively for Carlton.
Midfield battering ram Mitch Robinson climbed onto Tyson Goldsack’s back, clutched a screamer and booted the opening goal of the game.
Carlton’s next goal would come almost halfway through the third term, at which point the ‘Pies had piled on 7.9 and essentially banked the four premiership points.
There were four late scratchings in the game, Collingwood losing Nick Maxwell (back) and Clinton Young (corked leg) while Carlton were minus Jarrad Waite (hamstring) and Andrew Carrazzo (back).