Carlton has climbed off the canvas in David Teague’s first AFL game in charge, coming from behind to defeat Brisbane by 15 points at Marvel Stadium.
The Blues conceded the first six goals of Saturday’s game before mounting a Patrick Cripps-inspired comeback to prevail 11.12 (78) to 9.9 (63), less than a week after sacking fourth-year coach Brendon Bolton.
Cripps was sublime for Carlton in just its second win for the season, gathering 38 disposals and booting four goals in another performance certain to net him three Brownlow Medal votes.
The brilliant skipper put the result beyond doubt in the dying minutes when he soared out of a pack and kicked truly for his fourth major.
First-year midfielder Sam Walsh had 32 disposals, Ed Curnow (30, eight clearances) helped to quell the influence of Brisbane ball magnet Lachie Neale and younger brother Charlie booted three goals in his best game of the season.
Neale racked up 24 disposals to halftime but managed just seven after Curnow went to him in the second half.
After witnessing North Melbourne upset Richmond in Rhyce Shaw’s first game in charge, Carlton fans were hoping their own caretaker coach would conjure something similar.
But six minutes into the second quarter, Brisbane held a six-goal lead and the Blues were yet to kick a major.
The Blues had 10 of the first 11 inside-50s but continued to waste their opportunities, allowing Brisbane to seize the momentum.
“I was worried about them going too aggressive,” Teague said.
It’s very hard to get messages out there but they composed themselves and their resilience to keep playing the way we wanted to play, I’m really proud of them.”
Quick goals to Charlie Cameron, Neale and Hugh McCluggage extended the Lions’ lead before Michael Gibbons finally put the Blues on the board at the 12-minute mark of the second term.
Having reduced the margin to three goals at halftime, the Blues came out firing in the third quarter as Cripps booted two goals in quick succession.
Mitch McGovern then took a strong contested mark and kicked truly to put Carlton ahead and pave the way for a much-needed victory.
Key defender Harris Andrews held Harry McKay goalless and was among Brisbane’s best but the Lions were well-beaten in the midfield.
“They out-hunted us, really,” Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.
“They were more desperate than what we were. Our midfield’s been fantastic for us this year but today, they lowered their colours.”
The Blues host the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium next Saturday while the fifth-placed Lions head into their mid-season bye with seven wins and five losses, having blown a golden opportunity to remain in touch with the top four.
Kangaroos celebrate skipper’s milestone
A seven-goal opening term has secured North Melbourne a 27-point AFL win over Gold Coast in captain Jack Ziebell’s 200th game.
The Kangaroos were unstoppable early, opening up a 35-point quarter-time lead that laid the platform for the 14.15 (99) to 11.6 (72) win at Metricon Stadium.
It means after defeats in his 50th, 100th and 150th appearances, Ziebell can finally celebrate a milestone with a win.
The victory – North’s third in a row – also means interim coach Rhyce Shaw has two from two in the hotseat following last weekend’s upset over Richmond.
Despite losing midfielder Shaun Higgins in the third minute to a shoulder injury, North responded to Will Powell kicking the opening goal for the Suns with seven unanswered majors of their own.
Crows fight back against Giants
Maligned Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins has booted three goals in a precious 21-point AFL win against GWS.
Jenkins was the standout forward in a tight Saturday night encounter at Adelaide Oval, helping his side triumph 12.10 (82) to 9.7 (61).
The Crows rose from eighth spot to fifth on the ladder by inflicting the fourth loss of the season on the second-placed Giants.
Jenkins’ goalscoring – in his second game back in AFL ranks after being banished to the state league for six games – was crucial, while captain Taylor Walker (two goals) was influential in a tense last quarter.
Adelaide slipped four points behind some 11 minutes into the last term but finished with a flourish, booting the last four goals of the game.
The flurry started with Walker’s pack mark and conversion and ended with an Eddie Betts trademark: a freakish snap from near the boundary.
“That game ebbed and flowed a bit,” Crows coach Don Pyke said.
“And when we were asked a question in that last quarter we were able to find something, hit the scoreboard consistently and get a good win.”