Carlton warmed up for an AFL season-defining month with a commanding 94-point victory over Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Giants were at least competitive in much of the first, second and fourth quarters, but cannon fodder in the third, as the Blues won 22.16 (148) to 8.6 (54) to improve their win-loss record to 6-4.
Once again, it was the Blues’ speedy flotilla of small forwards who did most of the damage, with Jeff Garlett, (four), Chris Yarran (three), Dennis Armfield (two) and second-gamer Troy Menzel (two) combining for half of their side’s tally of 22 goals.
At the other end, Andrew Walker and Michael Jamison anchored a rock-solid Blues defence, while Matthew Kreuzer relished the opportunity to ruck all day in the absence of the injured Robbie Warnock.
GWS were best served by co-captain Callan Ward and fellow onballer Toby Greene.
The Giants kicked six of their eight goals in the opening half to trail by 40 points at the long break.
Carlton blew their opponents away with six goals to nil in the third term before extending the final margin to 94 points with a goal from Kreuzer in the dying minutes.
With former Port Adelaide premiership ruckman Dean Brogan (back) a late withdrawal, the Giants featured an even more-inexperienced lineup than usual, averaging just 28 games per player.
Carlton had an even more-important late absentee, with dual Brownlow medallist Chris Judd pulling out with a sore hamstring.
But it all gets much harder in a hurry for the Blues, who face a month of tough games against Essendon, Hawthorn, Sydney and Collingwood either side of the bye.
The winless Giants tackle a virtual mission impossible at home against Geelong next week.