Surging Blues brush listless Lions in AFL

Carlton’s surge up the AFL ladder has continued, the Blues brushing aside Brisbane by 38 points in Melbourne.

In pristine conditions on Saturday under the Etihad Stadium roof, the Lions managed just one goal in an abysmal first half.

Justin Leppitsch’s men were at least competitive in the second half but Carlton comfortably made it six wins from their past seven matches with the 16.6 (102) to 9.10 (64) victory.

With skipper Marc Murphy out injured and Bryce Gibbs well held, Ed Curnow, Sam Kerridge and Patrick Cripps did the heavy lifting in the midfield.

Jacob Weitering and Josh Schache, the first and second selections at last year’s draft, spent plenty of time matched up against each other and the Blues’ No.1 pick handily won that battle, finishing with 24 possessions and 14 marks.

In his first game back from a hamstring injury, Lions skipper Tom Rockliff gathered 48 disposals and former Blue Mitch Robinson shut Gibbs down but the pair had precious little support.

Carlton weren’t in the sort of touch that propelled them to a superb win over Geelong last week at the same venue, but they had the struggling visitors covered, kicking away to a 24-point lead at quarter-time and extending their advantage to 39 at halftime.

After the sort of performance that could cost a coach his job, Brisbane sprang to life after the break.

Playing a quicker, more direct style, the Lions at least made it a contest as they slashed the margin to 21 points, but their charge was short-lived, the Blues restoring their 39-point break by three-quarter time before easing to the finish line.

Both sides finished a player down on the bench, Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer falling ill at halftime and Lions forward Allen Christensen suffering a shoulder injury in the second quarter.

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