A late Carlton rally has fallen just short of an almighty AFL upset but cost West Coast a place in the top four.
A seven-point win by the Eagles at the MCG over the lowly Blues didn’t give West Coast the percentage boost they would have hoped for.
But Adam Simpson’s side will savour the four premiership points gained from their scratchy performance in a 12.10 (82) to 11.9 (75) win.
On this evidence, West Coast have some work to do to mount a successful September campaign.
The Eagles were on top without kicking away from Carlton all afternoon, and the late Blues push threatened to upset the apple cart.
Instead, successive goals from Patrick Cripps, Jacob Weitering and Bryce Gibbs only served to reduce the margin and excite the 26,389 in attendance that were otherwise starved of entertainment all afternoon.
With visiting United States vice president Joe Biden in the stands, the two sides began at a snail’s pace and goal-kicking woes set in.
Carlton spread their errors across the ground while Eagles forward Jack Darling monopolised his side’s problems, kicking 0.5.
West Coast had too many routes to goal to let Darling’s dirty day cost them, with Jamie Cripps kicking three goals and Elliot Yeo, Josh Kennedy and Mark LeCras bagging two.
Luke Shuey impressed in midfield while Andrew Gaff and Matt Priddis were prominent.
For Carlton, Patrick Cripps produced an astonishing last term, with seven clearances and 14 disposals.
In defence, Zac Tuohy was spirited and Sam Docherty was busy while Gibbs lifted as the match went on.
Jack Silvagni continued to grow into his guernsey, kicking 1.2 while Weitering kicked the first two goals of his own AFL career after being sent forward.