The AFL’s shortest player made a big first impression as the Western Bulldogs beat Carlton on Saturday by 11 points.
Caleb Daniel was subbed on at halftime in his debut game to replace injured ruckman Jordan Roughead and was outstanding in the 9.10 (64) to 7.11 (53) win.
The Bulldogs move a game clear in eighth spot.
Matthew Boyd celebrated his 250th game with 31 disposals and was high among the Bulldogs’ best, while Jake Stringer kicked three goals.
The two teams formed a huddle in the middle of the ground after the final siren as a tribute to Crows coach Phil Walsh, found fatally stabbed on Friday morning in Adelaide.
Daniel, who stands at 167cm, kicked a goal in the third term and had 14 disposals to be among their best.
Carlton suffered a serious blow early in the last term when young gun Patrick Cripps was forced off with an ankle injury.
And the Bulldogs’ Toby McLean hurt his arm in a marking contest just before the final siren, while a back problem forced Roughead out of the game.
The Blues kicked the last three goals of the game and were left ruing poor goalkicking when they had the game on their terms in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs burst out of the blocks, kicking three goals in the first 10 minutes.
But Carlton steadied and restricted the damage, only trailing by 14 points at quarter-time.
The Blues then fluffed a golden chance to take control of the game.
They were on top for much of the second quarter, but only managed 2.6 and led by three points at halftime.
Late in the quarter, the Blues looked set for an easy goal when they had Cameron Wood and Levi Casboult in the clear.
But the pair somehow squandered the opportunity, the worst of several scrappy passages of play during the second quarter.
Carlton did not manage a goal from Dennis Armfield’s first of the game near halftime until his second 10 minutes into the last quarter.
The Bulldogs kicked two goals early in the last quarter to take a 28-point lead and that proved enough of a buffer, despite Carlton’s late surge.