Cripps blitz leads Blues to crushing victory over Port

An inspirational cameo from captain Patrick Cripps has helped propel Carlton to a lovely 36-point away victory over Port Adelaide.

The Brownlow medalist’s last-term run of two goals in two minutes was instrumental in the Blues’ 16.11 (107) to 10.11 (71) victory at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Cripps was quiet until three quarters, when the Blues led by just seven points.

But the inspirational captain sparked a stunning breakthrough last season, with the Blues scoring eight goals to three to jump from eighth to fourth in the standings.

Port remains third; Like Carlton, he has eight wins and four losses.

Carlton midfielder Sam Walsh produced another outstanding performance. He collected a game-high 33 disposals, had nine inside 50s and made 13 tackles.

Teammate Nic Newman was also influential with 29 touches, and Cripps, who only had 13 disposals in three quarters, finished with 22 possessions.

Carlton trio Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Zac Williams scored three goals each.

Port’s Mitch Georgiades scored four majors, and while Ollie Wines (26 disposals), Zac Butters (23) and Jason Horne-Francis (22, one goal) had promising runs, the Power were collectively overwhelmed in the final quarter.

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Carlton’s brilliant final period came after a tight opening three quarters – the scores were locked at 3.2 apiece in the quarter.

The second quarter was marked by the first flashpoint of the AFL’s midweek switch to the holding-the-ball interpretation, which gives players less time to get rid of the ball.

Port’s Kane Farrell was caught in a tackle by Matthew Owies and was turned 360 degrees before receiving a kick, only to be declared with the ball in possession.

Farrell awarded a 50-meter penalty for dissent, but overall the controversial rule change had minimal impact: about half a dozen ball possession decisions were made during the game.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Adam Saad of the Blues

Carlton’s Adam Saad competes with Port Adelaide opponent Jed McEntee at Adelaide Oval. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Farrell’s decision came as Port scored a wayward 1.6 for the second period, trailing by three points at half-time.

Both teams scored three goals in the third period, with Carlton leading by seven points through three quarters, 8.10 to 7.9.

Then Cripps took center stage: just 20 seconds into the fourth quarter, he scored a goal and, two minutes later, added another.

His double goal sparked a scoring spree, with Carlton scoring four goals and Port two in a tick-tock over eight minutes of play.

The Blues then cruised to victory by scoring the final four goals of the game.


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