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Blues break AFL hoodoo and down Bulldogs

For the first time in 60 games, Carlton have cracked the ton, downing the Western Bulldogs by 44 points in another AFL upset.

Blues break AFL hoodoo and down Bulldogs

For the first time in 60 games, Carlton have cracked the ton, downing the Western Bulldogs by 44 points in another AFL upset.

Carlton have finally joined the party in the AFL's upset-laden season, earning their first win of 2019 with a 44-point defeat of the Western Bulldogs.

Patrick Cripps led the way on Sunday with a superb 36-possession game in the Blues' breakthrough 15.11 (101) to 7.15 (57) win.


"To the Bluebaggers and supporters, I probably just need to say happy Easter," coach Brendon Bolton said, beaming after the club's biggest win in five years.

Cripps had plenty of support, with Harry McKay (four goals), Sam Petrevski-Seton (35 disposals) and Liam Jones running the show at Marvel Stadium.

Carlton led from the first minute, increased their margin at each change and yet still there was a nervousness in the stands, given their inability to close matches out.

That dispelled as the Blues closed in on 100 points, with fans bursting into an early rendition of the club song to celebrate just their fourth win in 37 games.

Fittingly, it fell to fifth-game star and No.1 draft pick Sam Walsh - the personification of the Blues' rebuild - to deliver their first century in 60 games, snapping home with a solitary second remaining.

Bulldogs fans made an early exit after seeing their out-of-sorts side lose a third-straight game.

The Dogs were simply never in it against a well-oiled Carlton machine.

In the middle, Cripps did the hard stuff, with followers like Petrevski-Seton, Zac Fisher, Michael Gibbons and Marc Murphy proving superb foils.

Up forward, McKay continued his rise towards becoming one of the game's most-dominant forwards and Levi Casboult joined him with a three-goal haul.

And down back, Jones subdued the Bulldogs' only tall option Aaron Naughton, with Lachie Plowman another star.

The nature of the triumph might just point to brighter skies ahead.

Bolton said he was most delighted by the response of his young side after last weekend's heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to Gold Coast.

"We've been building towards this," he said.

"Our effort indicators, even the scoreline, (show) we've been in games and really close to getting a result in the last four weeks. Internally, we've understood that .

"Last week was had to swallow because, until the last 10 seconds, we had the game.

"You could lose morale and sink but they were outstanding."

For the Bulldogs, Caleb Daniel played a fine hand in defence, and Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore combined for 16 clearances.

Tim English also toiled admirably in the ruck, but there were far too many passengers in Luke Beveridge's outfit.

Beveridge, watching his side slip from 2-0 to 2-3 for the season, said the match was lost "in the middle at the start" as Cripps stamped his authority at stoppages.

"After that, it was just efficiency going forward," he said, lamenting the Bulldogs' woeful goalkicking.

"They got the better of us well and truly. We couldn't get any momentum ... they played well."

AAP


AAP




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