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Adelaide upset hurts Carlton finals hopes

3 minute read

Carlton are fighting an uphill battle to feature in the AFL finals after losing to Adelaide by 29 points.

MICHAEL VOSS, Senior Coach of the Blues in action during the Carlton Blues training session at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Australia.
MICHAEL VOSS, Senior Coach of the Blues in action during the Carlton Blues training session at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Michael Willson/via Getty Images

Carlton coach Michael Voss says a disastrous defeat against Adelaide won't shake his side's belief as they push towards the AFL finals.

Instead of keeping pace with rival teams chasing a top-four finish, the Blues are now in a spot of bother trying to make the eight after losing against a Crows side with only pride at stake.

Carlton fell by 29 points at Adelaide Oval and remain seventh on the ladder but with their last three matches against Brisbane (fifth), Melbourne (second) and Collingwood (third), the Blues need to spring an upset to avoid falling out of the picture.

But despite those daunting encounters and the possibilty that St Kilda (eighth) and the Western Bulldogs (ninth) could overtake them, Voss said his side wouldn't back down.

"We haven't changed, to be honest with you, with the way we've gone about it the whole year," he told reporters.

"There's always an appreciation when it comes to the back-end of the year - there's consequences on every win or loss.

"We're in with a shot, we're gonna full roar at it so we're looking forward to those contests ... we're gonna first unpack this one and and get to work on our game."

Even if the Blues can scrape into the eight, their patchy form will again have fans questioning just what impact they might have in the finals after going without consecutive wins since rounds nine and 10.

Carlton struggled across the ground and paid the price in front of goals, delivering their equal-lowest score of the season with 55 points.

Crow Ben Keays (three goals) seemed to have an answer every time the Blues asked questions, but Darcy Fogarty was just as dangerous, kicking two goals including a late special to seal his side's win.

They didn't trail in the second half, running away late on to take their sixth win of the season.

Brodie Smith was everywhere for the Crows and constantly created their attacking forays off his half-back role, finishing with a dominant 37 disposals and 13 inside 50s.

Keays found 22 touches and four goal-assists to go with his majors, while Rory Laird was powerful as usual with 32 disposals.

Coach Matthew Nicks couldn't hide just how proud he was of his young group.

"It was just relentless the entire four quarters which is really pleasing, I just love this footy club," he said.

"It's one of those moments you probably put up on a wall somewhere for a young group developing, I love the way they went about it.

"We're building something really special here. At times it's hard and frustrating but tonight was more than a glimpse, tonight was reassurance for our playing group that what we're doing is heading in the right direction."

Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps was influential in racking up 41 touches while Sam Walsh was prolific with 40.

Charlie Curnow kicked two majors early for the Blues but both were from the goalsquare and fellow power-forward Harry McKay was held to one goal as the duo were well held by Adelaide's backs.

"They just had a greater desire than us and there's not too many games where we've walked away this year and lost the ground ball number that we had today," Voss said.

"That effort, work-rate has got to be the cornerstone of your game ... tonight we were certainly outworked and that puts a lot of stress on other parts of your game."

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