Cripps helps fast-finishing Carlton down Port Adelaide

Steve Larkin |

Carlton’s Patrick Cripps (left) showed Port Adelaide’s  Jason Horne-Francis a clean pair of heels.
Carlton’s Patrick Cripps (left) showed Port Adelaide’s Jason Horne-Francis a clean pair of heels.

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

The Brownlow medallist’s burst of two goals in two minutes in the final term was pivotal in the Blues’ 16.11 (107) to 10.11 (71) victory at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Cripps had been quiet until three-quarter-time, when the Blues led by just seven points.

But the inspirational skipper triggered a stunning final-term surge: the Blues booted eight goals to three to jump from eighth to fourth on the ladder.

Port remain third – like Carlton, they have eight wins and four losses.

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

His teammate Nic Newman was also influential with 29 touches, and Cripps, who had just 13 disposals to three-quarter-time, finished with 22 possessions.

Carlton trio Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Zac Williams booted 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 patches, the Power were collectively overwhelmed in the final quarter.

Carlton’s brilliant last term came after a tight initial three quarters – scores were locked at 3.2 apiece at quarter-time.

The second quarter was punctuated by the first flashpoint of the AFL’s midweek change to the holding-the-ball interpretation, which gives players less time to dispose of the footy.

Port’s Kane Farrell was caught in a Matthew Owies tackle and was swung 360 degrees before getting a kick away, only to be adjudged holding the ball.

Farrell gave away a 50 metre penalty for dissent, but overall the tweak to the contentious rule had minimal impact – about half a dozen holding-the-ball calls were made in the game.

The Farrell decision came as Port scored a wayward 1.6 for the second term to trail by three points at halftime.

Both sides logged three goals in the third term, with Carlton up by seven points at three-quarter-time, 8.10 to 7.9.

Cripps then took centre stage: just 20 seconds into the last stanza, he snapped a goal and, two minutes later, added another.

His double-strike triggered a scoring spree as Carlton scored four goals and Port two in a tick over eight minutes of play.

The Blues then streeted to victory by kicking the last four goals of the game.