CARLTON has held off a much-improved Gold Coast performance, continuing their AFL surge under caretaker coach David Teague with a 24-point win.
The Suns pressed in the second half, but Carlton had enough of a buffer and won 15.9 (99) to 11.9 (75) on Saturday at Marvel Stadium.
Matthew Kennedy kicked a career-best four goals – he had kicked four goals for the season – and Blues defender Liam Jones was outstanding with 11 marks.
Blues co-captain Patrick Cripps clearly struggled after he was crunched in a first-quarter tackle.
Suns onballer Will Brodie also was impressive on Cripps, with 10 tackles and six clearances.
The game attracted a healthy crowd of 31,765, especially given it was the second-last Blues against the bottom side.
Carlton now has won four out of six under Teague.
Unless Melbourne somehow beat West Coast on Sunday, the Blues have relegated the Demons to second-last on the ladder in a season when they started as premiership hopefuls.
After two 90-plus point beltings, the Suns were in big trouble again when they fell 43 points behind midway through the third quarter.
But Gold Coast was rewarded for a much stronger effort – they impressively won the tackle count 90-72 – when the game unexpectedly flipped.
Gold Coast kicked five of the last six goals of the quarter and only trailed by 18 points at three-quarter time.
Kennedy’s fourth goal early in the last term was the circuit breaker that Carlton needed and they were not threatened for the rest of the match.
Blues young gun Sam Walsh added to his massive Rising Star claims with a 27-possession game and fellow onballer Ed Curnow had a team-high 31 disposals.
© AAP 2019
CARLTON 5.3 8.5 13.6 15.9 (99)
GOLD COAST 2.3 4.5 10.6 11.9 (75)
Goals: Carlton: M Kennedy 4 H McKay 2 D Lang J Deluca L Casboult L O’Brien M Gibbons M Murphy P Cripps W Setterfield Z Fisher. Gold Coast: A Sexton 3 P Wright 2 B King C Burgess D MacPherson M Rischitelli P Hanley S Lemmens. Umpires: Nicholas Foot, Craig Fleer, John Howorth.
Official Crowd: 31,765 at Marvel Stadium.