June 13, 2024

Carlton coach Michael Voss praised his “proud” midfield after their dominant performance against Gold Coast helped the Blues return to the AFL’s top eight.

Despite poor goal kicking and a failure to capitalize on their midfield dominance in the first half, Carlton pulled away in the third term. Charlie Curnow’s two big contested marks and goals kept the momentum in their favor, leading to a 15.12 (102) to 11.7 (73) victory at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

Curnow scored four goals in the second half, and Zac Williams added four more, thrilling the 39,597 fans in attendance. Patrick Cripps was outstanding in the midfield with 31 disposals and 13 clearances, while Sam Walsh (32 disposals) and ruckman Tom De Koning (25 touches, 10 clearances) also shone.

The Blues dominated uncontested possessions (270-156), contested possessions (132-111), and clearances (44-32).

“Our mids are a very proud group,” Voss said, noting their improvement after a tough game against Sydney. “We needed to be better with our pressure on the ball, and we did that today when it counted.”

Season review: Charlie Curnow

Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick acknowledged his team’s poor performance, especially in the midfield. “Their midfield beat ours, plain and simple,” he said. “We were up against it with the contested ball and clearances.”

Suns’ Mac Andrew was impressive early but was ultimately outplayed by Curnow, while Ben King kicked three goals for Gold Coast.

Carlton fans were frustrated with just four free kicks in the first three terms, prompting the team to discuss the issue with the AFL.

Gold Coast faced a pre-game setback with Sam Flanders out due to illness, replaced by Alex Davies.

Carlton, now sixth on the ladder, will face Port Adelaide on Thursday, while Gold Coast, sitting at 6-5, will host Essendon next Sunday.

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