Bulldogs flog Carlton, vying for fourth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs flog Carlton, vying for fourth

By Adam Cooper 11/07/2010 09:08:28 PM Comments (0)

A spiritless towelling at the hands of the Western Bulldogs has Carlton coach Brett Ratten worried the Blues can't match it with the big guns of the AFL.

Carlton entered Sunday's twilight game in sixth spot against the fifth-placed Bulldogs and believing they were still a chance to push higher.

But a 68-point thrashing in which the Blues managed only eight goals and had a forward line in names only gave Ratten and his players a brutal reality check.

"If we think, and get caught up in thinking, we can take on the teams up the top end and deliver that today it just shows you how far we are off the pace," Ratten said after the 20.6 (126) to 8.10 (58) belting, Carlton's heaviest defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs.

"A long way."

Where the Bulldogs' Barry Hall (six goals) benefited from pinpoint passing, Carlton's midfielders turned the ball over and their forwards lacked spark.

Ratten said skill errors were the difference in the first half, when the Doggies broke open the game with a six-goal second term.

After that, he said, Carlton's effort dropped away.

"I know when it's all going right we can play some very good football," he said.

"But ... the teams that are consistent in their approach through every game, it doesn't waver that much.

"Today, to waver out to (almost) 70 points, yes it wasn't going (well), but the teams that just dig in and defend and scrap and fight, it should be a 35-point loss or something around that mark and then you lick your wounds and go back again and reassess and go from there.

"But to allow that to open up like that was unacceptable."

Carlton again rued costly misses in the first quarter and went to quarter-time with 1.5 on the board, 15 points down.

"We didn't make the most of our opportunities which has hurt us like previous weeks," Ratten said.

"By the end it was two distinct teams - one was really efficient and had a forward (Hall) that provided great opportunities for their team and targets.

"We didn't really have a focal point at our end of the ground."

While Bulldogs defenders Brian Lake, Dale Morris, Robert Murphy and Jarrod Harbrow did as they pleased, Carlton's in-form pocket Eddie Betts went goalless and Setanta O'hAilpin recorded just three touches.

The Blues' horror day was capped when defenders Bret Thornton and Dennis Armfield barrelled into each other, which gifted the Bulldogs' Shaun Higgins the simplest of goals.

Ratten said Carlton's fall from grace meant the Blues would take a conservative tack with managing their playing list.

He said key-position player Jarrad Waite might return next weekend via the VFL after serving his suspension, instead of the AFL against Sydney.

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