Blues belt Tigers by 89 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues belt Tigers by 89 points

14/08/2010 07:05:35 PM Comments (0)

Carlton took a big step closer to the consistency they crave on Saturday, walloping Richmond by 89 points to solidify their AFL finals berth.

The Blues' 23.18 (156) to 10.7 (67) win was the first time since rounds 10-11 that they have won in successive weeks.

It was also their highest score of the season, bettering last week's 23.11 against Essendon, and the first time in coach Brett Ratten's reign they have kicked 20 goals twice in a row.

But injuries, Sydney's tight win over Fremantle and a tough run home means the Blues must not let up.

They are sixth, on equal points with seventh-placed Sydney, and face Geelong next week ahead of the round-22 trip to Perth to play the fifth-placed Dockers.

"We've worked extremely hard to try and find that consistency button, it's something that has eluded us a few times," Ratten said.

"The players really responded, not just accepting last week's win and really taking their foot off their accelerator - it was about taking this to another stage.

"We've got one of the biggest (challenges), if not the biggest, next week in Geelong."

The Blues lost Richard Hadley (hip), Shaun Hampson (ankle) and Aaron Joseph (ankle) during the match.

But apart from the third term, when Richmond briefly rallied, Carlton were in total control.

Captain Chris Judd was best afield, while young forward Lachie Henderson impressed and Bryce Gibbs was instrumental across half-back.

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick agreed the season might be three weeks too long for his young side, which suddenly looks very tired.

Nevertheless, he was stinging in his criticism of the Tigers.

"You can be a young side, but when you're uncompetitive, there's no excuse for it," he said.

"We just could not get ourselves into the game - possession-wise we were poor, contested possession-wise we were poor, it was just a really poor day for our footy club.

"We're really disappointed with the way we played.

"We have two games to get some respect back for today, we let ourselves down badly as a football club."

Ben Cousins was among their best despite a calf muscle injury and the Tigers will meet with him on Monday to discuss his playing future.

Hardwick also plans a meeting with the AFL umpiring department.

He was clearly unimpressed that Brett Deledio was penalised a free kick for grabbing a hand towel and rubbing it in Henderson's face, while Coleman Medal leader Jack Riewoldt received some rough treatment.

Riewoldt only kicked two goals, but was routinely double- and even triple-teamed.

"What we have to do is look at bringing some attention to the powers that be and have a look at it," Hardwick said.

"Jack's a great player, we want to see the good players protected, we want to see them get their just reward, we don't want to see them being manhandled.

"We just want him playing on equal terms."

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