Carlton's surge under caretaker continues with win over Suns
CARLTON have held off a much-improved Gold Coast, continuing their AFL surge under caretaker coach David Teague with a 24-point win.
The Suns pressed in the second half on Saturday, but Carlton had enough of a buffer and won 15.9 (99) to 11.9 (75) at Marvel Stadium.
Matthew Kennedy kicked a career-best four goals - he had previously 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 on-baller Will Brodie was impressive on Cripps, with 10 tackles and six clearances.
The game attracted a crowd of 31,765 - a healthy figure given it was the second-last Blues against the bottom side.
Carlton have now 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 were 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 trailed by only 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 on-baller Ed Curnow had a team-high 31 disposals.