Blues hold off improved Suns for AFL win

Carlton has prolonged the Gold Coast's AFL woes with a 24-point victory at Marvel Stadium.
Carlton has prolonged the Gold Coast's AFL woes with a 24-point victory at Marvel Stadium.

The belief keeps building at Carlton, who held off much-improved Gold Coast for a 24-point AFL win despite Patrick Cripps being well-held.

Interim Blues coach David Teague boasts a 4-2 record after they quelled a Suns' fightback in the second half to win 15.9 (99) to 11.9 (75) on Saturday at Marvel Stadium.

Despite going two games clear at the bottom of the ladder with five games left, Gold Coast lost no friends.

In the wake of horror losses to Richmond and Adelaide, the Suns out-tackled the Blues and fought their way back into the game.

At 13 minutes into the third term they were 43 points down, but they kicked five goals in a purple patch to trail by only three goals at the last change.

The Blues kicked two goals to one in the last quarter to seal the win, with key defenders Liam Jones and Jacob Weitering taking 21 marks between them.

Carlton only had one win this year before Teague took over and he was asked what the resurgence was doing for the players and the club.

"Belief - you need to be able to do it," he said.

"We believe we have the talent, but we haven't gone out there and executed.

"Over the last few weeks we've shown that if we keep training with the right intensity and play with the right intensity, we're capable of winning."

Cripps looked off his game after he was crunched in the first quarter and opponent Will Brodie was outstanding on him with 10 tackles.

But the Suns fear Brodie has a hamstring injury, following a last-quarter incident where he was pushed from behind.

In a week where AFL footy boss Steve Hocking questioned the influence of tackling, it was a key to Gold Coast's improved performance.

"This week's been firmly on one thing and that was obviously making sure that we put something in place to finish the year off," Suns coach Stuart Dew said.

"There's a tick in terms of response, but the challenge is there for another five weeks."

Dew was bemused after a second-quarter incident where Suns forward Ben King gave away a free kick for appearing to hit teammate Michael Rischetelli.

King was trying to hit Lachie Plowman, but clocked Rischitelli instead.

"I wasn't sure what happened, I didn't want to go back (on the replay) and get frustrated," Dew said.

Matthew Kennedy kicked a career-high four goals for the Blues after kicking four goals previously for the season.

The game attracted a healthy crowd of 31,765 between the two bottom teams.

If Melbourne lose to West Coast on Sunday, the Blues will have relegated them to second-last on the ladder in a season where the Demons started as premiership hopefuls.

Australian Associated Press