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Blues break through by storming past Saints

Highlights: St Kilda v Carlton The Saints and Blues clash in round four
Lachie Henderson of the Blues kicks a goal during the 2015 AFL Round 04 ANZAC Day match between the St Kilda Saints and the Carlton Blues at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand on April 25, 2015. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Lachie Henderson kicked five goals in Carlton's first victory of the season

CARLTON has stormed back in the second half for its first win of the season, beating St Kilda by 40 points in Wellington.

Lachie Henderson and Tom Bell stood up in attack for the Blues, who won the League's opening match on Anzac Day 18.13 (121) to 12.9 (81).

Five talking points: St Kilda v Carlton 

Captain Marc Murphy was outstanding in the midfield, despite heavy tagging attention, while youngster Patrick Cripps had 33 possessions and 11 tackles in an eye-catching display

Murphy won the inaugural Crowl-McDonald Medal as best afield, and Carlton coach Mick Malthouse said his skipper set the standard for his teammates to follow.

"I think Murph's copped so many negatives because he's a victim of us being zip and three," Malthouse said.

"He absorbed both the physical pressure of St Kilda today, and the pressure of a club going in zip and three and leading from the front.

"I'm delighted for him." 

The medal was named after St Kilda's Claude Crowl and Carlton's Fen McDonald, who made their senior debuts against each other in 1911 and died on April 25 at Gallipoli.

Henderson kicked five goals and Bell's four goals in the second half were crucial as Carlton made its comeback.

WATCH: Henderson on target across the ditch 

It was an important win for the Blues, who are recovering from a poor start to the season and plenty of media attention.

Carlton's Mick Malthouse also coached his 414th game, officially equalling Jock McHale's AFL record.

The Blues were down by 25 points at quarter-time and 26 midway through the second term.

But they had reduced the margin to 13 points at the main break.

They doubled their score in the third term, kicking six goals to two and taking the lead for the first time.

Only 12,125 fans attended the game, the lowest attendance at the 'Cake Tin' since the Saints started hosting Anzac Day games there two years ago.

Afterwards, St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis conceded the club was disappointed with the figure, which didn't reflect the number of "walk ins" they projected given the warm weather.

But he said the turnout wouldn't affect the Saints' desire to make their arrangement with New Zealand a long-term prospect.

"We would like to win [here] and I'm more disappointed about that, but there's no doubt we would have liked to have exceeded last year's crowd," Finnis said.

"We are bitterly disappointed we haven't been able to sing the song after the game and have a win."

Finnis added the Saints believed a day game, as opposed to the night fixture they've previously had in Wellington, is the right option.

And he said the club reduced the number of "giveaway" tickets and had been encouraged by the number that was actually sold, which indicated more local support.  

We became conservative, says Richardson

"You could see there's a more engaged fan base there today," he said.

"The crowd was noisier but we didn't reward them with a win so that's bitterly disappointing for us.

"From our point of view, this is a long-term partnership. You have to build these things over time.

"You don't turn those things around overnight, this is a long-term partnership and we're very much committed to New Zealand and it's a 365 days a year piece for us and that's where we think we'll get the rewards."

Officials are about to start a review of the five-year Wellington deal.

The Saints are yet to win in their New Zealand campaign.

Malthouse strongly threw his support behind the concept, and said he would always remember where he was when the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing was commemorated.  

With 34 possessions, Marc Murphy won the Crowl-McDonald Medal for best afield. Picture: AFL Media 

ST KILDA    5.3   8.6   10.8   12.9 (81)
CARLTON   1.2   6.4   12.9   18.13 (121)

GOALS
St Kilda:
Sinclair 2, Shenton 2, Bruce 2, Lonie 2, Steven, Dunstan, Billings, Armitage
Carlton: Henderson 5, Bell 4, Gibbs 2, Everitt 2, Jones, Ellard, Cripps, Tuohy, Armfield

BEST 
St Kilda: Armitage, Longer, Steven, Schneider, Geary
Carlton: Murphy, Cripps, Henderson, Bell, Tuohy, Everitt, Walker 

INJURIES 
St Kilda: Roberton (leg)
Carlton: Tutt (general soreness) replaced in selected side by Dick, Ellard (nose), Buckley (corked thigh)

SUBSTITUTES
St Kilda:
Paddy McCartin replaced by Ahmed Saad in the third quarter.
Carlton: Michael Jamison replaced by Matthew Dick in the third quarter. 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Stephens, Ryan

Official crowd: 12,125 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Voting for Crowl-McDonald Medal
6 Marc Murphy*
6 Lachie Henderson
4 Patrick Cripps
2 Tom Bell

* Marc Murphy wins on the basis he received the most number of three votes

Judge voting: 3-2-1
Chris Connolly (ABC Radio, Chairman): M Murphy, L Henderson, P Cripps
Gerard Healy (Fox Footy): P Cripps, L Henderson, T Bell
Roger Vaughan (AAP): M Murphy, L Henderson, T  Bell