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Match report: Wounded Blues storm past Power

Highlights: Carlton v Port Adelaide The Blues and Power clash in round eight
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15: Sam Docherty of the Blues is bumped by Charlie Dixon of the Power during the 2016 AFL Round 08 match between the Carlton Blues and Port Adelaide Power at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on May 15, 2016. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Charlie Dixon and Sam Docherty battle for the ball at Etihad Stadium

CARLTON has withstood a tide of injuries to snatch a last-gasp two-point victory over Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium.

Matthew Kreuzer was the hero in the 14.9 (93) to 13.13 (91) victory, achieved despite the loss of Levi Casboult in the game's opening minutes.

Full match coverage and stats

The ruckman kicked Carlton into the lead late into time-on in the final quarter after the Blues had trailed for much of the match.

Casboult had plenty of company in the treatment rooms before heading to hospital for assessment on what was feared to be an ACL injury. He was later diagnosed with a fractured tibia, set to sideline him for 6-8 weeks. 

Patrick Cripps, Lachie Plowman, Ciaran Byrne and Kreuzer himself all required attention through the afternoon, leaving the Blues with just two on the bench for long spells.

Despite the injury toll, Carlton dominated possession and territory, leaving Ken Hinkley's side reliant on counter-attacking football.

Five talking points: Carlton v Port Adelaide

It worked for much of the game, with the Power staying in front, if not in control.

Each time Carlton challenged for the lead, Port Adelaide found a response.

Chad Wingard, twice, and Travis Boak grabbed the lead back for Port within a minute of losing leads.

When Matthew Broadbent and Charlie Dixon goals put Power 17 points ahead with just 10 minutes left, it looked a challenge too far for the besieged Blues.

But late goals to Liam Jones and Liam Sumner laid the platform for Kreuzer's roof-raising major to snatch a famous victory.

 

Carlton coach Brendon Bolton heaped praise on Kreuzer and Cripps, and said that with two on the bench at many stages, the coaching panel had to be creative.

"That's why we're proud our guys endured – they found a way," he said.

"Particularly late, they had cool heads under pressure.

"We're making some huge steps forward."

The result puts a dent in Port Adelaide's finals assault with their win-loss at 4-4 and a taxing month ahead.

By contrast, the Blues grabbed a most unlikely fourth win in succession and will face league leaders North Melbourne next week high on confidence.

Power coach Ken Hinkley was disappointed after missing out on the chance to move into the top eight.

"It's a big game to lose. Forget all the external stuff – coming into the game, it was probably a line-ball game (based) on both sides' form," Hinkley said.

MEDICAL ROOM
Carlton: Key forward Levi Casboult injured his left knee early in the first quarter in a marking contest, and he missed the rest of the game. Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer hobbled off the field in the second term with what seemed to be an ankle concern but returned to the field. Midfielder Patrick Cripps hurt his right knee late in the third quarter when it buckled and he too went down to the rooms, but returned in the last term, albeit with limited movement. Ciaran Byrne also seemed to hurt a knee but came back on.
Port Adelaide: Jackson Trengove went off the field in the third quarter under the blood rule after copping a cut next to his right eye but he returned to the field.

NEXT UP
The Blues look to end North Melbourne's undefeated start to the season next Saturday night at Etihad Stadium. The Power will also have a six-day break when it hosts last year's grand finalists West Coast at the Adelaide Oval in a twilight game.

CARLTON                  3.2       7.4       10.7    14.9 (93)
PORT ADELAIDE      4.5       8.9       10.12  13.13 (91)

GOALS
Carlton:
Everitt 3, Lamb 2, Jones 2, Kreuzer 2, Murphy, Gibbs, Rowe, Tuohy, Sumner
Port Adelaide: Wingard 2, Dixon 2, Westhoff 2, Boak, Broadbent, Ebert, Hartlett, Trengove, Amon, Young

BEST
Carlton:
Gibbs, Docherty, Kreuzer, Cripps, Curnow, Everitt
Port Adelaide: Hartlett, Wines, Trengove, Young, Amon

INJURIES
Carlton: Casboult (leg), Kreuzer (ankle), Cripps (knee)
Port Adelaide: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Donlon, Bannister, Chamberlain

Official crowd: 26,924 at Etihad Stadium