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Match report: Depleted Crows crush Carlton

Highlights: Adelaide v Carlton The Crows and Blues face off in round seven

LAST year's runners-up Adelaide hosting Carlton, winless through six games for the first time in its history, was predicted to be a mismatch.

Apart from 20 minutes in the second quarter, that's how the Crows' workmanlike 55-point victory at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night panned out.

The Crows (5-2) were a class above the rebuilding Blues (0-7), running out easy winners – 19.11 (125) to 10.10 (70) – to rise to third on the ladder.

CROWS CRUSH CARLTON: Full match coverage and stats

The only downside for the Crows was another injury, this time to half-back flanker Wayne Milera, who will be assessed for damage behind his knee.

Crows high flier Mitch McGovern booted five goals along with taking a spectacular mark of the year contender.

WATCH: McGovern's miraculous mark

Bryce Gibbs had 21 disposals and kicked a goal in his first game against his former club, Richard Douglas (28 and two goals), Matt Crouch (32) and Rory Laird (32) were influential and Josh Jenkins chimed in with three majors.

"The guys jumped out and played some really good footy in the first quarter, but  in the second quarter, the lights went off for a period," Crows coach Don Pyke said.

"All credit to Carlton, they kept at it and brought some real pressure and won the ball and we made some very bad turnovers.

"At half-time we addressed that and spoke about what creates winning for us, and what it looks like, and to the players' credit, they came out in the third quarter and regained control of the game."

MCGOVERN'S MAGIC MARK: Five talking points

Blues coach Brendon Bolton lamented his young side's inability to stick with the Crows.

"Mature teams can maintain it for four quarters, that's learned over time," Bolton said.

"I thought they jumped us in the first, it was five goals in their advantage in the first and the same in the third.

"Our second quarter was really strong and our last quarter we didn't give up.

"There's inconsistencies, but the longer we play together, the more they're in those games against quality teams, the more we'll grow."

For the Blues, Kade Simpson had 26 disposals on his 34th birthday, and Dale Thomas (26), Ed Curnow (26) and stand-in captain Patrick Cripps (25) tried hard.

But forward Levi Casboult was taken to hospital after sustaining a rib injury late in the game, while Lachie Plowman failed to finish the game with a cork in his quad.

WATCH: Casboult's rib-crushing incident

The Blues booted the opening goal of the game through Matthew Kreuzer after just three minutes to stun the 47,422-strong crowd, but it only served to stir the Crows into action.

The Crows sliced the Blues' open with six unanswered goals, moving the ball with precision and dominating in the contest.

In his first game back from a hamstring injury, electric goal-sneak Eddie Betts was coming back to haunt his former club, forcing a turnover to set up a goal before snapping one of his own.

WATCH: Betts haunst his former club

A cricket score was on the cards when Hugh Greenwood extended the Crows' lead to 37 points (50-13) at the three-minute mark of the second quarter.

Then, whether it was through the Crows getting complacent, or the Blues lifting a gear, the wheel turned.

Exciting forward Harry McKay – in just his fifth game – kicked a couple of quick goals and Paddy Dow, last year's third overall draft pick, booted the first of his career.

WATCH: Paddy Dow kicks his first

The Blues closed to within 16 points near the end of the second quarter.

Whatever was said at half-time had the desired effect for the Crows, Betts showing smart instincts to get his side off to the perfect start within 30 seconds.

WATCH: Betts jags one around the corner

Goals to Douglas, Greenwood and McGovern gave the Crows a bit of breathing room, pushing the margin out to 40 points.

The Crows cruised home in the last quarter to secure a valuable percentage boost.

Adelaide: Half-back flanker Wayne Milera failed to finish the game with what was believed to be a hamstring injury, but Crows coach Don Pyke said wasn't that certain. "It's behind the knee so we're going to get that one assessed," Pyke said. It's a bit early to say it's a hamstring at this point, so we'll wait and see the assessment early in the week."

Carlton: Forward Levi Casboult was taken to hospital with damage to his ribs after a collision with Crows defender Tom Doedee in the last quarter. Lachie Plowman failed to finish the game with a cork in his left quad.

The Crows remain at Adelaide Oval for the third straight week when they face Showdown rivals Port Adelaide next Saturday, 4.40pm (ACST). The Blues also have a clash with traditional foes when they face Essendon at the MCG next Saturday, 2.10pm (AEST).

ADELAIDE       7.2       9.3       15.8     19.11 (125)
CARLTON        2.1       6.4       7.8       10.10 (70)

McGovern 5, Jenkins 3, Douglas 2, Lynch 2, Betts 2, Greenwood 2, Laird, Gibbs, Mackay
Carlton: Casboult 2, McKay 2, Kreuzer, Phillips, Dow, Graham, Wright, E.Curnow

Adelaide: McGovern, Laird, Douglas, Crouch, Gibbs, Greenwood, Ellis-Yolmen
Carlton: Thomas, E.Curnow, Cripps, Simpson, Kerridge                                                                          

Adelaide: Milera (leg)
Carlton: Casboult (ribs), Plowman (quad)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Brown, Harris

Official crowd: 47,422 at the Adelaide Oval