Charlie Curnow celebrates a goal during the round 18 clash between Carlton and Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on July 15, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

CARLTON has enjoyed its best win this season, stopping dead Port Adelaide's club-record winning streak with a 50-point belting at Marvel Stadium.

Jesse Motlop was the unlikely firestarter with four first-half goals and Charlie Curnow was outstanding as the Blues led from the start on Saturday on the way to a convincing 18.14 (122) to 10.12 (72) win.

BLUES v POWER Full match coverage and stats

It is Carlton's fourth-straight win to continue the resurgence that has put it back in finals contention, while second-placed Port ends its winning run at 13 games.

The Blues won easily despite key forward Harry McKay leaving the game in the first quarter with a knee injury.


Only minutes before the opening bounce of the twilight game, Matthew Owies also dropped out of the Carlton side and Motlop took his place.

The small forward grabbed his opportunity with relish and lit up Marvel Stadium as the Blues took control.

Jack Silvagni also starred with four goals for the Blues, while Curnow was a shining light with a game-high 11 marks and three goals despite a strong game from Port key defender Aliir Aliir.

The Power were vulnerable, given their seven omissions featured top players such as Jason Horne-Francis and Charlie Dixon.

But it is still a major scalp for the Blues and their slump, when they went 1-8 from rounds five to 13, is now just a bad memory.


Carlton also kicked its second-highest score this season.

There was a lot to like about the Blues, who showed no obvious weaknesses and will possibly end round 18 in ninth spot.

Despite continued strong form from Dan Houston and Connor Rozee, the Power never looked like pegging back Carlton's hot start to the game.


While most of the key team statistics were even, Carlton dominated throughout. 

Houston was prolific off half-back, racking up a game-high 41 possessions.

Silvagni kicked the first two goals of the game and Carlton had the first six scoring shots to put the early pressure on Port.


A wasteful 3.6 for the opening term kept the game tighter than it should have been, before the Blues took control for good with six goals to two in the second quarter for a 31-point lead at the main break.

Everybody loves Jesse's goals
Carlton pulled an extremely late change, replacing Matthew Owies (calf tightness) with Jesse Motlop just minutes before the first siren. The Blues called it a 'like-for-like replacement', but they got better than they could have hoped for, with Motlop having a career-high four goals on the board less than five minutes into the second quarter. He quietened down from that point - not surprisingly as he hadn't done a proper pre-game warm-up - but it would be hard to see the exciting teenager anywhere other than back at Marvel Stadium next Saturday afternoon.


Should we have seen this coming?
The Power entered Saturday's clash on a 13-match winning streak, an undeniably impressive run of form, but was it as dominant as the baker's dozen suggests? Five of those victories were by seven points or less, and six times they trailed in the final term. Getting home in close contests and stirring comebacks are signs of a good team, but even the best know not every result can go their way. And, learning from Collingwood in 2022, Ken Hinkley might be happy to get the inevitable 'bad one' out of the way before September.


Big Blue's big blow
Despite Carlton's scoring blitz suggesting its forward line is in good shape, the club will be sweating on the assessment of Harry McKay's knee injury, sustained in a marking contest early in the first quarter. McKay has had his troubles this year but his three-goal, eight-mark outing against Fremantle last round was a dominant performance from a Coleman Medal winner getting his confidence back in spades. As dynamic as the Blues' forward line was against Port, they'll need big Harry back if they're to maintain momentum through the rest of the season.



CARLTON:                 3.6    9.8    14.10    18.14 (122)
      2.2    4.7      9.9      10.12 (72)

Silvagni 4, Motlop 4, C.Curnow 3, Cottrell 2, Cripps, Martin, Cuningham, Fogarty, Newman
Port Adelaide: Marshall 3, Rozee 2, Powell-Pepper, McEntee, Lord, Byrne-Jones, Butters

Cripps, Newman, Silvagni, Acres, Docherty, De Koning
Port Adelaide: Houston, Rozee, Marshall, Drew, Wines

McKay (knee)
Port Adelaide: Byrne-Jones (concussion)

Jesse Motlop replaces Matthew Owies (calf) in the selected side.

Paddy Dow (replaced Harry McKay in the first quarter)
Port Adelaide: Ryan Burton (replaced Darcy Byrne-Jones at half-time)

Crowd: 34,306 at Marvel Stadium