Patrick Cripps leads his players off the ground after the round seven match between Geelong and Carlton at the MCG, April 27, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

CARLTON coach Michael Voss was frustrated and disappointed after his side failed to take its chances against ladder leader Geelong on Saturday night, saying the performance was "unacceptable".

The Blues dominated inside 50s (66-45) and was well on top in clearances but couldn't turn their opportunities into goals, losing 18.10 (118) to 15.15 (105) in front of over 87,000 fans at the MCG.

A wayward 2.8 in the first quarter was matched by three behinds to open the final term with the match on the line.

CATS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

"I don't want us to settle that it was a good effort, or that it was close," Voss said post-match.


"It was unacceptable and we've got to be better.

"We'd like to think that we benchmark ourselves off our own standards and we fell below those tonight on defending, so we've got to be better.

"We've got to expect better from each other."

A last-minute surge saw Carlton cut the margin from 32 points to just eight with three minutes to play, but Voss wasn’t prepared to look at the positives of what could have been.

"We shouldn't need the game to get to that stage to feel like we need to snatch it. In some ways you deserve what you get.


"We had individuals, I'm not really in the mood to talk up individuals today to be truthful. It takes a team to come out and play well … and as a team we didn't get the job done, so I'd like to think we all take ownership of that."

With in-form archenemy Collingwood waiting next Friday, Voss was hopeful of being strengthened by returning players.

"We are expecting a couple to return next week. Cerra will probably be OK, Cuningham will get another week and be OK. (McGovern) might be around the mark, more likely be probably another week."


Geelong welcomed back Cam Guthrie after a year out through injury, the veteran midfielder playing a strong game and finishing with 27 disposals despite suggestions he may not have been ready to come straight back in at AFL level.

"I understand it might have been perceived as a bit of a risk to bring him back … but his preparation was geared from a long way out to come straight back to AFL football," Chris Scott said of the decision..


"There was an opportunity to play him a few weeks ago if we wanted to through the VFL, but we chose to prioritise training."

The Cats were hit with a new injury concern when Patrick Dangerfield was subbed out in the third quarter, but Scott was uncertain of the extent of the injury.

"I just know it’s a hamstring," he said. "I could speculate but I don't think that helps.


"He was subbed off with a hamstring and the club will give a little bit more detail as the week goes on, but I'm not sure at the moment."

Geelong will return to the MCG next Saturday to face fourth-placed Melbourne in what is sure to be another blockbuster clash.