Charlie Curnow celebrates a goal during Carlton's clash against Gold Coast in round 11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON huffed and puffed and eventually blew Gold Coast's doors off to get its season back on track with a commanding 29-point triumph at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues held sway in general play for much of the afternoon, but it took a five-goal burst early in the fourth quarter to guarantee victory.

BLUES v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

Gold Coast fought it out right until the end, but Carlton deserved its 15.12 (102) to 11.7 (73) triumph to arrest a worrying slide of three losses from four matches.

It is now 7-4 and entrenched in the top eight.


The Blues had to look no further than skipper Patrick Cripps to inspire victory, manhandling the in-form Suns midfield with his 31 disposals that included 13 clearances.

His dominance led Carlton's ascendency at clearances (44-32) which resulted in a lopsided disposal count (408-270) that finally took its toll.


Carlton led by just nine points at the first change, seven at the half and 17 at three-quarter time after a late goal from Matt Kennedy gave it breathing room.

The five-goal burst early in the fourth put paid to any faint notion the Suns had of fighting back.

Charlie Curnow vaulted to the top of the Coleman Medal race with four goals, but not before a thrilling duel with Mac Andrew.


The young Sun held sway for the entire first half, keeping his team in the contest as a virtual one-man wall inside defensive 50.

However, after the break, Curnow moved to the goalsquare, and with the match-ups getting jumbled, became a major influence and reason for Carlton's success.

Zac Williams kicked four goals as a forward, Tom De Koning (25 disposals, 10 clearances) probably had the better of his battle with Jarrod Witts, while Sam Walsh, Blake Acres and Kennedy were all strong contributors.


Gold Coast could never get its nose in the contest, often second to the ball early on.

Despite the landslide of possession against it, it still had a chance to get within one straight kick late in the third quarter before set-shot misses by Ben King (who kicked three goals) and Jack Lukosius dashed its charge.

Carlton kicked the first three goals of the game and for most of the first half dominated without putting the advantage on the scoreboard.

With some poor entries and Andrew proving an impassable presence, the Suns remained afloat.

Although regularly outnumbered and second to the ball, Damien Hardwick's men kept scrapping and fighting to remain in the game.


Zac into attack and goes whack!
He was shifted forward during the last-start loss against Sydney and, given a full game there this week, Zac Williams proved he could be just the answer to Carlton's small forward problems with a superb performance. Williams finished the game with a career-high four goals, proving a nice foil at the feet of Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay and alongside Matthew Owies. He kicked two in the first quarter to get the ball rolling, then added two more after the main break to have a huge impact on victory.

Suns remain winless on the road
For the fifth time in five attempts this season, Gold Coast has lost when playing away from home. And just like it did in earlier defeats from the Western Bulldogs, Greater Western Sydney, Sydney and Brisbane, a lot of the damage was done in the first quarter. While Carlton had only a nine-point lead at the first change, it dominated the Suns around the contest and laid the platform for victory. Gold Coast hung in for large patches despite the lack of possession, but the physical toll eventually caught up as it was overrun late.

Johnston's joyous backflip
In just his fifth game, young Sun Lloyd Johnston produced a highlight that will live long in the memory. After slotting a first-quarter set shot from 40m, the boy from the Northern Territory uncorked a standing backflip and easily stuck the landing. Not surprisingly he was mobbed by teammates after kicking the second goal of his career.


CARLTON                3.4     4.9     10.11     15.12 (102)  
GOLD COAST          2.1     4.2       8.6         11.7 (73)  

Carlton: Williams 4, Curnow 4, Owies, McKay, Kennedy, E.Hollands, Hewett, Cripps, Acres
Gold Coast:
King 3, Long 2, Holman 2, Witts, Lukosius, Johnston, Humphrey

Carlton: Cripps, Walsh, Curnow, Weitering, De Koning, Williams
Gold Coast:
Andrew, Witts, Miller, Long, Anderson

Carlton: Nil
Gold Coast:

Carlton: Nil
Gold Coast:
Sam Flanders (illness) replaced by Alex Davies

Carlton: Jack Carroll (replaced Matt Owies in the fourth quarter)
Gold Coast:
Jake Rogers (replaced Jed Walter in the third quarter)

Crowd: 39,597 at Marvel Stadium