Michael Voss celebrates Carlton's win over Geelong in R15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

FORGET about 'Fergie Time', Carlton is thriving in 'Vossy Time'.

Throughout an unbeaten last month, where the Blues have stamped themselves as genuine premiership contenders, Michael Voss' side has been emphatic in razor sharp bursts to start the final quarter.

With a series of games against fellow finals prospects – Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Essendon and Geelong – in the balance at three-quarter time, Carlton has then blown its opponents out of the water in 'Vossy Time'.

In the opening 16 minutes of fourth quarters across the last month, the Blues have kicked a combined score of 18.2 (110) compared to their opponents' score of 3.2 (20) to put every game's result beyond any doubt.

And, for the most part, such runs have come at critical junctures within games.

Gold Coast had cut the deficit to 13 points midway through the third term of its clash with Carlton, before Voss' side kicked five goals to nothing in the opening 16 minutes of the final term to stretch the margin to 47 points.

Port Adelaide trailed by a single point late in the third term of its clash with Carlton at the Adelaide Oval, before the Blues piled on four goals in the first six minutes of the last quarter – and five goals to two in the opening 15 minutes – to seal the deal.

Essendon was coming with a rush against Carlton in its King's Birthday Eve clash, kicking 10 of the 12 scores in the third quarter and whittling the margin down to just 15 points at the final change. But the Blues then piled on the first six scores of the final term – resulting in four straight goals in just a tick over 10 minutes – to extend their lead to 35 points and secure yet another vital victory.

It was a similar story last Friday night at the MCG, where Geelong kicked three consecutive goals to end the third quarter and reduce a once intimidating deficit to just 27 points at three-quarter time.

Carlton then kicked four unanswered goals in 13 minutes to start the last quarter, with Geelong mustering a meagre one behind in response, to ensure the lead quickly ballooned back to 50 points in no time.


The club's final margins of victory in those four matches – 29 points against Gold Coast, 36 points against Port Adelaide, 26 points against Essendon, and 63 points against Geelong – belies how each of those games were in the balance at one point.

Speaking on AFL.com.au's The Round So Far over the weekend, Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes suggested that Carlton's ability to put opponents to the sword in last terms was a byproduct of high-performance boss Andrew Russell's work.

"He got a bad rap when they were having a lot of soft-tissue injuries," Cornes said.


"Andrew Russell ... he's their high-performance manager. He's won premierships at Port Adelaide and he's won premierships at Hawthorn. Maybe he's just got this group absolutely peaking.

"There may be a little bit of chaos but he's got them on the edge, so you lose a couple through soft tissues. But give me that record in last quarters and crunch time any day of the week.

"You know if they're level or if they're a couple of goals behind at three-quarter time, look out. That's what the best teams do, they score in bunches and clumps of goals and that's what the Blues are doing."


Rd 11 v Gold Coast: 5.0 (30) to 0.0 (0)
Rd 12 v Port Adelaide: 5.0 (30) to 2.1 (13)
Rd 13 v Essendon: 4.2 (26) to 1.0 (6)
Rd 15 v Geelong: 4.0 (24) to 0.1 (1)