Sam Walsh celebrates a goal for Carlton against Richmond in R16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

A STUNNING burst of five goals in less than four minutes in the third quarter has helped Carlton overcome a brave Richmond side by 61 points and move six points clear inside the top two with eight rounds left in the home-and-away season.

After a tight opening half, the Tigers continued to defy the form guide and moved to within a kick when Noah Balta landed the first major of the third quarter.

TIGERS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

But Carlton kicked the next seven goals of the term, including a run of five in just three minutes and 56 seconds of game time, as midfield stars Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh put the foot down.

And the Blues cruised home to win 20.11 (131) to 10.10 (70) as the rain tumbled at the MCG in the final term, with Cripps leading the way with 40 disposals, 13 clearances and a goal.

The goals were shared by the Blues, who had 11 individual goalkickers and were led by four from Orazio Fantasia, while Balta kicked three for the Tigers.


Richmond will be hoping for good news on star Dustin Martin, who was subbed out in the third quarter with a back injury after managing just seven disposals.

Blake Acres (33 disposals), Nic Newman (28) and Matt Kennedy (21) were all busy for Carlton, as was Adam Cerra (23), who was substituted out of his first game back from a hamstring injury.

Kennedy also failed to finish the match, sitting out the latter stages with a knee complaint.


Fantasia (four) and Lachie Fogarty (three) were the most prolific of six multiple goal-kickers for the Blues in a powerful team performance.

Tim Taranto (27 disposals) fought against the tide for Richmond and Daniel Rioli (24) showcased his superb ball use, while Jacob Hopper (25) worked hard on his return from a hamstring injury.

Balta was the Tigers' leading goal-kicker with three, while Ben Miller did a good job to restrict Coleman Medal leader Charlie Curnow to just two goals and seven disposals.


Carlton swung a late change when in-form ruckman Tom De Koning (managed/soreness) pulled out, replaced by Marc Pittonet.

After a tight first term, Carlton's lead quickly swelled to 29 points early in the second quarter before the Tigers responded with four of the next five majors to cut the margin back to 12 points at the main break.

The Tigers sniffed an upset when Balta put them within touching distance early in the third term.


But Fantasia responded with his second major and another goal to Harry McKay, who was paid a controversial mark after Newman's pass was touched off the boot, signalled the start of Carlton's match-winning blitz.

The result left Richmond (2-13) sitting second-last on the ladder ahead of an interstate trip to face Fremantle next round.


Nervous wait for Dusty
Fresh off the deserved celebrations for his 100th game, Dustin Martin had little impact on Sunday and received treatment for an apparent back issue before being subbed out in the third quarter. The Tigers have been smashed by injuries this season and can ill afford another, especially to one of their experienced players. More broadly, with Martin out of contract and coming towards the end of his career, any possible setback will only add to speculation that he will retire at the end of the season.

Dustin Martin receives treatment during Richmond's match against Carlton in R16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Richmond denied by a split second
Kamdyn McIntosh was denied one of the most bizarre goals of the year by a matter of seconds, even if it took the Tigers a while to realise it. With time ticking down at the end of the first quarter, McIntosh launched the ball from beyond 70m just a split second after the siren sounded. He then watched as the ball evaded the fingers of a pack of players and bounced, bounced and bounced over the goal line, just out of reach of Blues defender Brodie Kemp. The Tigers celebrated wildly and took some time to realise the goal - correctly - had been ruled out.


Charlie's streak continues - just
Ben Miller was one of Richmond's best on Sunday, keeping two-time Coleman Medal winner Charlie Curnow to just seven disposals for the day. The Blues star, however, did manage to kick two goals, the second of which came in the final minutes of the match, to keep his remarkable streak alive. Curnow has kicked multiple goals in all 15 games Carlton has played so far this season, just the second man to do so in nearly three decades after Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown in 2009.

RICHMOND      2.1    6.2     7.6     10.10 (70)
CARLTON       2.4     7.8     14.9     20.11 (131)

Richmond: Balta 3, Koschitzke 2, Baker, Nankervis, Sonsie, Taranto
Carlton: Fantasia 4, Fogarty 3, McKay 2, Walsh 2, Curnow 2, Cincotta 2, Kennedy, Owies, Williams, Cripps, Hollands

Richmond: Miller, Taranto, Nankervis, Hopper, Rioli
Carlton: Cripps, Walsh, Fantasia, Newman, Weitering, Kennedy, Acres

Richmond: Dustin Martin (back)
Carlton: Matthew Kennedy (knee)

Richmond: None
Carlton: Tom De Koning (soreness, replaced in the selected side by Marc Pittonet)

Richmond: Sam Banks (replaced Dustin Martin in the third quarter)
Carlton: George Hewett (replaced Adam Cerra in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 58,298 at the MCG