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Match report: Impressive Blues down Saints

JLT Highlights: Carlton v St Kilda The Blues and Saints clash in the JLT

CARLTON beat a near full-strength St Kilda by 22 points at Ikon Park on Wednesday night, but the best news for the Blues was the form of star midfielder Patrick Cripps, who showed he can help solve their scoring woes.

Full match coverage and stats

After a tough 2017 season that ended with a broken left leg, Cripps returned in ominous form, booting a couple of goals in the first quarter for last year's lowest-scoring side. 

The No.3 selection from last year's NAB AFL Draft, Paddy Dow, also gave Carlton fans plenty to be excited about in picking up 13 disposals and booting two goals, with his class and speed quickly apparent.

Wow Dow: Blue dazzles despite losing teeth

The lighting was once again an issue after Brisbane's AFLW coach Craig Starcevich slammed the conditions a fortnight ago, but the Blues adapted well to the dim surrounds to seal a 13.11 (89) to 9.13 (67) win in their opening JLT Community Series clash.

It seems Carlton coach Brendon Bolton may have another dangerous option in attack with ruckman Matthew Kreuzer showing signs there as well. He bodied his St Kilda counterpart Billy Longer well and nailed a set shot from deep in the pocket to kick the first of two goals, and showcased a clean pair of hands with an excellent pick-up later in the game. 

St Kilda would have been disappointed after picking a side missing only Jack Billings and Josh Bruce from its best team. 

Young forward Paddy McCartin looked dangerous in attack and slotted two goals while tough onballer David Armitage made his impact felt from the first bounce, picking up 24 disposals and getting involved in several physical altercations.

Match review officer Michael Christian will take a close look at the scuffle in the second term that started after Blues backman Kade Simpson caught Jack Sinclair late but there will likely be no ramification for that incident.

Saints captain Jarryn Geary copped a head knock in the second term after a heavy hit from Harry McKay and sat out the second half, while Jarrod Garlett hurt his left shoulder after laying a great tackle on Jack Steven in the third term and didn't return.


Carlton: There's no reason to be pessimistic about the Blues for 2018. Their list has plenty of young players and there will be inconsistency but Brendon Bolton has shown his teams are often staunch in defence and are competitive most weeks. They should have a deeper midfield, with Zac Fisher showing his prowess in there, while Paddy Dow and Matthew Kennedy looked like they will be handy additions.

WATCH: David Teague's post-match media conference

St Kilda: Don't be concerned about David Armitage. He had two groin surgeries last season, which is not a great sign for a 29-year-old. But he returned with plenty of vigour and impressed everyone, including his coach Alan Richardson. Armitage will offer leadership and hardness around the footy. 

WATCH: Alan Richardson's post-match media conference

Carlton: It's not hard to see why Paddy Dow was selected with the third overall pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft. He looked so smooth, especially when he burst from a stoppage in the third term and drilled Levi Casboult with a perfect pass. He also showed his toughness by playing on despite losing his two front teeth. Former Greater Western Sydney midfielder Matthew Kennedy picked up 15 disposals while spending plenty of time in the guts after a pre-season hampered by shoulder surgery. Jarrod Garlett showed desperation in collecting a first-quarter ground ball and hurt his left shoulder while laying a fierce tackle on Jack Steven. Former Roo Aaron Mullett had 14 disposals and last year's No.10 selection Lochie O'Brien had eight.

St Kilda: On a disappointing night, at least high draft picks Nick Coffield and Hunter Clark impressed. Coffield picked up 20 disposals stationed in defence, while Clark finished with two goals and worked his way through contested situations well. Clark also showed he could distribute the ball on both sides of his body. 

St Kilda travels to Casey Fields in Cranbourne next Thursday night to take on Melbourne in a battle of two sides on the rise, while Carlton faces Hawthorn on Saturday night at the University of Tasmania Stadium

CARLTON        5.3      8.4     11.6     13.11 (89)
ST KILDA        1.0      4.7     7.10      9.13 (67)

Carlton: Cripps 2, Kreuzer 2, Dow 2, Wright 2, J.Silvagni, Garlett, Simpson, Casboult, McKay
St Kilda: Clark 2, Membrey 2, McCartin 2, Wright, Gresham, Carlisle 

Carlton: Cripps, Kreuzer, Jones, Marchbank, Murphy, Fisher, E.Curnow
St Kilda: Steven, Armitage, McCartin, Savage, Ross, Lonie 

Carlton: Garlett (left shoulder)
St Kilda: Geary (head)  

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Margetts, Deboy, Brown, Pannell 

Official crowd: 8098 at Ikon Park