Blues earn important win scrappy game against Port Adelaide.
Marc Murphy picked a good time to star for the Carlon Blues with the on-field leader kicking three goals in his sides narrow 18-point against Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium.
Starting as a forward in his 150th AFL game, Murphy was the linchpin for his side as he accumulated 24 disposals to go with his three majors in the 16.13 (109) to 14.7 (91) victory.
While the win has Carlton on the cups of re-entering the top eight they are far from a polished product, with coach Mick Malthouse admitting as much after the game.
“We took a lot of marks inside 50, which we didn’t captalise on, they (Port Adelaide) are a very good running side,” Malthouse said.
Normally a midfield gun, Murphy said he enjoyed his time in the forward line and said his personal playing milestone did not mean as much to him as the four competition points.
“I was a little disappointed in my performance last Monday so it was good to put in an OK performance tonight and I enjoyed my time up forward,” Murphy said.
“Once the boys run down the race it (milestone) is just forgotten. Opposition teams don’t allow for niceties.”
Despite shifting Jarrad White and Matthew Kreuzer up forward the two Carlton big men were largely ineffective as again the Blues had to rely on their small men to pick up the slack.
Jeff Garlett was on-song in kicking four goals for the game as Carlton led from sire-to-siren against the disappointing Power side.
Port Adelaide lost former skipper Domenic Cassisi to a hamstring injury and talented midfielder Hamish Hartlett is likely to face match review panel trouble over a third-term meltdown.
After having a kick smothered, an angry Hartlett remonstrated with teammates before he delivered a right arm jab to Murphy’s stomach, then followed up with a left arm to the head as the Carlton skipper crouched over in pain.
Carlton will look to stay on a roll when they take on the Brisbane Lions fresh off their upset win over Essendon.
While Port Adelaide will be desperate to find some of their earl season form when they travel to one what is traditionally a graveyard for visiting teams, when they take on the Geelong Cats at AAMI Stadium.