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Blues expect Cripps in clear after AFL win

Carlton coach Michael Voss would be “staggered” if Patrick Cripps received an AFL sanction over the tackle that led to Adelaide opponent Lachlan Murphy’s neck injury.

Cripps and six-goal forward Charlie Curnow were outstanding as the Blues posted a thumping 17.14 (116) to 10.8 (68) win at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

They lost livewire forward Jack Martin to a calf injury but that was one of few negatives for Voss as his side posted the highest score of his tenure and surged back into the top four with a 6-2 record.

Cripps’ strong third-quarter tackle on Murphy left the Adelaide forward nursing a sore neck and he was substituted out of the contest.

Murphy had surgery on a bulging disc in his neck in December and the Crows opted to take a cautious approach after his head hit the turf in the tackle.

A suspension would leave Brownlow Medal favourite Cripps ineligible for the competition’s most prestigious individual honour, but Voss feels his skipper has nothing to worry about.

“You’re probably asking the wrong person, it would be slightly biased, but geez, I’d be staggered if it goes any further, to be honest,” Voss said.

Stand-in Adelaide coach Scott Burns said Murphy was “pretty sore” and would need to undergo further assessment before the Crows learned the full extent of the damage.

“There is (concern), to an extent, but I’m not all over it,” Burns said.

Cripps almost certainly earned another three Brownlow votes after starring with 35 disposals, nine clearances and two goals.

He set the tone early with his work in heavy traffic and won 19 contested possessions despite close attention from Jackson Hately.

Cripps also had three score assists, including one play when he grabbed a loose ball and burst through two tackles to set up a goal for Jack Silvagni.

Fellow midfielders Adam Cerra (27 disposals), Sam Walsh (26) and Matthew Kennedy (23) followed Cripps’ lead as twin towers Curnow (six goals) and Harry McKay (three) feasted on the supply in attack.

Carlton kicked six unanswered goals in the third quarter and the lead blew out to 68 points before Adelaide kicked five goals to two in the final term.

“It was a really powerful performance,” Voss said.

“It was an arm wrestle for different stages of the game but in the third quarter when we had our opportunity we really took it.

“That’s built off the back of having some strong stability and some good territory on the night, and then it was about the finish.

“It was a really strong display and a lot more sustained intensity across the night, which is something we’ve been working on.”

Jordan Dawson (30 disposals), Rory Laird (33) and stand-in captain Ben Keays (29) fought hard for Adelaide as Taylor Walker and Shane McAdam kicked two goals each.

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