Carlton are facing a nervous wait for the AFL match review officer’s report with captain Patrick Cripps in hot water for a high bump during Sunday’s 33-point loss to Brisbane.
Cripps caught Lion Callum Ah Chee high in the second quarter, having left his feet in a marking contest, as Brisbane rebounded from last weekend’s loss to Richmond to secure a 17.12 (114) to 12.9 (81) win at the Gabba.
Ah Chee was left prone after the collision, receiving attention from trainers before being subbed out of the game due to a concussion.
While Blues’ coach Michael Voss conceded the incident would be looked at, he mounted a spirited defence of the talismanic Cripps.
“I thought it was a good contest,” Voss.
“The umpire probably told the story, didnt he? He didn’t pay a free kick, did he?
“From what I’ve seen the arms were outstretched and it was a pretty even contest.
“If we are asking players to make micro-second decisions, I don’t know whether the game enables that. I really don’t.”
Voss said Ah Chee failing to play out the game should not be a factor in any potential sanctioning of Cripps.
“I don’t think he is there to cradle the person to the ground, is he?” Voss said.
“It was unfortunate, we hope he is okay. Clearly, we have empathy in terms of that side of things but we’ve also got to respect that the game is going to be evenly contested, and that looked like an even contest to me.”
A three-goal burst after that incident for the Blues was sandwiched between two four-goal runs by the home team, who took a 35-point lead into the main break.
Brisbane stretched that lead to 58 points during the third quarter before Carlton came home with a wet sail to reduce the deficit to just 15 points with three minutes to play.
Lions’ nerves would have been jangling after they had surrendered a 42-point lead against the Tigers, but three quickfire goals in the dying minutes secured the win for the fifth-placed team.
“I thought in the first three quarters we just played a magnificent brand of footy,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said.
“It was sort of disappointing to have that last quarter, but I guess it’s a good reminder of what can happen if you perhaps get a little bit too adventurous with your ball movement and maybe just drop off a little bit defensively.
“That’s probably the most disappointing part.
“We’d kept a pretty good scoring team to 32 points at three-quarter time and they end up kicking 81.
“We’ll take the lessons from that but overall tonight, really good response to last week and happy to get the four points.”
Zac Bailey, subbed out in the Tigers’ defeat, kicked four goals for the home team while Daniel McStay also slotted four and Charlie Cameron two.
Brisbane skipper Dayne Zorko put in one of his most influential displays of the season with 22 disposals, a goal and nine score involvements while Lachie Neale (32 disposals, nine clearances, 10 score involvements) was also key.
Curnow, Zac Fisher and Jesse Motlop each had two goals for the Blues. Defender Jacob Weitering played well in keeping Joe Daniher quiet and Sam Docherty (28 disposals, seven marks) was also impressive.
As well as Ah Chee, the Lions lost key defender Marcus Adams in the final term after a heavy knock to his ribs in a marking contest, while Carlton’s Jack Martin was subbed off with calf tightness late in the match.
Seventh-placed Carlton, chasing a first finals berth since 2013, face Melbourne and Collingwood in their last home-and-away fixtures, while Brisbane play St Kilda and the Demons.