The Adelaide Crows stunned the AFL world with an extraordinary performance in the first half against Carlton on Sunday.
Fighting to keep their slim finals hopes alive, Carlton were “absolutely destroyed” in the first half by the last-placed Crows at Metricon Stadium.
‘LOST THE PLOT’: AFL world erupts over 'ludicrous' farce
At half-time the Crows led 53-9 - their highest score at the main break all year.
In commentary for the match, Western Bulldogs great Brad Johnson said the Crows “absolutely destroyed” Carlton in the first term.
Adelaide won the disposals, contested possessions, clearances and inside 50s comfortably, leading by 31 points at quarter-time.
“The Crows are in full flight,” Dwayne Russell said in commentary for Fox Footy.
Geelong great Cameron Mooney said the Blues were showing “no care”.
“That was a really poor start,” Mooney said.
“There’s been a wobbly, shank kicks from Carlton. Nothing clean off the boot.”
Johnson added: “It’s an absolute clinic by the Adelaide Crows. They’re capitalising on mistakes.
“You deserve to be punished. If you’re going to use the ball that bad or kick it this poorly at this level, you deserve to be punished the other way.”
Carlton coach David League was exasperated at half time.
“They’re smashing us in the contest … and then their ability to run and spread, they’re getting too many uncontested possessions on the back of their contest wins,” he told Fox Footy.
Fans flocked to social media in disbelief at the half-time score.
Ok, what on earth is that Carlton-Adelaide score #aflbluescrows— Josh Lloyd (@redrock_bball) September 13, 2020
The top 9 ball winners at HT are Crows.— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) September 13, 2020
192 disposals to 126.
43 points is Adelaide’s biggest lead of the year . This is absolutely embarrassing from Carlton #AFLBluesCrows— Ronny Lerner (@RonnyLerner) September 13, 2020
They look tired and disinterested, and they've made me angry and upset. #AFLBluesCrows— Navyblue_Bec (@navyblue_bec) September 13, 2020
To make matters worse for the Blues, Sam Docherty was ruled out with a calf injury at quarter-time.
Crows playing perfect spoiler role
It comes after the Crows shocked the GWS Giants last week - another team whose finals hopes are in freefall.
Greater Western Sydney’s hopes of making the top eight are hanging by a thread after Saturday's five-point loss to Melbourne at the Gabba.
The Giants have slipped out of the top eight with just one home-and-away game remaining against St Kilda next Friday.
Even a win over the Saints may not be enough for GWS to sneak in to the top eight, with their destiny now out of their hands.
While Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and the Giants are all on 32 points, the Demons have a superior percentage and the Bulldogs can move clear of both teams when they play Hawthorn on Sunday in their penultimate fixture.
Having made finals the past four seasons and after their stirring run to last year's grand final, Cameron conceded a year outside the top eight would be hard pill to swallow.
“Absolutely. It'll be really disappointing. You can't sugar coat that. It's out of our hands,” Cameron said.
“We've got to play a really good brand of footy next Friday against St Kilda.
“But absolutely, you know we've been here for four years in a row and you can't dispute that.”
Stung by their loss to lowly Adelaide, the Giants made the bold step of axing captain Stephen Coniglio heading into the Demons match.
Cameron wasn’t willing to say if Coniglio would be brought straight back in to the side for Friday's must-win clash against the Saints, adding other senior players were also on notice.
“I understand that was a huge decision for our footy club but myself and Stephen and our match committee understand that he's been out of form,” Cameron said.
“If there has to be more tough calls next week there will be, because our season's been like that. We haven't turned up all the time.”