Carlton has been given a brutal reality check after a disappointing performance against Port Adelaide in the AFL on Saturday night.
An injury-riddled Power outfit secured a 28-point victory at the MCG, with the Blues coming under fire for their inaccurate kicking and lacklustre defence.
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Carlton’s forward line missed several regulation shots in front of goal as the hosts finished with nine majors and 14 behinds.
Despite recording 10 more inside 50s during the round five encounter, Carlton ultimately suffered a 15.6 (96) to 9.14 (68) defeat.
The insipid display from the Blues was met with a chorus of boos from a section of fans at three-quarter time.
Several commentators and former AFL stars questioned the side's attitude and skill level, with Power great Kane Cornes taking particular aim at the Blues' defence.
“They’ve been in the contest, but their skill level and effort going forward has been poor," Cornes told SEN.
“They’re just lacking some polish.
“Carlton has been horrible defensively — do you really want to defend and be hard to play against? Those are the questions I would want to be asking.”
Former Fremantle star Michael Barlow added: “Carlton is close to tossing in the towel, some of their efforts are borderline horrendous.”
A damning statistic for Carlton coach David Teague is the disposal numbers for his men - with Carlton players making up 10 of the game's lowest 12 figures.
Injured Port stars Hamish Hartlett and Dan Houston were the other two players to make up the bottom 12.
Teague admitted after the match that Carlton needed to be better for longer if they're to kick on and seal a statement win against a top AFL team ahead of a month that includes games against Brisbane, the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne.
Coming off back-to-back wins, the Blues had hoped to land a big scalp against Port Adelaide but instead fell well short in their 28-point loss.
Blues have 'got to be better'
Teague was left to lament the gulf in class between the Blues' failure to convert going forward and Port Adelaide's far slicker connection.
"Against the good sides you can't hang in there and beat them when you're not at your best - you need to be at your best and we've got to get better," Teague said.
"Last year, we were in a lot of these games - Port kicked a goal after the siren to beat us, we had West Coast over there in a good spot for a while.
"We're thereabouts. We've got to become more consistent with it and just do it for longer.
"Even the Richmond game, we were in it but we've got to be able to make the right plays when it matters most."
The Blues host Brisbane next Saturday, then face Essendon before taking on the currently undefeated Bulldogs and Demons.
"You want to play in these games and you want to compete against the best," Teague said.
"Now at the end of the day you want to beat the best - and that's what we've got to get to and right now, today tells us that we're not there yet.
"We get another opportunity next week against Brisbane, who just had a big win so they're in form.
"So (it's a) great challenge for us. We look forward to these challenges and you want to play the good teams and that's what we need to do. We need to beat these teams to show our progression."
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