And then there were 11.
Carlton’s season is officially over after they were overrun by the Giants in an ugly, sloppy contest that has come under fire from commentators across the league.
The Blues fell apart in the fourth quarter, giving up a 15-point lead at the final change of ends before falling 6.12 (48) to 5.9 (39).
Both sides struggled to create scoring opportunities in the dour affair which was highlighted by the Giants’ woeful half time score of 1.9 (15) — the worst accuracy in a half of football this season.
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As bad as the Giants were — the Blues were even worse.
The Blues were kept goalless in the second half of their loss to Collingwood over the weekend and only managed one in the second half against the Giants as GWS kicked five of the last six goals of the game.
In a game that was essentially an eliminator just a few weeks out from finals — neither side played like their seasons were on the line.
Carlton’s elimination leaves just 11 teams still in the race to play finals footy with the Demons, Bulldogs and Bombers standing on the outside looking in.
Collingwood champion Dane Swan said early in the second half of the ugly contest that it appeared neither team even wanted to keep their seasons alive while it means spending more time in the Queensland hub.
“It’s clearly evident on tonight’s games that no one wants 8th spot and they just want out of hub and not play for The no one cares worst premiership cup ever this year.” he posted on Twitter.
Former footy reporter at The Age Rohan Connolly posted: “God there really has been some rancid football over the last few days. #AFLGiantsBlues”.
Channel 9 journalist Tom Rehn also wrote on Twitter: “This game of football needs to be deleted from the archives before it finishes. #AFLGiantsBlues”.
After the game, Fox Footy commentator Garry Lyon described the contest as “a nothing game”.
JEREMY CAMERON ‘SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED’
Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown singled out Giants forward Jeremy Cameron after the game, saying the star forward was made to look second rate by teammate Jake Riccardi.
Cameron didn’t register a score, failed to take a mark and laid just one tackle.
“When Jeremy Cameron goes back and watches the replay tonight and sees what Riccardi did in those moments and the way he gets around the field and the way he competes, Jeremy should be embarrassed,” Brown told Fox Footy.
“And I’m a fan of Jeremy Cameron’s, but too many times this year he’s looked disinterested and he hasn’t played like a big man.
“He’s a key forward. He’s a power forward. He gets paid like a key forward and he needs to take hold of those moments with physicality and he just hasn’t been able to do it. Riccardi is showing the way. A third-gamer is showing the highest-paid player in the competition the way to do it – and they play the same position.”
Trailing by 15 points at three-quarter time, Giants rising star Riccardi kicked the first two goals of the fourth quarter to make it a three-point game.
When Harry Perryman got on the end of a loose ball at the top of the square after the Giants again got in behind the Blues’ defence, the Giants had hit the front for the first time since the first quarter with 11 minutes to play.
Carlton struggled to find targets up forward and never looked like challenging the Giants at the death.
The win sees the Giants jump the Demons and claim a spot in the top eight.
The Blues’ season is over.