Carlton’s season is almost certainly over after the Gold Coast Suns pulled off a shock third win of the season to smash any hopes the Blues had.
Carlton's road heading into the finals was looking good. They had easy beats Gold Coast ahead with St Kilda the week after- another winnable one.
The Blues 98-86 loss sees them remain a game behind Fremantle. If the Dockers were to lose Sunday to North Melbourne, it would take a miracle for them to lose to Melbourne the following week and fall out of the eighth spot.
Gold Coast ambushed their visitors and quickly got off to a 37-15 first quarter lead before increasing it to 40-points in the following quarter. Carlton fought back in the third, coming within four points, but weren’t good enough to get over the hump.
Coach Brett Ratten will come under heavy scrutiny for the loss. Carlton started the season as a top four favourite, but a huge drop off during the second third of the home and away schedule saw them fall from the eight. If Ratten survives the week, St Kilda in round 23 could be his last game as coach of Carlton.
Lynch kicked four goals for Gold Coast while star Gary Ablett collected 23 disposals and booted a goal.
Over in Perth, West Coast thumped Collingwood 107-58 in a game that was expected to be much closer than it was.
The win propels West Coast back into the top four (third) while Collingwood falls to fifth.
Collingwood were by far the better team in the first quarter and took a 12-point lead into the first change, but the tides changed soon after that and West Coast simply dominated their opponents.
Daniel Kerr had a game-high 36 disposals and kicked a goal for the Eagles while Luke Shuey was the only multiple goal scorer for a team that kicked 15 majors.