Carlton forward Charlie Curnow sent a scare as he limped off in the Blues’ comfortable AFL win over North Melbourne

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North Melbourne remain without a win in 2024 after their ill-disciplined 56-point loss to Carlton on Good Friday.

The Roos coughed up six 50m penalties during the clash at Marvel Stadium, as the Blues took full advantage to run out 21.11 (137) to 12.9 (81) winners.

Harry McKay (five goals) and Charlie Curnow (four goals) were the stars of the show in attack as the Blues became the first side in 2024 to crack the 20-goal mark.

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But the win wasn’t without worry with Curnow sending a scare through the Carlton camp when he limped from the field late in the contest with an ankle injury.

He wasn’t the only injury concern, with North Melbourne losing Callum Coleman-Jones (Achilles) and the Blues without Caleb Marchbank (head knock) late.

North Melbourne were off to the perfect start with three quick goals to get their fans up and about on Good Friday.

It took a “harsh” penalty against North’s Toby Pink for failing to stand on the wing to allow Corey Durdin to capitalise and get the Blues going on the scoreboard.

“Jeez it hurts when you give away 50 there,” commentator Patrick Dangerfield said.

“That’s just the cardinal sin giving it away there.”

When Kallan Dawson panicked under the quick ball and coughed up the free kick to Curnow, the Blues hit the lead.

“That’s three now. Three free kicks inside 50 for the holds,” Richardson said in the opening term.

“You’ve got to be aware that it looks like any sort of that stuff is going to be paid today.”

An undersized Aidan Corr then conceded the fourth free kick inside 50 to help Carlton to a fourth goal for the quarter.

With a 16-point buffer at the first change, Carlton continued to apply the pressure inside 50 – forcing the Roos to cough up the footy.

And when Harry Sheezel failed to stand in the centre of the ground, “alarm bells” were going off for North Melbourne as Blake Acres added Carlton’s sixth straight major.

The day soured for the Roos with play stopped when big man Callum Coleman-Jones went down with an Achilles injury.

A clearly distressed Coleman-Jones was placed on the stretcher and carted from the field in sombre scenes.

“He’s really distressed behind play. You can see the concern all around him,” commentator Luke Darcy said.

“You don’t like seeing it,” Richardson said.

After the break in play, the Blues continued to pull away as their twin towers in Curnow and McKay ran riot.

They had five goals between them before halftime as Roos coach Alastair Clarkson was left without answers on how to combat the duo.

At the main break, it was Carlton leading 68-39.

A more determined North outfit kicked back-to-back goals to open the third term, but again ill-discipline inside 50 was costing the side dearly.

Curnow had two goals in a matter of minutes in ominous signs as Corr struggled to contain the big Blue.

His second for the term was made a certainty when limping Roo George Wardlaw hobbled through the mark as he attempted to get to the bench.

“50 there just feels harsh!” Richardson said.

“Sometimes I wish there was just a bit of a commonsense approach to that.

“Curnow wasn’t even ready to start his approach.

“It didn’t affect anything that (walking through the mark).”

As the margin pushed beyond 40 points, North’s luck finally appeared to turn when Eddie Ford streaked towards goal.

But he was deemed to have thrown the ball in a tackle – as the Roos then coughed up their fifth 50m penalty of the game, leaving North fans up in arms.

“Just deflating as a team when you’re running into an open goal and get pinged for a throw and the opposition carry it the length of the field,” Dangerfield said.

“North fans feel they’re not getting the rub of the green,” Darcy added.

Tempers spilled over late in the third when Mitch McGovern nailed Nick Larkey – sparking a furious response.

Larkey then threw his Carlton opponent to the ground, igniting the push and shove.

That ensured the Roos conceded a sixth 50m penalty before three quarter time.

“That just takes the wind right out of your sails,” Darcy said.

Leading by 35 points at the final change, the Blues held their breath when first Caleb Marchbank was assisted from the field after a heavy collision and then Curnow made his way from the field with the trainer.

While Marchbank failed to return, Curnow was seen getting his ankle restrapped on the bench.

Elijah Hollands gave Carlton fans more to smile about with his first goal in the navy blue.

By full time, the margin had pushed out to 56 points.

Originally published as Carlton star sends scare as ill-disciplined Roos cough up ‘deflating’ loss

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