The Blues went down by 36 points at GIANTS Stadium, as the Giants put on a physical display and were very accurate in front in goal.
Harry McKay slotted three goals while Matt Kennedy gathered a team-high 27 disposals.
It was the Giants which took the early ascendancy, opening proceedings with the first three goals of the game while the Blues struggled to get their hands on the footy. Patrick Cripps led from the front in getting his side back into the game early, providing physical pressure while also having an impact in the air. Liam Jones was busy in the back half, while it was Matthew Owies who got the ball rolling on the scoreboard with Carlton's opening goal. Lachie Fogarty kept the Blues in it with his first goal, but it was a 20-point lead to GWS at quarter time after a Toby Greene torpedo on the siren.
The second term followed the roadmap of the first, with GWS able to dictate the pattern of play before a Harry McKay goal - his 39th of the season - was badly needed for the Blues. Carlton was looking to press in the first half of the second term, but a Giants goal sapped the visitors of any momentum as the home side got the game on their terms. It was the Giants' pressure which the Blues couldn't match, ultimately trailing by an even five goals at the main break.
Things didn't look good for the Blues when the Giants opened the scoring in the third term, with the margin ballooning out to a game-high 39-point lead after a Kieren Briggs goal. A sprint through the middle of the ground from Adam Saad and Liam Stocker was the impetus Carlton need, with Owies' second goal not only breaking a scoring drought but kickstarting a Carlton run. As has been the case so often in 2021, Harry McKay was the danger man in attack with two quick majors, before a close-range Tom De Koning major after clever work from Jack Silvagni had the Blues within two kicks. The work of Matthew Kennedy - who spent time up forward, inside the contest and on a wing throughout the course of the evening - was a major positive for the Blues, while it was Marc Pittonet's work at the centre bounce which got the ball going Carlton's way.
It was Pittonet who answered Jeremy Finlayson's late third-quarter goal to potentially kickstart things for the Blues, once again pushing to within two goals of their opponents. However, Carlton's task got much more difficult when Finlayson and multiple goals to Greene pushed the margin out to five goals. With the Blues needing to go at the game late, Adam Saad used his speed and penetrating kick to provide rebound from defence, while Jack Newnes found his way into the contest after being subbed on for the injured Luke Parks. A late Zac Fisher goal was nothing but consolation as the Giants piled on the late goals to end the game with a 36-point win.
GWS GIANTS 5.3 8.4 11.4 16.6 (102)
CARLTON 2.1 3.4 7.10 9.12 (66)
Carlton: McKay 3, Owies 2, De Koning, Fisher, Fogarty, Pittonet