The first four matches of the AFL season have been won by the four newest teams in the league.
Port Adelaide’s last-quarter domination of Carlton on Sunday night means the four newest AFL teams have started the season with wins.
The Power kicked seven goals to one in the final term to beat the Blues by 33 points at Etihad Stadium, 18.12 (120) to 12.15 (87).
Key forward Justin Westhoff kicked five goals, four of them during the second quarter in a massive contribution.
Blues defender Andrew Walker was booked in the last quarter for rough conduct when he threw Angus Monfries into the fence.
Walker will also be under video scrutiny for a crude challenge on Westhoff in the second term that briefly forced the Port spearhead from the field.
Second-year player Ollie Wines also starred for Port with 28 possessions in the midfield, 19 of them contested, and former Brisbane player Jared Polec impressed in his first game for .
Port join Fremantle, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney as winners on the first weekend of the split opening round.
It is a run of results that will delight the AFL, with its heavy focus on national expansion.
The Power players wore black armbands to honour their former assistant coach Dean Bailey, who died last week of cancer.
Carlton’s star free-agent recruit Dale Thomas and fellow key signing Andrejs Everitt kicked the first two goals of the match, with Port struggling to gain any possessions.
The Blues dominated the clearances and contested ball in the first quarter, restricting Port to just one goal and taking a 22-point lead.
But Westhoff dominated opponent Matthew Watson in the second term, kicking four goals as Port fought back.
Westhoff groggily went off the ground after Walker collected him, but not before kicking his third.
Two-straight goals gave Carlton a 24-point lead midway through the second term, but Port kicked the last two of the half to trail by only eight points.
The Power surge went up a gear at the start of the third term with four goals in seven minutes, giving them the lead for the first time.
But their 16-point advantage did not last long, as two goals to Blues key forward Jarrad Waite helped take Carlton to a six-point lead at the last change.
It was one-way traffic from there, with Robbie Gray kicking three goals in the last quarter to give him four for the match.
Small forward Ed Curnow was Carlton’s best with 19 disposals and two goals.
Port coach Ken Hinkley said it was no accident that his team finished the game so well.
“One hundred per cent honest – we’re just a great running team – teams know that,” he said.
“Teams know they’re going to play against hard-running Port Adelaide.
“We’re going to make it a tough day.
“If you come and play against Port Adelaide, you’re going to run and you’re going to have to run really hard for four quarters.”
Hinkley added he put the acid on the leaders in the team at half-time and was impressed with how they responded.
“I had a real go at them about what we were trying to achieve,” he said.
“Most of them were struggling a little bit in the first half.
“What a response they gave us, the way they went about it – Ebert and Boak and Gray, even Trengove was stronger again in the second half.
“Hartlett got going … Monfries and Lobbe – they just did what leaders do and willed themselves into the contest.”
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse said there was no denying that Port blew away his team in the last term.
He added too many Blues players lack match hardness following interrupted pre-seasons.
“It was almost typical – the players that had been struggling and had interrupted pre-seasons really did struggle in the last quarter,” he said.
“The compounding effect is you keep the same players on the ground.
“There were some good fightbacks but certainly the last quarter was very dismal.”