Betts firing in Blues' return to AFL form

Eddie Betts was on fire in Carlton's AFL win over the Western Bulldogs.
Eddie Betts was on fire in Carlton's AFL win over the Western Bulldogs.

Carlton's forward line functions a hell of a lot better with Eddie Betts in it.

The veteran small forward turned back the clock on Sunday night with a majestic four-goal performance in the Blues' 52-point AFL demolition of the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.

Betts played a crucial role in the Blues' attacking game style which made a mockery of commentary around the state of the game.

Carlton's 16.7 (103) score was the biggest kicked by any team since round two.

While there were critics of David Teague's decision to bring Betts back to the club during the off-season, the rookie Carlton coach always knew it was the right decision for a young and developing team.

"I didn't need tonight to know it was the right decision," Teague said.

"The work he (Betts) does before round one told us it was the right decision.

"He's a quality person. He teaches and educates those around him. The leadership and guidance he's shown all our forwards (is outstanding), but particularly our small forwards.

"We're very excited to have him back in the navy blue."

Despite being on the wrong end of the inside-50 count (53-41) against the Dogs, Carlton kicked the highest AFL score by any team since round two.

While Betts finished with his biggest bag of goals since round 17 last year, tall forwards Harry McKay and Mitch McGovern also grew in confidence as the game wore on.

Carlton enter next Sunday's clash with ladder-leaders Port Adelaide sitting inside the top-eight for the first time since 2013.

Australian Associated Press