Carlton must claim top AFL scalps: Teague

David Teague says teams like Port Adelaide will provide a strong guide to Carlton's AFL bona fides
David Teague says teams like Port Adelaide will provide a strong guide to Carlton's AFL bona fides

Carlton see the scalp of Port Adelaide on Saturday night at the MCG as a sign of their growth over the past 12 months.

Last season at the Gabba, Port's Robbie Gray broke the hearts of Blues fans when he booted a goal after the siren to secure a three-point win.

Carlton coach David Teague said his team needed to nail big games to be counted among the AFL competition heavyweights.

"These are the games that we need to stand up in," Teague said on Thursday.

"We played quite well against them last year ... we now they're a good side, and we believe that's where we're going as well.

"It's progression. We want to be in these games more often and we showed last year we can compete with anyone so that's our challenge.

"They're the games you've got to be able to win."

Teague admitted he was a fan of the style of Port, who sit fourth, ahead of the Blues in seventh with two wins and two losses to open the year.

"They're a great team. They're a team I enjoy watching play and the way they play, so it's the challenge that this group is looking forward to."

In that round seven encounter, Port's Charlie Dixon was the most dominant forward on the ground, kicking 3.4 and taking six contested marks despite the best efforts of Liam Jones.

Teague didn't rule out going that way again with Jones a stand-out in last round's win over Gold Coast, with 11 marks and 21 disposals, to continue his strong form this season.

"It will be him or Jacob Weitering depending on how they line up," Teague said.

"I remember that battle because Liam took a lot of marks up the field but then Charlie ended up getting lots of shots on goal so they both had their moments.

"Liam does match up quite well against Charlie."

Australian Associated Press