Blues advance as Tigers tumble

MOCKED for so many years for finishing ninth and missing the action in September, Richmond yesterday created history by losing to the first team that finished ninth but still played in the finals.

Carlton, which earned its place in the play-offs at the last minute after Essendon was sanctioned by the AFL over its supplements program in 2012, clawed its way back from a 32-point deficit to beat the Tigers by 20 points in front of a record elimination final crowd of 94,690 at the MCG.

Richmond, playing in its first final since 2001, was well on top early but inaccurate kicking for goal proved costly.

The Tigers had 19 inside 50s to the Blues' six in the first term but led by just eight points at quarter-time.

That margin was extended in the second quarter when Carlton gave away four 50m penalties, three of those resulting in goals.

Former skipper Chris Judd sparked the Blues revival after half-time, his 11-possession third quarter lifting his team to within three points at the final change.

There was no stopping Carlton in the last quarter, Jarrad Waite and last-minute inclusion Nick Duigan both finishing with four goals as the Blues booked a place in Saturday's first semi-final against Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

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