Geelong have warmed up for finals footy with a hard-fought, but comfortable 42-point win over Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
It wasn't as pretty as last week's mauling of the Western Bulldogs, but it was just as effective as the Cats held off a spirited challenge from the Blues to run out 18.13 (121) to 12.7 (79) victors.
But the win will likely come at a big cost with cult figure James Podsiadly certain to come under scrutiny for a head-high bump on Carlton's Bryce Gibbs in final minute of the second term.
It's a big blow for the Cats as they head into September with the mature-aged rookie recapturing his best form with a fine four-goal performance on the night.
Gary Ablett, who was captaining the side in the absence of skipper Cameron Ling, had 21 possessions and booted four goals although he was soundly beaten by Andrew Carazzo with much of his work coming in the final term when the game was over.
Second-gamer Daniel Menzel ensured Mark Thompson and his coaching staff will have a tough week at the selection table with three goals from his three kicks.
Paul Chapman picked up the slack in the midfield with 33 disposals, while Joel Selwood (27), Corey Enright (25) and Tom Hawkins (17, nine marks and two goals) were also valuable contributors.
Carazzo was the Blues' best player as he kept Ablett under control for three quarters, while also gathering 28 possessions himself.
Marc Murphy also had plenty of the ball with 30 touches, although captain Chris Judd was well down on his usual output with just 13 kicks and seven handballs despite not having Ling following him around.
Up forward, Lachlan Henderson continued his recent good form with another three goals, while Mitch Robinson and Jarrad Waite also booted three.
The teams traded early goals in the opening quarter before the Cats piled on three in quick succession, two from the boot of Podsiadly, to take a stranglehold of the match.
Waite kept the Blues in touch with a nice set shot, but Geelong immediately answered through Tom Hawkins, who used his strength to mark inside the goal square.
Carlton then came to life with the final three goals of the term including a cracking snap from Waite to be within a point at the first change.
Menzel booted his second major after a flying mark in the goal square before Shannon Byrnes nabbed a miracle goal from the boundary line to help Geelong out to a handy lead.
Henderson kept the Blues in touch down the other end, but just like they did last week against the Western Bulldogs, the Cats exploded with the next four goals including three goals in three minutes to open up a 33-point lead.
Carlton stuck to their guns though and finished the quarter off strongly with two goals to be within 22 points at the long break.
The Blues carried their momentum into the second half with Henderson jagging his third, but despite making all the running they failed to take their chances with Shaun Grigg missing an absolute sitter and David Ellard failing to convert a tough snap.
Mathew Stokes made Carlton pay for their misses with a goal for the Cats, but the Blues kept coming and closed to within two kicks courtesy of a Mitch Robinson long bomb.
But that would be as close as they would get as Ablett goaled before Podsiadly reached into his bag of tricks with an amazing snap from the boundary line to put his side up by 25 point at the final change.
Waite gave the Blues a fighting chance with the first goal of the last term, but Ablett then put the game to bed with the next two goals as the Cats cruised to their eighth consecutive victory over Carlton at the venue.
GEELONG: 5.3, 11.7, 14.8, 18.13 (121)
CARLTON: 5.2, 8.3, 10.7, 12.7 (79)
GOALS: Geelong: Podsiadly 4, Ablett 4, Menzel 3, Varcoe, Hawkins, Byrnes, Bartel, Hawkins, Johnson, Stokes
Carlton: Henderson 3, Waite 3, Robinson 3, Simpson, Judd, Warnock,
BEST: Geelong: Chapman, Selwood, Bartel, Enright, Podsiadly, Hawkins
Carlton: Carazzo, Henderson, Murphy, Robinson, Waite
INJURIES: Geelong: Nil
CHANGES: Geelong: Andrew Mackie replaced in the selected side by Taylor Hunt
Carlton: Shaun Hampson and Aaron Joseph replaced in the selected side by Sam Jacobs and Andrew Walker
UMPIRES: Vozzo, McBurney, Nicholls
CROWD: 45,172 at Etihad Stadium