Stephen Milne’s return to AFL was marked by a chorus of boos, two goals and a 36-point defeat by Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Playing his first match since being charged with rape last month, St Kilda forward Milne kicked two third-quarter goals in his side’s 16.14 (110) to 10.14 (74) loss.
His every touch was booed loudly.
Blues forward Lachie Henderson starred with four goals, Sam Rowe and Jeff Garlett booted three each, while Carlton midfielders Kade Simpson and Chris Judd were outstanding.
Young forward Tom Lee booted three goals for the Saints.
In a feisty, physical contest which started with a melee in the centre of the ground and featured regular spotfires throughout, both teams swapped the lead throughout the first and second terms.
The Blues took a nine-point lead to halftime.
But Milne’s two goals were vital in keeping his side in the contest as the Blues threatened to take control of the game at times in the third term.
The teams traded goals for the rest of the quarter, and Carlton held an 11-point advantage at three-quarter time.
Substitute Eddie Betts added plenty of life for Carlton when he came on and created an early final term goal for Judd which gave the Blues the breathing space they needed.
Then Henderson added his fourth soon after to send the Blues on their way to a comfortable victory.
Carlton move to a 7-8 win-loss record, boosting their finals hopes.
The Saints are 3-12.