There was something ominous about West Coast's victory on Sunday.
For large periods of its afternoon at Marvel Stadium, it was tested by a Carlton outfit that played with the vigour and excitement it has become renowned for under David Teague.
However, each time, it brushed aside such challenges with little trouble. This was an Eagles side flexing its muscle and demonstrating why it is the team to beat in season 2019.
West Coast bullied Carlton defensively, overpowered its younger opponents in the midfield and outgunned them in attack, easing to a relatively comfortable 24-point win.
The 15.9 (99) to 11.9 (75) victory ensured the Eagles a sixth victory in seven matches. More significantly, though, it strengthened their growing minor premiership hopes.
West Coast had contributors across the field.
In midfield, Luke Shuey (28 disposals, two goals) and Elliot Yeo (25 disposals, 10 tackles) were the standouts, as both imposed themselves physically on the contest.
Down back, Jeremy McGovern (18 disposals, 13 marks) patrolled and intercepted seemingly everything. In attack, Liam Ryan (16 disposals, four goals) took one of the marks of the year and was a constant threat.
In response, Carlton was competitive. It simply came up against a far superior opponent.
Sam Walsh (31 disposals, one goal) was lively, while Nic Newman (24 disposals, 11 marks, four goals) had an impact both across half-back and whenever he came within range.
However, ultimately, Carlton's fast start was followed by a brutal lesson.
In reality, West Coast should have led at quarter time. But having had a number of quality looks at goal, only to spurn such opportunities, it found itself behind at the first change.
The Eagles could partly blame the early deficit on not investing more time in Newman.
Three times, the sharpshooting Blues defender wandered behind teammates to gather from beyond 50m. Three times, he made the Eagles pay by converting his long-range efforts.
There was little they could do about Walsh, though.
The first-year star racked up 12 disposals in the opening term alone, with his twirling and side-stepping leading to a truly special goal that was reflective of his precocious talent.
But the Eagles had a couple of players capable of producing something special themselves.
Jarrod Cameron's shark and his lightning change of speed and direction midway through the second quarter helped the visitors reclaim both the advantage and the momentum.
Ryan then hauled down a brave pack mark running back with the flight, before calmly converting his set-shot to help West Coast finish the half with six of the last seven goals.
It posed Teague with the biggest challenge of his coaching career to date at half time.
Three straight Eagles goals immediately after the break didn't help his hopes of a response.
It began to appear as though West Coast would score every time it entered its forward 50, with the star power of its elite forward line piling on another five goals in the third term.
That proved the decisive quarter, quickly killing off any hopes of a Carlton comeback.
It also made the last term relatively elementary, with the Blues closing the gap but failing to get anywhere near a side that will compete for a second successive flag this September.
Carlton: Nic Newman was absolutely crunched in a marking contest late in the third quarter, hobbling to the bench and heading immediately down the race. However, he returned for the final term. The Blues had earlier lost Dale Thomas to a bout of the flu before the match.
West Coast: The Eagles will head back across the Nullarbor with a clean bill of health.
Carlton heads across the city to the MCG to meet old rivals Richmond next Sunday, while West Coast returns home to Optus Stadium to host Adelaide on Sunday evening.
CARLTON 4.1 6.3 8.6 11.9 (75)
WEST COAST 2.5 9.5 14.7 15.9 (99)
Carlton: Newman 4, Gibbons 3, Murphy, Walsh, McKay, Lang
West Coast: Ryan 4, Darling 2, Shuey 2, Waterman 2, Rioli, Cameron, Allen, Petruccelle, Kennedy
Carlton: Walsh, Newman, Murphy, Cripps, Gibbons
West Coast: Shuey, Yeo, McGovern, Ryan, Gaff, Sheppard, Hickey
Carlton: Thomas (illness) replaced in selected side by Schumacher
West Coast: Nil
Umpires: Donlon, Hay, Dore
Official crowd: 32,802 at Marvel Stadium