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Bolton 'rapt' with response

Travis King, AFL Media  July 17, 2016 5:57 PM

Bolton's post-match press conference Watch Carlton's press conference after round 17's match against West Coast.

Brendon Bolton called for bold and attacking football and the Carlton coach was "rapt" with the response as the Blues launched a spirited last-quarter fightback in a seven-point loss to West Coast on Sunday.

With the Blues down by 27 points at three-quarter time, Bolton, his coaching staff and the leadership group made the collective decision to open up what had been a dour affair at the MCG.

The result was a blistering five-goals-to-two final term by the home side, which nearly snatched a famous victory over the finals-bound Eagles.

"I thought our last quarter we were really bold with the footy. We were aggressive, we had scoring opportunities, which is pleasing," Bolton said post-match.

"I was rapt, and our supporters should be rapt, that there was so much fight in that last quarter.

"But again we've got to do it for longer.

"We didn’t give up, there's no doubt about that, but (in) the third quarter there was some fundamental skill errors and decisions with ball in hand, and again that's typical of our team as we grow and develop.

"But I think we can see development … they're a good side, West Coast."

Pleasingly for Bolton, some key youngsters led the Blues' charge back into the contest.

After suffering a corked leg in the first quarter that looked like it could have ended his day early, last year's top draft pick Jacob Weitering was swung forward and provided a dangerous marking option.

The youngster booted his first career goal in the third term and then slammed through another in the last quarter as the Blues finished with all the momentum.

 

"We just thought we needed a bit more of a target up forward; Levi (Casboult) wasn't there this week," Bolton said.

"He had a corked shin, so we moved him up forward, so again I hope our members (are pleased), I know some of our coaches were pleased that he could mark some ball up there.

"We saw (Charlie) Curnow take a mark or two, (Jack) Silvagni early with a lot of lead-up marks.

"Although their games are by nowhere near complete yet, they're just little signs, little sprouts."

Weitering finished with four marks, while Curnow hauled in three and kicked a major in his first game since round five after a battle with glandular fever.

"(Andrew) Walker was out and so was Levi, so we needed a target, we needed a big-bodied target," Bolton said.

"Although he's first-year and learning the craft of leading patterns and positioning his body, it was an opportunity for (Curnow) to learn and grow.

"Sometimes in the AFL that's the best learning you can have, versus the VFL."

Silvagni was bright early before finishing with 12 touches, while star midfielder Patrick Cripps had 14 touches in the last quarter to end up with 29 and 12 clearances. 

So much to love about this! #AFLBluesEagles #BoundByBlue

A video posted by Carlton Football Club (@carlton_fc) on Jul 16, 2016 at 9:28pm PDT

Bolton, who was buoyed by tall forward Harry McKay's two-goal VFL debut on Saturday, doubted veteran Walker (knee) would be available next week against the Swans in Sydney, while Casboult will be available after suspension.

Meanwhile, the Blues coach said it was "terrific" that US Vice-President Joe Biden watched Sunday's match, although the security around his arrival caused a few headaches.

"No I didn't (meet him) but it was interesting for some of our coaches, they were frantic with a bit of sweat around the brow when they arrived because there was so much security," Bolton said.

"But it's terrific for our game to have someone there like him."