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Bolton: Win showed maturity

Sarah Black, AFL Media  June 18, 2017 12:27 AM

Highlights | Carlton v Gold Coast The Blues and Suns clash in Round 13.

BRENDON Bolton is notorious for playing a straight bat in press conferences.

But he couldn't quite hide his happiness at Carlton's 10-point win over Gold Coast, the Club's second in a row, opening with a joke of sorts.

With the Blues losing the lead to the Suns halfway through the last quarter, it took some Bryce Gibbs magic for the Blues to once again hit the front. 

"Yeah it's quite humorous sometimes, I like to think we keep our supporters on the edge of their seats," Bolton said in response to the Blues' second straight tight win. 

"We knew they're a good team and they were going to fight back, so that's an area of growth for us, that we need to learn to deal with those challenges.

"We probably didn't deal with it as well as we'd like in the third, but in the last, really proud that the boys could fight and get a win, particularly away from home."

Gibbs was exceptional, running rampant to finish a well-rounded game with 43 disposals, two goals, 10 tackles and seven clearances. 

His two goals came in the fourth quarter, the second (which regained the lead) after a halt in play while Sun Michael Barlow was stretchered from the ground with a fractured leg. 

"We're a club that tries not to individualise, and talks about system and process, but on this occasion, I think it would be remiss of me not to mention Bryce's game," Bolton said.

"It was huge, he had 43 touches, kicked a couple of goals, but more importantly, the stat to look at, he had 10 tackles. Because we want to be defined by pressure."

Bolton said the most pleasing aspect of the win was it showed the team did not get carried away after its upset victory over Greater Western Sydney last week. 

"I think it’s a good sign of maturity from our group that we kept the GWS win in perspective, and then can travel and back it up.

"We’ve got a lot of growth, but that's a good little sign in itself." 

Superstar Sun Gary Ablett was under enormous pressure from the entire Carlton team, regularly battered both in and out of play, but Bolton did not say if this was a set focus for the group. 

He did, however, praise tagger Ed Curnow, who held Ablett to a comparatively low 25 disposals.

"[Ablett] warranted a run-with today. It was a pretty solid effort from Ed, Gary had little patches, but it was a pretty solid effort from Ed."