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Bolton rues squandered chances

Carlton Media  July 24, 2017 3:57 PM

Post-match | Brendon Bolton Brendon Bolton fronted to the media after Carlton's loss to Brisbane in Round 18.

Blues coach Brendon Bolton has called on his young team to learn to "capitalise on momentum", following Sunday’s loss to Brisbane at The Gabba. 

Bolton’s side fought back from a 56-point deficit, but the second-half surge wasn’t enough for the Blues to overcome the Lions, going down by 30 points in a rollercoaster affair.

“Particularly in the first half, and very much the first quarter, they (Lions) were the ones with all the momentum,” Bolton said. 

“We had ours in the third and halfway through the last quarter, but it’s your ability to be able to capitalise when you have that momentum and when you don’t, it’s really important to try and nullify (them). 

“Simply, we didn’t capitalise as much as we needed to on the scoreboard when we had momentum and we failed to slow theirs early which obviously cost us. Out of that though, there’s some good lessons for our young group.”  

In his post-match reflection, Bolton praised the spirit of his young side to fight back in the second half after being 56 points down early in the third quarter.

“Our guys, like usual, showed character and fought hard in the second half but ultimately when you give a team that sort of lead you are playing catch-up. We probably didn’t have the energy in the back half of the last quarter to complete it but it was a good fightback.

“While statistically it was pretty even, particularly in the first half we lacked composure and any ability to have presence early in the game. I don’t think we had enough presence in our defence, particularly in that first half and full credit to the Lions who attacked hard in offence. But we didn’t get any delay on the ball to the level we’ve set most of the year.”

The Blues went into the game with seven teenagers on the field, and nine players from the 2015 and 2016 national drafts, with Bolton noting that game time would pay off in the long run.  

“We tried some different things. Charlie (Curnow) played in and around the midfield and Jack (Silvagni) played down back, which is another growth opportunity.

“There were some good little signs from Harry (McKay) on debut. He kicked his first AFL goal and got his first taste. He has still got lots to learn. But I also thought 'Samo' (Petrevski-Seton) showed little dashes and signs, Charlie (Curnow) can take a decent grab too.

“We had some good exposure for the young kids early in their first two years (of football). We will review the game heavily, particularly the first half…. But these are the things we can also take away from the game.

“It means it's another game into them (young kids) for the long run.”