In a hostile place, amid the deafening roars of POW-ER POW-ER, it was cometh the hour cometh the man for Marc Murphy.
In this his maiden season as Carlton captain, Murphy effectively willed his players across the line and into September, with an outstanding display of leadership through the frenetic second half of Saturday night’s match against Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
Two telling goals in that 8-goal final quarter frenzy quite rightly earned Carlton’s No.3 the plaudits of many - amongst them the games record holder and former Port Adelaide great Craig Bradley, who was there for Football Park’s last hurrah.
“It is a funny old game isn’t it? No-one saw that coming at half-time,” Murphy conceded in the winner’s circle afterwards.
“We just had to keep chipping away at it and we did start to play some pretty good footy in the third quarter. We were unable to kick straight again, but we really started to nail those goals in the last, which was great.”
That the visiting team was able to reverse a 39-point deficit having been non-competitive for much of the first half was something of a minor miracle – a great escape as Carlton Coach Mick Malthouse admitted post-match.
For Murphy, now 163 games and eight seasons into his own football journey, this was a victory for persistence.
“Through the first half they (the Power) were outworking us, but it just goes to show what can be achieved when you work hard. To the boys credit they really dug deep and found a way to get the four points,” Murphy said.
“We get a lot of belief out of that sort of win. The boys were questioned at half-time by Mick, you know, ‘Do you lie down or do you bounce back?’ and to the boys credit they bounced back.
“There’s been a few good wins, over the journey, but this one’s fresh in my mind and isn’t a bad one. It was a bloody good win.”
Alas, football waits for no-one - least of all “Murph” and his men - and thoughts have well and truly turned to Sunday’s First Elimination Final.
As Murphy said at siren time in the old rooms: “Whether its Richmond or Collingwood next week doesn’t matter. The point is we’ve got there and we’ve got to make the most of it.”