FOR Carlton’s midfield leaders, the main objective was clear: bring the four points back to IKON Park.
While there were times - mainly the second quarter - where the Blues showcased their blistering best, it “wasn’t always pretty” at Marvel Stadium.
However, it was an important return to the winner’s list for the home side, holding off Adelaide to prevail by 10 points in the Round 15 clash.
Speaking to FOX Footy post-match, Sam Walsh - who recorded a career-high 38 disposals - said it was the dogged performance and the result the Blues wanted.
“We found a way,” Walsh said.
“Adelaide is a good team and they run hard, so they’re always going to go in momentum spurts. I thought we held up in those times… I thought our back-line was outstanding today.
“We didn’t finish as well as we would’ve liked in the last quarter but there’s always stuff to work on. It’s good to get on the winner’s list again.”
Newly re-signed co-captain Patrick Cripps echoed Walsh’s sentiments, saying it was exactly what the doctor ordered in a week where the pressure and focus was on those wearing Navy Blue.
There was no greater release of emotion by players and fans alike when Cripps produced the highlight of a stunning second-quarter surge, with his running goal drawing an ovation from the returning Bluebagger faithful.
Cripps, who committed his future to the Club until at least the end of 2027 earlier in the week, said he was hoping the win would be a catalyst for a momentum boost in the second half of the season.
“It’s awesome. It’s been a big week,” he said.
“I wanted to show how committed I was and the boys came out and responded, especially after a week under a lot of pressure — to do it not only for the fans and ‘Teaguey’, but us players as well.
“It’s been a tough year, but I said during the week that we’re all sticking together and looking to play the Carlton footy we know we can.”