Blues win ticks key ‘transformation’ box for Voss

AFL Rd 12 - Port Adelaide v Carlton
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Zac Williams of the Blues celebrates a goal during the 2024 AFL Round 12 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Carlton Blues at Adelaide Oval on May 30, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Taking down a South Australian team at Adelaide Oval for the first time was on Carlton coach Michael Voss’ must-do list as part of the “transformation” his side is undergoing in its pursuit of the ultimate success.

The Blues ended their hoodoo at the ground earlier this season with a last-gasp win against Fremantle during Gather Round, but hadn’t beaten Port Adelaide or the Crows Adelaide at the venue in seven previous attempts before a powerhouse final quarter in Thursday night’s impressive road win over Port.

AFL Rd 12 -  Port Adelaide v Carlton
Charlie Curnow and Zac Williams celebrate. Pictrure: Mark Brake/Getty Images

“Part of our transformation as a team over the last two or three years is that there have been a number of records that we’ve had to try to change,” Voss said.

“Clearly, the results haven’t been in our favour for a period of time as a club, so there are a few of those types of ledgers that aren’t in the right way for us.

“But we’ve gradually been able to go about creating that transformation, to be able to create that consistency that we’re trying to have not just as a football team but as a football club.

“So, wins like this go in that bucket a little bit.

“It’s just that nice little signature moment where a record that has been there or a history that has been there is not so much a factor any more.

“We certainly don’t see it that way any more.

“We tend to look at the way that we play, we don’t play the venue, we play the opposition and we want to play a certain way.”

Sam Walsh and Patrick Cripps inspired the eight-goal last-quarter blitz that improved Carlton’s record to 8-4, Walsh gathering 10 of his 33 possessions and the skipper with two goals inside the first three minutes of the term.

“I thought (our last quarter) was reward for large parts of the game,” Voss said.

“I don’t tend to dive a lot into statistics, but there were a lot in our favour.

“The game that we were trying to play was somewhat in our favour, we had a couple of parts that weren’t exactly where we needed, I thought (Jason) Horne-Francis was particularly impressive so clearance wasn’t necessarily going our way.

“But the profile of this team is evolving and changing … we’re not one-dimensional.

“While one part of our game might not necessarily be going as well as what we would’ve liked, the guys were able to make a correction and we got to work in the last quarter.

“(Cripps) is certainly a really big believer … we weren’t going to stop, we had to keep playing the same way and take them on.

“We never say that someone ‘steps up’ in key moments, but sometimes they just show themselves and Crippa, as the captain, certainly did that in the last quarter.”