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Camporeale says Phil Walsh 'definitely with' Crows as they roll on

Campo: 'Phil is definitely with them' Scott Camporeale says honouring Phil Walsh is an added inspiration for his players
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Taylor Walker of the Crows sings the team song after the 2015 AFL Second Elimination Final match between the Western Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on September 12, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Phil Walsh's choice for captain, Taylor Walker is proving inspirational
I think they all want to do Phil proud, no doubt about that. Deep down ... Phil was definitely with them
Scott Camporeale

ADELAIDE'S thrilling seven-point elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs was another step in proving the Crows' character and flag credentials, according to interim coach Scott Camporeale.

The Crows came out winners in the brilliant clash with the Bulldogs at the MCG on Saturday night with a late goal to small forward Charlie Cameron sealing the victory.

They looked set to be overrun by the Bulldogs, who kicked four of the first five goals of the last term to overturn a three-quarter time deficit, but struck back to claim a famous win away from home to set up a semi-final clash with Hawthorn next Friday night.

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Camporeale, who continues to firm as the long-term replacement for the late Crows senior coach Phil Walsh, said Adelaide was determined to continue its finals form.  

"At the start of pre-season everyone wants to win a premiership. If you keep earning the right and you keep winning, then it's an obvious statement that you keep going forward," Camporeale said post-game.

"They want success. They're a driven group, they're a proud group, they've been really galvanised over the last couple of years with some off-field tragedies through the footy club.

"They were disappointed in 2012 not to get there (when they lost the preliminary final to Hawthorn by five points) and then we had a couple of lean years through there. The group hasn't changed a lot in terms of the core group, but there's some young guys coming in and playing their role."

Camporeale said the tragic death of Walsh earlier this year continued to serve as a motivating force for the Crows.

"I think they all want to do Phil proud, no doubt about that. Deep down, even though we don't cover it off every day, Phil was definitely with them," he said.

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The elimination final had some significant momentum shifts, and started with three goals to the Bulldogs in the opening five minutes. 

Camporeale's message to his senior players at that stage was just to get their hands on the ball, remaining confident the rest would flow if that began to happen.

The Crows were thrashed at the clearances (the Bulldogs winning the count 46-26) but their accuracy near goal was important. They booted 16.13 to the Dogs' 14.18, which included several critical misses in the second half.

 

"I'm just so proud of the group and footy club to be able to get to this point. One, to make the finals and earn the right, and then obviously to get the result tonight was great," he said. 

"I thought we were able to score so that was the thing that was keeping us in the game.

"Some of the key stats for us weren't ideal, but to the boys' credit they just found a way to keep hitting the scoreboard and keep ticking it over. I never felt [we were] out of the game."

Watch Scott Camporeale's full media conference here

The Crows will travel back to Melbourne next week to meet the Hawks, and Camporeale said the group would need to lift again if they are to progress to a preliminary final.

"They've been the best team in the competition for the last three or four years," he said.

"We're going to have to play better than what we did tonight if we're to match it with Hawthorn. I'm sure they'll be well and truly up for the challenge after losing last night."