When we look back at the first decade of the 21st century, many of us will remember the pain and agony of our first, second and third wooden spoons, plus a range of smashings that lowered our collective eyes, hope and pride. But in amongst these smashings, there were a few great wins that stick in the memory, with a number taking place in a rush as the decade ended and our new young team progressed up the ranks.

Round 11, 2000 - Carlton v the Kangaroos
In this memorable game, Koutoufides almost singlehandedly destroyed the reigning Premiers

The Blues would pull away from the Kangaroos in this Grand Final Replay in the second half to take the game by 5 goals.

But the headline result doesn't tell the story of the day - Koutoufides. Kouta was impossible to describe as he not only took Roo Legend Wayne Carey out of the game in the first half, but he went on to kick 5 goals and earn the ball 38 times (17 kicks / 21 handballs). Throw in a leisurely 8 marks and this game was a testament to the power that Kouta was in this era.

The support staff, as always in 2000, were also good, with Brett Ratten getting 30 stats, Hickmott 23, and a great array of goalkickers as we pumped the Premiers at home.

Round 14, 2000 - Carlton v Geelong
In the battle between second and third, Whitnall came up trumps and the Blues won the day
Big Red would kick 6 in this enthralling encounter at Princes Park between second and third on the ladder.

The in-form Blues were squeezed down below 300 possessions for the first time in a while whilst the tenacious Cats dominated the middle quarters. In the end a 6 goal burst in the last quarter won it for Carlton, with Whitnall polling the votes, and Brett Ratten with 30 and Kouta with 29 stats being dominant.

Round 3, 2001 - Carlton v Essendon
In this very famous game, an undermanned Carlton outfit took out the reigning Premiers
Carlton were given little chance of beating the undefeated reigning premiers, especially following the late withdrawal of three champion players in Silvagni (bruised hip), Bradley (calf strain) and Koutoufides (flu), on top of the long term loss of Allan (stress fractures foot). A five day break from its previous match had made it impossible for these players to recover.

After an even first quarter, the Bombers would outscore the Blues by a goal in the second and third quarters, to go to the final break 11 points up. An early goal would extend the margin to 17 points but the but the determined Blues would kick the next 6 goals to run out 17 point winners.

Round 8, 2001 - Carlton v Brisbane
History has already recorded Brisbane as one of the best ever teams, but part way through the season of their first premiership we annihilated them. True story!
Carlton would score a comprehensive 74 point win against the Lions, who would be beaten so convincingly, it would spur them on to win all but one of their remaining matches that season, on their way to the 2001 premiership (the first of 3 successive premierships).

It was a very even contribution, but Anthony Koutoufides with 36 possessions and 11 marks, Scott Camporeale with 33 and 4 and Brett Ratten with 32 and 10 would dominate the midfield. Simon Beaumont had 27 and beat Jonathan Brown. Lance Whitnall, Koutoufides, Matthew Lappin and Brendan Fevola each kicked three goals.

Round 3, 2002 - Carlton v Collingwood
Before the train crashed, we were able to bring up a win against the old enemy

Carlton had one of it's few bright moments in 2002 when they outplayed a very sloppy Magpies side on a wet Friday night game at the MCG. There were some terrible errors made by the Pies backline that resulted in easy goals for the Blues and Buckley was very inaccurate in front of goal. The Blues tackled hard and applied plenty of pressure. A 4 goal to 1 first quarter set up the victory.

Justin Murphy won the BOG in the eyes of the Umpires.

Round 5, 2003 - Carlton v the Kangaroos
Denis Pagan took on his old team and won, thanks to massive efforts from Fevola, Houlihan and Hickmott
This would be Denis Pagan's first encounter with his former club. He would triumph to give his new club its second victory under him. The match was tight in the first half but 3 unanswered goals at the start of the third quarter gave the Blues a vital break. The Roos fought back to reduce the gap to just two points but the Blues responded with another 3 goals late in that quarter to be 13 points up at the final change. It was goal for goal in the final quarter, with both sides booting 6 each but the Blues withstood the challenge to record a 9 point victory.

Brendan Fevola was outstanding up forward all night, kicking 8 goals from 10 scoring shots in a best on ground performance. There were also excellent 3 goal contributions from the courageous Adrian Hickmott, who had the better of the equally courageous Glen Archer and Ryan Houlihan, who was deadly, making the most of his opportunities.

Andrew McKay was reliable in defence while Darren Hulme, Scott Camporeale and Justin Murphy provided plenty of midfield drive. Equally as important was the tagging job of a young Justin Davies against Roo playmaker Brent Harvey.

Round 12, 2003 - Carlton v Richmond
Carlton managed our last win of the year, but it was enough to keep the dreaded spoon at bay. Murphy kicked 5.

Carlton broke through for its fourth win of 2003 over Richmond, in a closely fought contest. The match did not reach any heights in terms of skill, with both sides making a number of errors in windy conditions. Following a tight first half, which saw the Tigers 5 points ahead at half time, they kicked 3 goals to extend the margin to 15 points. Carlton then kicked the next 5 to take a 13 point lead at the final break. Ryan Houlihan and Matthew Lappin were using their silky kicking skills to set up forwards like Justin Murphy, who kicked 3 of them and followed up with another early in the last to take his tally to 5 for the day. This was a return to form for Murphy, after returning to the side from a week in the VFL. But Richmond kicked the next 4 to reclaim a narrow lead at the 24 minute mark. A free kick right in front of goal to Brad Fisher, who would earn a Rising Star Nomination for his good game up forward, would give Carlton the lead again and a goal to Houlihan after the siren would extend the final margin to 7 points.

Round 5, 2004 - Carlton v West Coast
Carlton destroyed West Coast at home, but a young Blue on debut would be 'A New Hope' after 2 years without any

Carlton hosted the West Coast Eagles. The work rate, team play and one percenters of the Blues was outstanding, placing the Eagles under constant pressure to keep them goalless to half time, while taking a decisive 41 point lead. This was extended slightly to 48 points at the final change. The Eagles kicked 3 unanswered goals at the start of the final quarter to reduce the margin to 30 points. However the determined Blues fought back to run out 49 point winners.

But all in all, this game will be remembered as the outstanding debut of our first pick in the 2004 National Draft and #2 pick overall, Andrew Walker, who in his first AFL game was able to gain 26 possessions and 9 huge flies for marks, giving us a glimpse of what he could one day become.


Round 11, 2004 - Carlton v Adelaide
Carlton came from a mile behind to defeat Adelaide by 4 points in a nailbiter away from home. Fevola kicked 7.
Those that remember the game will remember that Carlton were woeful at the start of this game. Adelaide, in 12th place, were all over the place, and Carlton couldn't edge forward. In a year where Carlton seemed to be improving, yet still had 3 100 point losses (including the week before this game), it looked like another smashing was on the cards.

But on this day, and in the last quarter, Carlton fired. Scott Camporeale was everywhere, Matthew Lappin was fantastic and Brendan Fevola kicked 7 including a ripsnorter from the pocket. The Blues had won.

Round 2, 2005 - Carlton v Essendon
Carlton came from a mile behind to defeat Essendon by 4 points in a thrilling finish.

The Blues started strongly to lead in the opening quarter but the Bombers controlled the middle quarters to take a 28 point lead into the third break. But the forward line would come alive in the last, after Adrian Deluca and Eddie Betts were our mainstays to that point. Brendan Fevola would kick his first major in the opening minute of the final term, to be followed by Lance Whitnall.

At the time, "Master Coach" Sheedy had "Master Player" James Hird on Whitnall but when Hird had a mastercramp, he had to go off. Whitnall would follow up with another goal, this time from a pack mark in the goal square, and we were within 10. Fevola and Betts would kick two more, to give us the lead, before a controversial umpiring call - Scott Lucas had marked for the Bombers inside 50 and ran on a few steps. "PLAY ON!" was the correct call, and the Bombers were denied a certain goal. In the end, those horribly accurate Bombers who couldn't miss all night were down as the siren sounded.

Round 3, 2007 - Carlton v Essendon
Carlton came from even further behind to defeat Essendon by 3 points at the MCG. Fevola kicked 8.

Joy comes in many forms but embarrassing Essendon in a thrilling come from behind victory has to rank up there as one of the better forms possible. After looking disinterested in the first half, despite Matthew Lappin doing his best to keep us in it, the Blues powered back into contention as the floodgates opened and allowed Brendan Fevola to destroy both Mal Michael and Dustin Fletcher with an inspirational performance at Full Forward.

Round 4, 2008 – Carlton v Collingwood
Carlton ended a record losing streak of 14 matches with a stunning form reversal over top 8 team Collingwood. Fevola kicked 7 and our younger players were starting to come through...
Carlton entered this game on a Club-equalling record 14 game losing streak, and having lost our first three matches of the year (including the lowly Richmond), and were desperate for a win. Collingwood, still thinking itself a top 4 team after 2007, and with 2 wins out of 3, were seen to be a top team.

What resulted was a wonderful 4 quarter effort where the Blues brought about Collingwood's downfall with a concise, practical and managed gameplan. Brendan Fevola kicked 7 and the team ended that losing streak with aplomb. Young Paul Bower beat Collingwood trump card Travis Cloke hands down to limit their firepower as well.


Round 11, 2008 – Carlton v Port Power
Carlton by 12 points after an enthralling comeback in the wet. Whilst Fevola was well held, young Matthew Kreuzer came through with 3 second half goals.

On a wet night away from home, Carlton only managed 3 goals in 3 quarters of football as Port maintained a nice 5 goal lead. Although Carlton looked in contention, our inability to convert just meant we weren't able to get back into the game.

That is, until Kreuzer time.

Kreuzer was swung forward, and he kicked 3 goals straight and excited the Blues into a stunning turnaround win over Port.

Round 12, 2008)) – Carlton v Collingwood
Carlton by 30 points in a ripping victory over our Arch Enemy. Fevola kicked 8 and annihilated O'Brien.

Now this was a ripping game and one that will well & truly stick in the minds for a long, long time. It wasn't just our second win against the Pies for Season 2008 (the first time we'd beaten them twice since 2004), but it was not only against a Top 8 team but a win that brought Carlton into the top 8 (as we sat in 8th at the end of Round 12, half a game up from the Kangaroos).

At first, Carlton were dominant but errant up forward. Brendan Fevola would kick our first 2 goals, but miss a number of others. Fev was no doubt dominant as he carved up Harry O'Brien and Pie wonderkid Nathan Brown, but he missed some in-range shots that gave the Pies the sniff they needed. Within the next quarter or so, the Pies would wrest the advantage as the Blues continued to struggle in front of goal.

The Pies went in ahead to the main break, but Carlton swung the changes and put 2008 Centre Half Back Jarrad Waite up forward and trusted the young defence of Gibbs, Jamison, Carrazzo and Setanta to carry the day. And did they ever! But the storyline was in front of goal, as Brendan Fevola surged with a number of chances and Waite, Scotland and Armfield kicked important goals. The scores were all tied up at the last break.

And then there was party time... Simon Wiggins kicked a brilliant snap, Brendan Fevola scored two amazing goals from the goal square (one of which was awarded the AFL Goal of the Week) as he kicked his 6th and 7th and the Blues went ahead. Adam Bentick nailed the ball for Nick Stevens to kick us clear, and the game was as good as won!

Round 17, 2008 – Carlton v the Bulldogs
Carlton by 28 points in an amazing come from behind win against the Bulldogs. Fevola kicked 6 and Wiggins 4 in his 100th match.</b>

The 11th placed Carlton took on the 2nd placed Bulldogs in this match, and despite being down by as many as 37 points, we took the points with the final 9 goals of the match.

Brendan Fevola came alive with 5 second half goals, and 6 overall, and Simon Wiggins kicked 4, but the story was midfield with Chris Judd, Nick Stevens, Bryce Gibbs and Marc Murphy all dominant in a rollicking ride that delivered 4 premiership points and renewed hope of a finals match.

Round 21, 2008 – Carlton v Brisbane
Carlton by 6 points in yet another amazing come from behind win that was even bigger than our Port win. Cloke kicked 4, Fisher and Houlihan 3 in Houlihan's return match.

The Blues went into the final quarter 32 points behind and with a formidable task ahead of them. But given their amazing record this year, if anyone was going to win from here it would be the Blues. 2 minutes in, Brendan Fevola kicked his 2nd and final goal of the game to take his season tally to 92 and give the Blues the boost they needed to win the game. The Blues then piled on another 4 goals and when Jarrad Waite kicked the final goal of the game, it ensured Carlton would register its greatest ever comeback from a deficit at three-quarter time (32 points). In a remarkable quarter, the Blues slammed home 6 goals 3 and kept the Lions to a solitary behind to end any hope they had of playing in September. It was the fourth time during the Lions last eight games that they have been overrun to be defeat by 8 points or less.

Round 1, 2009 – Carlton v Richmond
Carlton by 83 points in an exciting beginning to the year where Carlton made the finals for the first time since 2001....

In possibly the most eagerly awaited opening round clash in the Blues' long history, almost 87,000 fans packed the MCG to watch Carlton hand out a good old fashioned hiding to traditional foes Richmond, running out eventual 83-point winners.

All the pre-match talk in the media surrounded the meeting of two ex-West Coast captains, Chris Judd and Ben Cousins, who ran out for the first time in opposing colours. An actual match up never really eventuated, and the two had quite contrasting nights. Judd put in a metronomic performance (23 possessions, six tackles and two goals) and was instrumental in leading the Blues to victory, particularly when there was still some heat in the game.

The Blues blasted Richmond from the first bounce with an eight goal opening quarter. The lead was 30 points at quarter time and from then we were never challenged. In recent seasons the Blues had been criticised for having an unhealthy reliance on spearhead Brendan Fevola. This game saw only a minor contribution from 'Fev' on the night, and it was left to Eddie Betts (with five goals) to lead the scoring. In addition, five other multiple goal kickers provided a far more even and damaging attack. The forward line pressure exerted by the Carlton forwards was possibly the most noticeable improvement from previous seasons. Their chasing and tackling directly contributed to numerous turnovers by the Tiger defence, and resulted in several goals. Betts, Garlett and Robinson set the tone.

Round 19, 2009 – Carlton v Geelong
One of those regulation wins where you keep in increasing the lead and win comfortably, but against the all-conquering Cats?

If you were like us you approached the round 19 clash against the Cats nervously and with much apprehension, but nevertheless hopeful the Blues would put on a good show and be competitive in what would probably be an honourable loss. How wrong you can be.

The game started in much the same way as many of Carlton's recent attempts against the Cats have, i.e. hardly a touch and two goals down after four minutes. But then something strange happened. The goals stopped, the Blues steadied and the ball landed in Carlton hands more often. The difference seemed to come from a lift in intensity all over the ground. More aggression, more tackling, more chase and more commitment.

Not until the twelfth minute did the Blues get some scoreboard reward for all that scrap and hustle. It took a little bit of Brendan Fevola magic, with a lovely goal line grab (from a Kade Simpson bomb) followed by a cheeky put away, to get the beast in motion. As the quarter rolled on the Cats stayed chained to two goals and with that the Blues seemed to grow in confidence. Then just as the time-keeper was putting down his tea and reaching towards the siren-button Marc Murphy slotted a set shot from straight in front to edge the Blues’ lead out to seven points. Murphy got the customary 17 head-pats as the team jogged to the huddle with a real spring in their step.

Carlton was unable to press home their advantage during the third term, but the signs were good with the midfield getting on top, the forwards getting opportunities and the defenders defending (well). Chris Judd, Bryce Gibbs and Marc Murphy, as has been so often the case this season, led the way from the midfield.

Wow...what memories. Imagine how good the memories will be when we're truly back up on our feet.

The Blueseum has also compiled a list of Carlton's great Home & Away wins of earlier decades, which can be found via the following links: 1980's | 1990's