Carlton coach Mick Malthouse vividly remembers the roar from 94,000 AFL fans at the MCG during last season’s elimination final with Richmond.
A Chris Judd-led revival lifted the Blues from more than five goals down to crush the Tigers in their first finals clash in 12 years.
For Richmond fans, recalling the loss brings heartbreak but for Malthouse – who is preparing for the next edition of the storied rivalry at the same venue on Thursday night – the atmosphere was one of the most memorable amongst his long coaching career.
“That final last year… I’ve been in footy for quite some time but it’s got to be one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard,” he said on Wednesday.
Malthouse straddles the divide between the two clubs; he’s the owner of a 1980 premiership medal from the Tigers’ last conquest and was given Richmond life membership in the off-season.
He has no doubt the Tigers will still be hurting from their 2013 finals exit at the hands of the Blues.
“Will they be cranked up?” Malthouse asks of the Tigers.
“I’m sure they will be, I’m positive they will be”.
Both sides were round-one losers, prompting Tigers coach Damien Hardwick to declare it a “must-win” match in the wake of their 18-point loss to the Gold Coast Suns.
“It’s a big game, it’s always a big game against Carlton,” added Hardwick.
“We’ve got to make sure we start nailing these games and that we gain the momentum that takes us into the season.
“We don’t want to start 0-2.”
But Malthouse isn’t so desperate.
“You want to win early games and we don’t go out there to lessen our want to win the game of football,” he said.
“We tend to get caught up in round one… but we all know it’s a marathon.”
A setback for Carlton’s chances is that Judd, their inspirational leader, is now expected to be sidelined until round five with an achilles complaint.
The Blues will also be without Andrew Walker (suspended), Dennis Armfield (knee) and Andrew Carrazzo (calf).
For the Tigers, Ivan Maric (ankle) will miss but 2013 club champion Daniel Jackson could return from a hamstring injury.