WAYNE Johnston could rise to an occasion like no other.  
Big game players reveal themselves every September, but few in the competition did so better than Johnston.
In his 18 finals appearances in the Navy Blue, ‘The Dominator’ was a bona fide match-winner during Carlton’s most successful era.
After all, he was the only player to feature in all four of Carlton’s 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1987 Grand Final victories. 
So when Carlton came up against its cross-town rivals in the 1988 Qualifying Final, you didn’t have to look further than the guy in the No.7 to rise above the rest to get the Blues over the line.
The high-scoring affair marked the last time these traditional rivals met in a final, with the Blues coming off 38 points the better team on the day.
Despite its status as reigning premiers, Carlton had the underdog moniker heading in, sitting one rung below the Pies at the end of the home and away season.
But the Blues got the jump early, opening with a seven-goal-to-one first quarter to set up what would be triumphant September victory.
It was ‘the Dominator’ who lived up to his name, as the former captain and best-and-fairest winner willed the Blues forward. With his courageous and unrelenting midfield tenacity typically a feature, he would ultimately finish with 28 disposals for his efforts through the centre.
The star midfielder set the tone for the Blues, with his work in the centre square and at the bottom of every pack providing an endless flow of scoring opportunities.
Johnston’s classic performance was the instigator for Carlton’s 100th win over the Pies: a win-loss record that still sits in the Blues’ favour today.