ANTHONY Koutoufides is unequivocal when asked which of his incredible on-field performances for the Carlton Football Club ranks as his greatest - the Round 11, 2000 contest with the for the Pagan-coached Kangaroos at the old ground.
At a time when Wayne Brittain was taking on more matchday responsibilities in the “Kirribilli agreement” with Senior Coach David Parkin, the Carlton 22 which took to the field on that Autumn Saturday afternoon did so with a steely resolve.
As the man himself wrote in his biography “Kouta” – “The Kangaroos had the edge on us since the ’95 Grand Final and had beaten us in the ’99 Grand Final”.
Taking his place in the middle for the first bounce, Koutoufides earned a future West Coast Premiership Coach Adam Simpson as his direct opponent, and later North Melbourne Captain Wayne Carey no less – and duly racked up 17 kicks (five of them goals), eight marks and 21 handballs.
In what was Brett Ratten’s 200th senior appearance for the club, and Ryan Houlihan’s senior debut, Koutoufides not surprisingly earned three Brownlow votes for his incredible individual performance, as the Blues established an unassailable lead with a eleven-goal second half.
Quite simple, Kouta dominated the match . . . and to quote the man himself: “Yeah, I’ve got that one on tape”.
Carlton v Kangaroos - Round 11, Saturday, May 20, 2000 at Optus Oval
CARLTON 6.6 (42) 9.7 (61) 15.8 (98) 20.9 (129)
KANGAROOS 3.3 (21) 8.6 (54) 12.7 (79) 15.9 (99)
Goalkickers: Koutoufides 5, Whitnall, Hamill, Hickmott 2, Allan, Beaumont, Bradley, Camporeale, Fletcher, Hotton, Lappin, Mansfield, McKay
Best: Koutoufides, Ratten, Hickmott, McKay, Allan, Fletcher, Hamill
The Carlton team
B: 23 Dean Rice 1 Stephen Silvagni 27 Darren Hulme
HB: 39 Ang Christou 37 Trent Hotton 5 Andrew McKay
C: 45 Anthony Franchina 7 Brett Ratten 16 Scott Camporeale
HF: 9 Adrian Hickmott 8 Lance Whitnall 4 Aaron Hamill
F: 29 Simon Beaumont 26 Stephen O’Reilly 12 Matthew Lappin
R: 24 Matthew Allan 43 Anthony Koutoufides 21 Craig Bradley (c)
I/C: 10 Michael Mansfield 22 Glenn Manton 31 Simon Fletcher 33 Ryan Houlihan
Coach: David Parkin