Carlton have kicked off the season with a bang, smashing Richmond by 83 points in front of a 86,000 strong crowd at the MCG on Thursday night. The build up to the game was massive, it would mark the return of Ben Cousins. To add a spin to the story he would line up against Chris Judd who together dominated and led West Coast into two Grand Finals.

The game was officially labeled as a sell out during the week, a record crowd turned out hoping and expecting the game to go down to the wire. It was exactly the opposite.

Carlton set the standard early in the match kicking the first two goals before Mitch Morton kicked two consecutive goals for the Tigers thanks to a couple of smooth inside 50 deliveries but the skill level didn’t last long and Carlton charged ahead and went into the quarter time break leading by 30 points.

Fevola, who was help to just two goals, was quick to kick his second early in the second quarter thanks to a Judd delivery and a touch of brilliance from Fevola. Carlton extended it’s lead to go into half time with a 40 point lead.

Richmond continued to butcher the ball in the second half, turnovers constantly resulting in goals against and the game quickly became out of reach for Richmond.

Eddie Betts stared for Carlton kicking 5 goals while Carlton debutant Mitch Robinson also nailed 3 goals.

The night went from a shocker to a disaster when Cousins tore his hamstring in the final quarter. The former Brownlow medalist is expected to miss three weeks along with team mate Andrew Raines who also tore his hamstring.

Carlton take on Brisbane at Etihad Stadium next Saturday night. Richmond will travel down the highway to Skilled Stadium to take on Geelong who snuck home against the reigning premiers in Hawthorn on Saturday night.

Richmond 3.4 6.7 8.10 9.13 (67)
Carlton 8.4 13.5 18.9 23.12 (150)

Richmond: Morton 4, Richardson, Riewoldt, Schulz, Simmonds, Tambling
Carlton: Betts 5, Robinson 3, Waite 3, Fevola 2, Judd 2, Murphy 2, Wiggins 2, Russell, Garlett, Kreuzer, Hadley

Richmond: Morton, Raines, Foley, Tambling
Carlton: Waite, Judd, Murphy, Wiggins, Robinson, Kreuzer, Betts, Gibbs, Houlihan

Cousins (hamstring), Raines (knee)
Carlton: Nil

Reports: Simpson (Carlton) reported by field umpire Vozzo for making forceful front-on contact on Jackson (Richmond) in the first quarter

Umpires: Donlon, Vozzo, McLaren

Official crowd: 86,972 at the MCG