1998 Ansett Australia Cup Round 1
Melbourne vs Sydney
Sunday 1 March
Venue: Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand
Melbourne win by 12 points
In their first hit-out for the year the Demons travelled to New Zealand and pulled off a surprise win against the Swans. In contrast to their dismal 1997 form, Melbourne were strong at the ball and the defenders held strong in the face of pressure from their opponents.
On a ground with reduced dimensions, including a 40 metre line instead of 50, the Demons should have been more than a goal in front at quarter time, but lost the lead early in the second quarter. Sydney benefited from two goals after 50 metre penalties before half time to take a nine point lead into the long break. Melbourne had strips torn off them by first game coach Neale Daniher, and by three quarter time he had to let assistant Greg Hutchison address the side because he'd lost his voice. By then the gap was back to a point, and Melbourne finished better to progress to the Quarter Final of the pre-season competition.
The AFL hoped for a capacity crowd of 12,000, and didn't play any further pre-season games in the city.
Jamie Shanahan, David Schwarz, Glenn Lovett, Darren Kowal, David Neitz, Marcus Seecamp, Jim Stynes, Todd Viney, Adam Yze, Craig Nettelbeck, Steven Febey, Shane Woewodin, Anthony Ingerson, Shaun Smith, Donald Cockatoo-Collins, Jeff Farmer, Jeff White, Andrew Leoncelli, Brent Williams, Matthew Collins, Craig Smoker, Mark Bradly, Travis Johnstone, Russell Robertson, Hayden Lamaro, Brent Grgic, Guy Rigoni, James McDonald.
Evening Post - 20/01/1998
Dominion - 26/02/1998
Sunday Star - 01/03/1998
Dominion - 02/03/1998
Age - 02/03/1998
Illawarra Mercury - 02/03/1998
Sydney Morning Herald - 02/03/1998