Melbourne win by 22 points
First MFC game
Alex Jesaulenko debuted for St. Kilda but it was not to be a day for the Saints. In front of a bigger crowd than the Carlton-Collingwood Grand Final replay taking place elsewhere, their midfield was dominated by the trio of Robert Flower, Greg Wells and Gerard Healy, while the defenders couldn't handle debutant Russell Rowe who helped himself to four goals.
On the first day that a new directive was in place to pay less free kicks the game was marred by ugly packs frequently developing. It might have contributed to the two sides reversing their practice match form, with St Kilda having earned a number of victories and Melbourne having suffered a disappointing loss to Port Adelaide.
The early minutes were a draw, but suddenly the Demon machine clicked into gear and they piled on five goals in succession. Rowe got three of them for a golden start to his VFL career.
St. Kilda got use of the strong breeze in the 2nd term and managed to close the gap to 17 points at the main break, but the Demons used the wind better in the third and opened up a seven goal margin at three-quarter time.
Over excitement was the order of the day. Supporters applauded and president Wayne Reid made noises about the club not only making the five but winning a flag. The win saw Melbourne's price for the flag changed from 33-1 to 25-1.
Best for the Demons were Healy, Flower and Wells. Peter Giles was carried off with a dislocated shoulder after being struck by Robert Muir, and Cameron Clayton was reported for striking Gary Sidebottom with a right forearm to the face in the third quarter but later cleared. In his defence he said I don't know if I hit him - I was too busy following the ball.
Saints coach Mike Patterson was sacked a week later.
Melbourne 18.21.129 d. St Kilda 10.10.70
Goals - O'Donnell 5, Coles 3, Woodman 3, Battiston 2, Maynard 2, Bunn 1, Parish 1, Whitford 1
Best - Gordon, Woodman, Martyn
Melbourne 18.13.121 d. St. Kilda 12.15.87
Goals - Fidge 4, Boyle 3, Mackay 3, Hope 2, Fanning 1, Ford 1, McKissick 1, O'Brien 1, Osiruak 1, Todd 1
Best - Bell, Boyle, Tossol
Age 05/04 says Giles had a fractured elbow.