Sydney win by 29 points
Last MFC Game
The lure of a battle of the big cities to open the brave new era of a 'national' football competition can't have escaped the VFL's fixture gurus when they were deciding who to match up in round one.
Never mind that Victorians were more interested in feuding with South Australians - this was the birth of the Sydney Swans and there was never going to be anybody else they would play than the side with the name of the other 'big' city.
Nobody was sure what to call them though. Were they South Melbourne playing in another city, were they the Sydney Swans or was the football world to compromise and simply call them "The Swans" while somebody came up with an official position? Officially they renamed South Melbourne to Victorian audiences in the short-term.
Whoever they were Melbourne's opponents were playing the 1981 wooden spooner (perhaps another key factor in fixturing the Demons in the Sydney opener?) and though confidence was high in the Demon camp they simply didn't handle the smaller SCG as well as their opponents.
Down and out at three-quarter time they finally came to play and booted five goals without reply to draw within a couple, but when the Swans steadied to win the 15,000 strong crowd - and more than a few VFL and South officials - breathed a sigh of relief.
Best were Flower, Giles and Wilson.
Melbourne's 20th loss in a row established a club record streak, which was finally ended the next week.
Melbourne 18.13.121 d. South Melbourne 13.14.92
Goals - P. Tossol 4, Fidge 3, O'Dwyer 3, Castles 2, Hutchison 2, Dickson 1, O'Brien 1, J. Tossol 1, Young 1
Best - Hutchison, O'Dwyer, P. Tossol
Melbourne 26.14.170 defeated South Melbourne 15.19.109
"Sydney swan song for Barassi plot" - The Age 29/03/1982