Richmond win by 42 points
First game and first goal
It was certainly better than their humiliating loss against the Roos a week earlier. That was the best that could be said for loss to defending premiers Richmond. The Tigers were in crisis after a shock loss the week before and desperately needed to reassert themselves as a contender by hammering one of the worst sides in the competition.
Barassi had eased his players through training during the week rather than flogging them as punishment for the North debacle and for three and a half quarters the plan worked, Melbourne staying within striking distance of their much more fancied opponents.
Revealingly, when asked before the game about his side's chances Brent Crosswell said: "We haven't got a bloody hope. These blokes might be jumping about but we know we are going to get done. If I wasn't here today I would probably be home by the fire or out walking the dog". He went on to be his side's best player.
Five years later Crosswell revealed that after the North game players strategically stashed beers around the Botanic Gardens before they were sent on three laps of the Tan running track. Halfway around the first lap the players took a detour to a rotunda and polished off the drinks. With most of the players unable to convincingly run after the drinks 30 of them supposedly were stuffed into two cars and driven back to the MCG carpark, where they arrived worse for wear just as the Junior Scholarship squad bus arrived. After the incident the club acknowledged the strain the team had been under and no further action was taken.
Early in the final quarter Melbourne were within a point. It was only when Kevin Bartlett, in his 350th game, broke free of Peter Giles to kick three goals in five minutes during the last term that the match was lost. The margin had been a point minutes earlier when Phil Pinnell had a handball smothered in defence and conceded a goal which sent the Tigers on their way.
Best were Crosswell, Byrne and Smith. Peter Giles fractured his finger.
Melbourne 24.11.155 d. Richmond 18.14.122
Goals - Moir 5, Dullard 3, Hardeman 3, Hedger 3, Tossol 3, O'Brien 2, Seddon 2, Walters 2, Korn 1
Best - Hardeman, Dullard and Todd
Melbourne 10.14.74 d. Richmond 10.12.72
Goals - Cordner 5, Battiston 3, Bell 1, Fisher 1
Best - Battiston, Cordner, Loorham