Melbourne win by 31 points
After two losses in a row against fellow top four contenders, Melbourne were desperate to get their season back on track against the Norm Smith coached South . The Demons had won the first meeting of the year by over 100 points, and started favourite even though the 2-9 Swans had started to find form. Much of the interest surrounded the debut of John Tilbrook, finally cleared to the Demons after a protracted transfer wrangle with Sturt. Tilbrook impressed the tiny crowd at the cavernous VFL Park by unleashing a 60m torpedo punt with his first kick early in the game.
Melbourne's quick, handball heavy play-on game was expected to fall apart in the wet, but while they registered their lowest score against South since 1906 they also held the opposition to 0.6 across the last three quarters. The Swans were level with two goals at quarter time but were powerless after that. Even when South got the ball inside 50 their forward play was poor, and defenders easily mopped up their infrequent attacks. Their score was the equal lowest ever kicked at Waverley.
Coach Ian Ridley blasted his players when they were just a goal up at half time, and they responded with a three goal burst in five minutes of the third term that wrapped up victory. Peter Keenan was dominating in the ruck, and Glenn Molloy revelling in the slushy conditions and the last quarter was played out as more of a training drill than a real match for premiership points. Nevertheless the result kept the Demons inside the four by a game and percentage.
Best were Molloy, Alves and Sullivan. Rollinson (hamstring) was replaced by Collins in the second quarter and Gallus by Walker in the last quarter. Tilbrook suffered bruised ribs.
Melbourne 12.11 d. South Melbourne 3.5
Goals - Carr 6, Lakes 3, H. Ritterman 2, McSpeerin 1
Best - Leary, Sinclair, Hodges
Melbourne 16.13 d. South Melbourne 7.4
Goals - Woods 4, Taylor 3, Anderson 2, Dilnot 2, O'Kane 2, Cumming 1, Macdonald 1, Brewer 1
Best - O'Kane, Dilnot, Taylor