Richmond win by 46 points
Anthony Ingerson (also with Adelaide)
After three wins in four games, Melbourne's good run of form came to an end as they let Richmond run away for a big win in the last quarter. The Tigers were in even better form, and they won their fourth from the previous five to stay in the finals race, while the Demons still sat in the bottom four.
Darren Kowal was charged with misconduct in that he chested Richmond coach Walls and pushed a Tigers runner. Walls was cited for making "intimidating and forceful" comments at Kowal, and Demon coach Neale Balme hit out at Walls in the media after the match, saying "It needs to be noted that it was a pretty piss-poor effort" and suggesting that Walls would not have been "courageous enough" to touch Kowal during the incident. The Richmond coach called Balme's comments "incitement by media".
The tension started after a late tackle on Chris Naish deep into the second quarter, which led to a downfield free kick for the Tigers and a goal which put them two in front going into half time. Kowal complained about being harassed by the Richmond runner throughout the second half and then had another altercation with the coach as they left the ground after the match.
Kowal was fined $1500, Walls $5000 and the runner suspended for the rest of the year. Jeff Hilton was also reported for striking but cleared.
Shaun Smith had a difficult day, landing on his head in one marking contest and being carried from the field with a back injury later in the day. Craig Nettelbeck also knocked out in a contest but was forced to return to the field in the final quarter when his side ran out of fit players. Brett Lovett suffered a hamstring injury and Andrew Obst corked his thigh. Despite Neitz kicking three goals in the last quarter, Melbourne couldn't hold on without fit players on the bench.
Melbourne 11.12.78 d. Richmond 5.2.32
Goals - Guest 4, Corrigan 2, Irving 2, Molloy 1, Norman 1, Gehling 1
Best - Irving, McDonald, Corrigan
Age - 14/07/1996, 15/07/1996, 16/07/1996, 23/07/1996
Football Record - R16 1996