South Melbourne win by 29 points
In a turbulent week for the Swans where it was announced that they would play all their home games for 1982 in Sydney, the Demons were also on the end of a decision they weren't happy with. The Doug Cox saga, where St. Kilda had lost points for playing him without an appropriate clearance, was resolved in the Saints favour and they were reinstated the points from the round 4 clash between the sides. The loss of four points dropped the Demons to a game and percentage last behind the Bulldogs.
Not surprisingly given the respective moods of the club supporters during that week a paltry crowd turned out, but those who didn't show missed a game of surprising quality considering who was involved.
Had they not missed six set shots on goal the Demons might have racked up their second victory of the year, but even amongst the gloom of another loss there was something to celebrate. When Mark Jackson kicked his fourth goal of the day it gave him the best season total for any Demon since Fred Fanning's 97 goal haul in 1947.
A fracas involving David Rhys-Jones and runner Peter Smith saw Rhys-Jones suspended for four weeks. The Swan claimed that Smith had grabbed him on the groin during an altercation. Executive Director Richard Seddon suggested that the Demons were considering legal action to clear Smith's name. Brent Crosswell received a four match ban of his own for striking Rhys-Jones, an incident which sparked the first of the two major melees for the day in the opening seconds of the second term.
The third quarter saw South extend their lead without any of the shenanigans that had marred the second, but just one minute into the last term the Smith/Rhys-Jones incident sparked a brawl featuring 36 players, two runners and six umpires trying to control the situation. The crowd had shown Rhys-Jones contempt all day, booing him every time he touched the ball, and both South coach Ian Stewart and President Graham John spoke with disdain for the way their young player had been treated by the crowd.
After the match, focusing on the football rather than the brawls, Barassi said "it was the first time this year that I thought we were the better team".
Best were Crosswell, Fowler and Keenan. Peter Keenan and Brent Crosswell were reported in the fracas. Keenan was cleared of striking and Crosswell suspended for four matches for charging. Mark Jackson suffered a thigh injury.
South Melbourne 26.24.180 d. Melbourne 10.12.72
Goals - Byrne 3 , Barham 2, Catoggio 2, Dullard 1, McGlashan 1, Young 1
Best - Bickford, Byrne, Turnbull
Melbourne 12.12.84 d. South Melbourne 9.8.62
Goals - Cordner 7, O'Sullivan 2, Battiston 1, Connolly 1, Fisher 1
Best - Connolly, Cordner, Ford