Richmond win by 17 points
With Melbourne's season having been over for the best part of four months the Tigers only interested was in having a thumping win that would give them the percentage boost required to stand a chance of sneaking into the five the following week.
The only time the Demons had fired was late in the second quarter when a Mark Jackson goal brought the margin back to five points, they slackened off from there and the Tigers finished the quarter with two more goals. Three more at the start of the third quarter and the resistance was over.
At three-quarter time the reigning premiers looked set for a thumping win that would do no end of good for their percentage, eight goals up and cruising, but they took their foot off the gas and allowed Melbourne to get back to a three goal loss and at the same time all but ruin their hopes of defending the flag.
On a muddy ground the win wasn't enough for Richmond, and they were put at a serious disadvantage in the race for the finals.
Meanwhile Melbourne coach Ron Barassi was buoyant, saying "I can't wait for next year to come along".
Richmond 26.24.180 d. Melbourne 10.13.73
Goals - Zantuck 3, Byrne 2, Durnan 2, Bickford 1, DiStefano 1, Korn 1
Best - Zantuck, Pappas, Hardeman
Melbourne 9.16.70 d. Richmond 4.9.33
Goals - Cordner 3, Fidge 2, Dawson 1, Fisher 1, O'Sullivan 1, Tossol 1
Best - Connolly, Fidge, Ford
"Dear mum, forget about the Tigers" - The Age 24/08/1981
Football Record R22 1981