Melbourne win by 38 points
1 - Peter Moore
Having seen their finals aspirations all but destroyed when they limply succumbed to Collingwood in their Round 20 clash, Melbourne took their frustrations out on fellow strugglers St. Kilda in the only match of the round which didn't have a realistic bearing on the final five.
Footscray, Fitzroy and Geelong were all busy winning elsewhere and shutting the gate on even the most optimistic view of Melbourne's final five hopes and the only interest became whether or not the Dees would snap their losing streak against the bottom side or whether St Kilda would manage to crawl off the bottom of the ladder and consign North Melbourne to the wooden spoon.
With the character of the players having been tested during the week Darryl Cox took the criticism to heart and got himself reported three times, twice for striking St. Kilda centre-half back Darryl Cowie. Ron Barassi claimed that criticism of his side for being weak during the week had influenced him to leave Cox on even when he was causing trouble. Cox pled guilty to striking Cowie with a right fist to the face, but not with a left elbow to the face two minutes later. He was suspended for two games, with the tribunal lenient on him so he could play in the Reserves finals.
The Demons should have won by more, but Barassi was taking what he could get after a tough week. "I don't know that we showed much improvement" he said, "we are nowhere near back to our best".
Best for Melbourne were Cordner, Gerard Healy and Giles.
Some sources say the second report for Cox was for an attempted headbutt.
Melbourne 14.22.106 d. St Kilda 16.4.100
Goals - Thorn 4, Templeton 3, Battiston 1, Ellingworth 1, Hughes 1, Reynolds 1, Tossol 1, Withers 1, Wright 1
Best - Hughes, Ellingworth, Withers
Melbourne 11.16.72 defeated St. Kilda 6.15.51
Goals - McLean 2, Edwards 2, Paul McCarty 2, Dann 1, Marra 1, Ward 1, G. Lovett 1, Lawrence 1
Best - Rugolo, Payne, Edwards