Essendon win by 54 points
First Game as Coach
With league clubs playing stocks thinned even further by World War II, the Grand Final rematch was played in the shadow of the Demons voting to suspend the season. They weren't successful and opted to continue along with the rest of the league (other than Geelong, who were hit by travel restrictions and pulled out) but were forced to field four first gamers as well as their new coach. Not only did they have new players but stars Allan La Fontaine (army service) and Jack Mueller both had to enter the game without training.
All four newcomers were defenders, and Essendon took full advantage by racking up a massive score. They kicked seven, five, six and seven goals across the day for the highest opening day score in league history to that point.
Three times in a row Melbourne had lost the first game and gone on to win the premiership, but the glaring deficiencies in their backline showed that they would have a tough time mounting another premiership defence.
Despite Melbourne's defensive woes Deayton, Hewson and Walsh were impressive - if inexperienced.
Best were Beames, Baggott and Gibb. First gamer Shearer replaced Wartman in the last quarter when he suffered an ankle injury. Norm Smith was reported for jostling but found not guilty.