Melbourne win by 105 points
Goalkickers: Barry Bourke 3, Lloyd Burgmann 3, Paul Callery 3, John Gallus 3, John Townsend 3, Graham Molloy 2, Greg Parke 2, Ray Carr 1, Peter Keenan 1, George Lakes 1, Robert McKenzie 1, Greg Wells 1
First game and first goal
Smith had taken the Swans to their first finals series in years in 1970 but they were disappointing in practice matches, and the side coached by his former protege destroyed South in the first home and away game.
From start to finish the Demons dominated South all around the ground. Big men Keenan, Molloy and first gamer John Gallus were dominant and both Paul Callery and Denis Clark were big winners in the centre. Ridley enjoyed a dream coaching debut where he didn't have to make a single positional change until George Lakes went off with a corked leg.
At the final siren the Melbourne fans gave Tiger Ridley a standing ovation, and with only four 100 game players in the side there was optimism that they could push for the finals in 1971. After the game Ridley spoke to the press and clearly wanting to see more than Melbourne's first 100 point win since Round 10, 1964, he said "They made a lot of mistakes, but you must remember they're still quite inexperienced".
The score remains the Demons' 20th highest in VFL/AFL football.
Best were Clark, Callery and Alves. Carr replaced Lakes (corked leg) in the third quarter, and Parke (illness) was replaced by Wells in the last quarter.
South Melbourne 23.18 d. Melbourne 17.15
Goals - Colcott 6, Honey 3, H. Ritterman 2, McSperrin 2, Brown 1, Theodore 1, Powell 1, Lawrie 1
Best - Colcott, Jones, Ritterman
Melbourne 18.11.119 d. South Melbourne 10.15.75
Goals - Anderson 5, Dilnot 3, Cunningham 2, Moore 2, Queay 2, Taylor 2, McDonald 1, McGuinness 1
Best - Dilnot, Aubrey, Conley