Melbourne win by 40 points
After two matches in a month the Demons had slipped from first to third on the ladder, and a loss to the Saints would have left them in a precarious position on the edge of the top four.
In their first clash of the year the Demons staged a remarkable late comeback with 17 players, but this time they ran away with the game easily in the second half despite a tricky wind. Both teams started the game quickly, and there wasn't much in the contest until half time when Melbourne kicked away. Jack Mueller went forward, surprising St Kilda by moving into attack before the first bounce. Smith then acted as Mueller's decoy while he kicked 6.6, while St Kilda's moves to stop him in the second half opened the door for Reiffel to kick five.
The Reds battled a tricky cross wind to take a narrow lead into quarter time, before kicking five goals to four in the second term to extend their lead further. St Kilda's defence had held strong, but their forward play was poor.
St Kilda's efforts to quell Mueller after the half failed, opening the door for Lou Reiffel to kick five. The lead was 26 points at the last change, and even with Lock's injured leg, and Roberts and Jones recovering from severe knocks the home side kicked away. St Kilda also had two players limping due to injury. La Fontaine played on after a free kick for the first goal of the term, and Melbourne put on four more to two by the end of the game to win easily.
Immediately after the game the Melbourne players began their trip to Sydney to play an exhibition match against New South Wales.
Melbourne 15.14 d. St Kilda 12.15