Hawthorn win by 9 points
Melbourne had already assured themselves of a top four position courtesy of a three game gap and sizeable percentage advantage over third place, but they had not yet wrapped up the minor premiership and were shocked by Hawthorn, clinging on to hopes of sneaking into fourth place.
Hawthorn had a better record at the MCG than most teams, and they won the day with fierce play and superior pace. Melbourne's speed advantage was tamed by the quality of the MCG, which had a quaqmire of mud in its middle. They jumped the Demons in the first quarter and held on despite kicking just two points in the final term. Melbourne got no closer than nine points. It might have been different if they hadn't hit the post three times, but they were the second best side all day.
The defences were on top early, and it took 10 minutes for Hawthorn to register the first score. They shot to a 21 point lead, with Ron Barassi limped heavily after a knock to the leg. Robert B Johnson had also taken a blow to the leg in the opening quarter, but recoered to kick two behinds at the start of the term. Even with the breeze, Melbourne was having trouble breaking through Hawthorn's defence. They finally got their second when two backmen crashed into each other, allowing Hassa Mann an easy finish from close range. Considering their superiority, the Hawks' eight point half time lead looked like a waste.
Two early Hawthorn goals gave them a break at the start of the last term. Much of their advantage came from their rovers sharking the many taps won by Demon ruckmen Bob Johnson and Terry Gleeson. They extended the gap to 28 at the last change, holding the Demons to 1.3 for the quarter.
Positional changes in the last quarter which put Laurie Mithen and John Lord onto the ball contributed to a belated comeback. Ridley got the first goal, but the gap was still 21 points after 20 minutes. Nilsson and Barassi got goals, by Hawthorn's defence held out until the final siren.
Despite the loss Essendon's defeat on the same day meant that the game between the two sides the last round would be almost meaningless because the Demons had a two game break, a significantly higher percentage and a winnable game against Richmond in Round 17.
Tassie Johnson, Mithen and Beckwith were best. Massey replaced Gleeson and Pinfold replaced Lord, both in the last quarter.
Bob Johnson was suspended for two matches after being reported for obscene language towards umpire Nunn in the fourth quarter. He denied using an "obscene expression", but the tribunal held that he not only did that but aggravated the offence by calling the umpire a "foul name".
H. Mann 2.2, Adams 2.1, Barassi 1.0, R. Johnson 1.1, Nilsson 1.2, Ridley 2.1, Laidlaw 0.1, Mithen 0.1, Tunbridge 0.3, Rushed 0.3
Hawthorn 10.12 d. Melbourne 7.11
Goals - Crompton 3, Milner 2, Turner 1, Rowarth 1
Best - Strachov, Crompton, Leslie
Melbourne 13.5 d. Hawthorn 5.12
Goals - Groom 5, Anderson 3, Leahy 2, Edwards 1, Ingwersen 1, Petty 1
Best - Leahy, Weidlich, Predl