Collingwood win by 56 points
Only game and first goal
Melbourne hurt their chances of a top four berth by losing to St Kilda a week earlier, leaving them to have to beat the hot favourite Magpies to assure themselves of a top four spot. St Kilda still had to win against Footscray, and when news came through that the Seasiders were narrowly behind in at half time in their game it was feasible that even a draw would put the Reds into the four.
The Redlegs had been the inferior side but were still in the hunt and could have even struck a psychological blow before the finals with a shock victory. Their defence was holding firm against the unbeaten Magpies, who held a slight advantage from the wind in the second term, but by the end of the third quarter though any thoughts of a finals tilt had been blown out of the water as the Pies extended their lead to more than five goal and the Saints kicked away at the Western Oval.
A wind across the ground nearly entirely contained the game to a wing, and Collingwood's speed had the home side on the run. After conceding the opening two goals Long got one for Melbourne to cut the margin to eight at the first break. It only narrowly extended to 10 by half time, and when Collingwood had a player forced to go forward with an otherwise game-ending injury it gave Melbourne hope before they conceded a goal. Melbourne's hopes went out the window when they kicked two behinds, then conceded the sixth goal. The Pies then kicked three of the last four goals of the term to open an insurmountable lead.
Any chance of a comeback was extinguished by the first goal of the last quarter, and the rest of the game was played out like a training drill. It not only put Melbourne out of the four, but also the largest score against the Redlegs since Round 18, 1923.
Warne-Smith, McDonald and Johnson were best. Bill Macdonald injured his knee.
Collingwood's victory gave them their 18th win out of 18 and made them the last side to go through a regular entire season undefeated. They would lose to Richmond in the first semi final but rebound to beat the Tigers in the Grand Final.
Collingwood 10.19.79 d. Melbourne 3.8.26