Essendon win by 37 points
Stung by criticism after their first round pounding at the hands of Brisbane, Essendon started slowly and were 14 points behind at the first break having conceded the first three goals of the match. The Demons could have done better though, near unlimited supply to David Neitz capped by Dustin Fletcher keeping the skipper to one handball for the first three quarters.
Despite losing James Hird to injury the Bombers booted six unanswered goals in the second quarter to turn the game on its head and they opened up a 21 point break at the half. Chipping and continually defensive backwards kicking by the Demons played right into Essendon's hands as Melbourne stopped doing all the things they'd done well in the first term. Despite having nine more inside 50's they racked up two less scoring shots and fell to 1-1 for the season. It continued a losing streak dating back to 1999 against Essendon.
Best for Melbourne were Godfrey, Green and Robertson.
"Bombers beat Demons, Hird injured" - The Age 05/04/2003
"Essendon looks back for the future of winning" - The Sunday Age 06/04/2003