Melbourne win by 38 points
1 - Peter Moore
Having seen their finals aspirations all but destroyed when they limply succumbed to Collingwood in their Round 20 clash, Melbourne took their frustrations out on fellow strugglers St. Kilda in the only match of the round which didn't have a realistic bearing on the final five.
All of Fitzroy, Footscray, and Geelong were winning elsewhere, shutting the gate on even the most optimistic view of Melbourne’s finals hopes. The only remaining interest was whether the Demons still had enough pride to beat the bottom team, or whether the Saints would jump North at the bottom of the ladder. After three weeks of losses in the 30s Melbourne got one back, winning by 38. It should have been more, but Barassi took what he could get after a tough week. "I don't know that we showed much improvement" he said, "we are nowhere near back to our best".
At a ground where they were traditionally weak, the Demons eased their disappointment by taking a 31 point lead into quarter time. They never hit any great heights again, with the margin reduced to 23 at the last change, before a three goal to one final quarter.
The questioning of player’s character during the week had an impact on Darryl Cox, who took the criticism to heart and got reported three times, twice for striking the same opponent and once for an attempted headbutt. Barassi said the criticism of his side for being weak had influenced him to leave Cox on even when he was causing trouble. Cox pled guilty to striking Darryl Cowie with a right fist to the face, but not with a left elbow to the face two minutes later. He was suspended for two games, with the tribunal lenient on him so he could play in the Reserves finals.
Best for Melbourne were Cordner, Gerard Healy and Giles.
Melbourne 14.22.106 d. St Kilda 16.4.100
Goals - Thorn 4, Templeton 3, Battiston 1, Ellingworth 1, Hughes 1, Reynolds 1, Tossol 1, Withers 1, Wright 1
Best - Hughes, Ellingworth, Withers
Melbourne 11.16.72 d. St. Kilda 6.15.51
Goals - McLean 2, Edwards 2, Paul McCarty 2, Dann 1, Marra 1, Ward 1, G. Lovett 1, Lawrence 1
Best - Rugolo, Payne, Edwards