Melbourne win by 27 points
Two massive wins in a row to open the season saw the Demons land at the MCG on their best start since 1965 and with the football world questioning just how much they had improved.
Barry Bourke was forced out with a back injury, and his replacement Ray Carr failed to fire but the Demons held on to win. Their attitude to the game was typified by 5ft 4in rover Paul Callery who attempt to tackle the gigantic Carlton ruckman John Nicholls in the first quarter. He didn't bring the giant down but he stripped him of the ball.
Melbourne's play-on at all costs, lightning fast handball game beaten Carlton at their own system and if it weren't for defender Vin Waite the Blues might have been in even more trouble. The margin was less than three goals at half time, with much of the credit to Waite and his heroics in the backline, and when the Blues hit the lead early in the third quarter it looked as if they were going to steamroll the Demons.
To their credit the Demons hit back and Carlton were nearly held scoreless for the rest of the quarter while their opponents opened up a four goal margin which would ultimately see them home. The Blues got to within two goals again in the last quarter but despite a plethora of positional moves they couldn't get any closer and the Demons had racked up a third straight win to start the season.
Despite the win Ian Ridley still lectured his players, telling them that "Next week and the weeks after are going to get harder and harder". In his first three games in charge Ridley had knocked over Norm Smith and Ian Thorogood at South Melbourne and Ron Barassi at Carlton - and he still had ex-teammate Brian Dixon and the Kangaroos to come.
Best were Callery, Hardeman and McKenzie
Melbourne 16.16 d. Carlton 12.12
Goals - Colcott 6, Honey 4, Richardson 2, McSpeerin 2, H. Ritterman 1, Lawrie 1
Best - H. Ritterman, M. Walker, Richardson
Melbourne 23.33.171 d. Carlton 18.9.117
Goals - Smith 5, Anderson 4, Macdonald 3, Taylor 3, Queay 2, Brewer 1, Cumming 1, Cunningham 1, Kerley 1, McGuinness 1, Williamstown 1
Best - Macdonald, Cumming, Conley
Blueseum match report