South Melbourne win by 26 points
A scrappy match saw South dominate Melbourne, and the Swans should have won by more but they kept letting the Demons back into it.
Trailing by 34 points midway through the third term Melbourne struck back to draw within a goal five minutes into the last quarter but even Carl Ditterich admitted that margin would have flattered his side. The coach had to concede his players weren’t good enough at the basics of running, talking, spoiling and handball.
Robert Flower was playing in discomfort from a dislocated shoulder suffered late in 1979, but the club refused to send him away for an operation until the end of the season. That he played all 22 games for the year and racked up 14 Brownlow Medal votes was a testament to what a champion he was. Flower, though, had a dirty day at the 'G and the Swans won comfortably.
South Australian recruit John Roberts kicked 6.2 for the Swans on the way to a debut season of 67 goals. David Rhys-Jones made his debut for the Swans as he came off the bench to play on the wing.
Best were Healy, Woodman and Clayton.
Robert Elliott (thigh) and Bill Nettlefold (ankle) were replaced in the selected side by Greg Hutchison and Peter Hamilton respectively. Carl Ditterich (hamstring) and Peter Giles (strained knee) both suffered injuries during the match.
Reserves (Played Sunday 4 May at Lake Oval)
South Melbourne 17.27.129 d. Melbourne 12.13.85
Goals - McLean 6, Wingate 2, Battiston 1, Maynard 1, Parish 1, Seddon 1
Best - McLean, Martyn, Wingate
South Melbourne 25.12.162 d. Melbourne 11.16.82
Goals - McCarthy 3, Boyle 2, Folan 2, Fanning 1, Hope 1, Kelly 1, Mackay 1
Best - McCarthy, O'Brien, Greens