Melbourne win by 37 points
Despite their seven game unbeaten start to the season Melbourne were not considered to be playing at their peak, and during the week captain Hassa Mann said "I've been at fault for not setting an example in talking. Other players have been too quiet and that's where we have fallen down". The first clash with his predecessor Ron Barassi represented an excellent time to show form.
Norm Smith gave his team a tough training week, with a high intensity practice match leaving four players with bloody noses, Brian Leahy a pulled thigh muscle, and David Robbie a dislocated finger. The coach and his selectors also used the video footage of the last quarter of Carlton's game the previous week to prepare, cutting down the effectiveness of Barassi and John Nicholls.
A massive crowd packed into Princes Park to see new Carlton captain/coach Barassi play his first game against his old club, but it was the Demons who triumphed. Smith correctly guessed that his opposite number wouldn't handle close checking and had Bryan Kenneally successfully tag him. The master of mind-games Norm Smith got one over his most celebrated pupil early by keeping his side in the sheds while Carlton ran out onto the ground. Even a visit by field umpire Crouch failed to rouse Smith's side.
Carlton gave them trouble for the first three quarters, but the Demons showed their class in turning up the pressure and wresting the advantage back. Deep into the third quarter Carlton hit the lead, but then conceded three quick goals. It didn't help that the Blue forwards were so wayward. Terry Board contributed 2.8 for the Blues. It was also the only time of the game where there was any hint of conflict between Barassi and his old side, when he was caught with an accidental stray arm by new captain Hassa Mann and turned to give him a furious glare.
Both Smith and Barassi admitted being nervous before the clash, with Smith saying he felt the same nerves as a Grand Final. He had praise for the moves his opposite number made to get the Blues back in the game. For his part, Barassi described the defeat as a lesson that would pay off later, while admitting he was trying too hard to be successful against his old club.
Barassi would go on to win nine of his next ten clashes with Smith as a coach, but on this occasion he lost the RD Barassi Trophy - a perpetual trophy offered for clashes between the clubs by a Carlton supporter.
Two supporters were so happy with the result that they donated £100 each to the team after the game.
Best were Emselle, Mann and Townsend. No replacements were made and Brian Dixon injured his shoulder
Melbourne 19.13 d. Carlton 14.10
Goals - Quirk 5, Feldman 3, Gallus 3, Bartlett 2, Vearing 2, McNabb 1, Andrew 1, T. Leahy 1, Robbie 1
Best - Vearing, Quirk, Andrew
Melbourne 16.14 d. Carlton 8.8
Goals - Marr 4, Johnson 4, Collins 4, Stone 3, Bates 1
Best - Johnson, Marr, Stone
Blueseum match report