Fremantle win by 30 points
The Dockers had been notoriously slow starters in 2003, so when eight minutes into the second term they held a 7.2 to 1.5 lead it looked like they were in line for a massive victory against the league's new crisis club.
Melbourne struck back with the next five goals to draw to within a single straight kick at halftime, but the long break was the end of their momentum. David Neitz had kicked three goals during that run, but the Coleman Medalist was well held for the rest of the day. The Demons paid the price for being too focused on Neitz. When the Dockers clamped down on the captain nobody else could step up in attack and despite losing Jeff Farmer to injury before half-time they found more avenues to goal.
Melbourne got the first goal of the third, but from then on the Dockers were in control - kicking five of the next six to take over. Robertson booted a goal ten minutes into the last to make it interesting again, but Justin Lognmuir kicked three more for a total of six for the day against an undermanned, inexperienced Demon defence.
Best were Neitz, Brown and Bizzell. Jeff White was a late withdrawal in what would have been his comeback from injury and Andrew Leoncelli played out the game despite suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter. James McDonald received a $2500 fine for wrestling.
After the match AFL Chairman Wayne Jackson was controversially seen in the Fremantle rooms singing the Dockers song arm-in-arm with chairman Rick Hart.