Melbourne win by 50 points
Melbourne had earned a week off courtesy of their come from behind win against Carlton in the Semi Final a fortnight earlier, and for the second time in three years they came up against the Kangaroos with a spot in the Grand Final on the line.
In contrast to Melbourne's week off, the Kangaroos had been forced to withstand a six goal last quarter barrage by Hawthorn to advance to their seventh straight prelim. The in-form Demon forwards provided them no rest.
Without Joseph Gutnick in the house, missing for religious reasons, the two sides made a mockery of light rain throughout the day to score 11 goals between them in the first term. The Roos led by three goals during the first term, but from there the Demons young brigade took over and started to dominate. Goals to White, Farmer, Woewodin, Schwarz and Grgic gave them a ten point lead at the first break.
North took the lead back early in the second before five goals in ten minutes gave the Demons the lead back, and they went on to get eight for the quarter. The lead had been pegged back to a goal at the 17 minute mark, but the next 12 minutes was a clinic. More than six goals in front at the long break Demon fans began to cautiously dream of a Grand Final appearance, and when their side booted the first three of the third quarter it was all but certain.
When North got three in a row to start the last quarter to cut the margin back to 40 points there were a few nervous moments, but Brad Green and Jeff Farmer answered to snuff out the challenge. The Roos got seven for the quarter, but Melbourne's five were enough to see them comfortably over the line and into the season decider.
Despite poor form in the Qualifying Final victory, Jeff Farmer had learnt a lesson from his round 17 meeting with the Roos and slammed on eight goals, devastating future Demon teammate Byron Pickett in the process. It was the first time a Demon had booted 8 in a preliminary since Jack Mueller had done the job in 1946 and 1948.
Wayne Carey kicked three goals on Anthony Ingerson but was nothing like his usual commanding self, and Neitz destroyed Mick Martyn at the other end - only blotting his copybook with three behinds before registering a goal.
The Demons had to wait another day to find out whether they'd take on the following Saturday - Essendon or Carlton, and it was the Bombers who saluted with a 45 point victory.
Some sources say Bruce corked his thigh.
Herald Sun - 26/08/2000
Herald Sun - 26/08/2000
Canberra Times - 28/08/2000