Sydney win by 40 points
Wins over finals contenders Collingwood and Essendon, had lifted Melbourne back to within range of the top six. Their next engagement looked the easiest of the three, against a Sydney side who hadn't won a match in 11 months and were on a 26 game losing streak. Under new coach Ron Barassi, the Swans had finished their previous match with an encouraging last quarter, but still had a paltry crowd watching what was expected to be another defeat.
Before the game Neil Balme denied his side would take Sydney lightly, saying "On form, we should win but there is that danger because Sydney will win soon", and his side's cause was seemingly boosted when the Swans lost forward David Strooper. This left Richard Osborne as Sydney's focal point, and several weeks after narrowly avoided a career-ending injury in a collision with a teammate Osborne was the hero with 10.2. At the other end, Allen Jakovich managed just 1.6. Melbourne discard Paul Bryce was also prominent in an unfamiliar ruck role as the Swans broke through for the upset win.
In a high-scoring first quarter, Sydney led by 13 points before Melbourne fought back to level scores at the break. Another 11 goals were kicked in the second quarter, with the lead changing 10 times before the home side got to the break nine points ahead. The game was blown apart in the third term when Sydney scored 10.4 to 0.1, kicking the first 58 points of the quarter. Osborne kicked six to help put the game beyond doubt. Facing an insurmountable 60 point deficit at three quarter time, Melbourne regained some pride by winning the last term but saw their year all but ended in humiliating fashion.
Neil Balme said, "It's hard to put your finger on what went wrong in the third quarter". The coach had been in a similar position before, in ((1989) his Norwood side lost to South Adelaide, who ended a 26 game losing streak.
After snapping the ninth longest winless streak in VFL/AFL history, Sydney did not win another game for the year.
Best were Todd Viney, Stephen Tingay and Matthew Febey. Tingay was reported on video evidence for striking David Murphy during the last quarter but cleared at the Tribunal because the video didn't clearly show the alleged incident. Jakovich also jarred his heel on the hard SCG surface.
Melbourne 14.21.105 d. Sydney 6.3.39
Goals - Burgmann 3, Lamb 3, Doyle 2, Sullivan 1, Bennett 1, Norrish 1, Jeffery 1, Taylor 1, Mackay 1
Best - Cuthbertson, Hilton, Dyson
Report - Goodwin (misconduct)