Melbourne win by 48 points
Hopes had been high for the Demons in 1977 after missing the finals by the narrowest of margins the year before. Going into Round 8 they had lost every game. Demon directors had been forced to deny they were lining up a replacement for Bob Skilton but every loss made his position seem more untenable.
The coach had called for his side to start their match against Fitzroy the same way they'd finished the Round 7 loss to Carlton, and while his side didn't respond in the first quarter they struck back to lead at half time.
The struggling Roys had beaten the mighty North Melbourne in a night game a few days earlier but their form did a total back-flip and despite being wasteful in front of goals again the Demons were on their way to victory at the last change and Skilton was about to temporarily see the monkey off his abck.
It might have finished differently when the Roys fought back to 12 points behind midway through the last quarter before the Demons turned on the afterburners and ran away to a comfortable victory.
No wonder then that relief was written all over coach Bob Skilton's face after dominating Fitzroy at league headquarters. The under pressure coach was almost lost for words, "What more can I say? They've said it all for me out on the field" he spluttered.
Best were Colin Graham, who played his best game for the Demons with 21 kicks and 5.4, Wells and Grambeau. Smith was replaced by Tippett and Fowler by O'Keefe, both in the last quarter.
Melbourne 8.20.68 d. Fitzroy 7.13.55
Goals - Walkley 3, Baldwin 1, Carroll 1, Cook 1, Lyons 1, Starks 1
Best - Marchant, Cook, Giampaolo
Fitzroy 17.9.111 d. Melbourne 10.9.69
Goals - Oliver 3, Henke 2, Jones 2, Moncrieff 2, Zuben 1
Best - Clarke, Boccabella, Caddaye