Richmond win by 31 points
First MFC Game
As far as ways to start the season go, having the Hawthorn song play when the side runs out is not the best omen - and things just got worse for the Demons from there. The backline which had been such a tower of strength over the past two seasons had nothing to combat the marking power of the Tiger talls in their Round 1 clash.
Matthew Richardson, returning after having missed most of the previous season, and Brad Ottens kicked five of the first eight between them and with six goals in the first 15 minutes the Tigers were 26 points in front at the first change. With Troy Simmonds injured and Alistair Nicholson on Matthew Richardson, Jeff White was forced to ruck all day on his own. Even David Schwarz was forced to start in defence to try and cover Richmond's numerous tall marking options.
The margin blew out to 38 at the long break, and despite a fightback throughout the third quarter led by Schwarz when he went forward which saw them draw to within 16, Richmond booted the last two goals of the last quarter to send Melbourne into the last break 28 points behind. Kicking 4.6 for the quarter hadn't helped their cause, and Matthew Knight's goal after the siren effectively finished the match off.
Best were Schwarz, Bruce and Leoncelli. Shane Woewodin, in his first game since winning the Brownlow Medal was shut down by former Saint Steven Sziller. White dominated the taps, with 24 to the Tigers total of 14, but when the ball hit the deck the Demon midfielders couldn't get near it.
Neale Daniher said "I guess at the end of the day the best team won on the day. I was really happy with the spirit of our blokes to fight it out, and their forward line was probably too good on the day for us."
AFANA News 2001
Age - 02/04/2001