South Melbourne win by 51 points
Melbourne's season delved into an even deeper crisis as they dropped their first match to South at the MCG since the winless 1919 season. It was their fifth defeat in a row since starting the season in hot fashion and finding themselves near the top of the ladder at 4-1 after five rounds.
The Reds started the season strongly in dry conditions but when winter set in and matches started to be played in wet conditions they fell apart. The MCG was again in a shocking condition, and South adapted better to the mud and slush. Melbourne never got going and without George Margitich, withdrawn due to the conditions as he recovered from a head injury, they put put up a pitifuly low score.
In the conditions, Melbourne's defenders lacked the strength to take on South's key forwards. They managed one goal in the first quarter, but conceded four. After Esposito's goal to cut the margin to eight, they were always on the back foot. It took a fifth South goal at the start of the last quarter for Melbourne to start making a fight of it. On a ground that had mud from one end to the other they were only able to kick one goal, and went in 25 points down. They didn't get any closer in the third, because they didn't score while South added 3.3.
Warne-Smith, Avery and Vine were best. Gordon Lindsay debuted as a replacement for Margitich. Jackson was 19th man.
The loss left Melbourne fourth last, three games outside the top four. After having been talked of as premiership fancies in the first half of the season, the Redlegs finished the first round of games at 5-6 and all but mathematically out of finals contention.
Melbourne 15.5 d. South Melbourne 7.10