Round 6, 1981
Geelong vs Melbourne
Sunday 3 May
Geelong win by 49 points
Goalkickers: Mark Jackson 5, Vin Catoggio 3, Gerard Healy 2, Stephen Bickford 1, Graham Gaunt 1, Peter Keenan 1, Tony Martyn 1, Andrew Moir 1, Kelly O'Donnell 1
Stephen Bickford (12th game)
The VFL's Sydney invasion saw a fast, open, exciting game but one which was riddled with mistakes. Both teams were bogged down on the short and wide SCG ground, but Geelong was clearly the better side. Only poor kicking stopped them from building up a larger advantage from their superior play.
After Brent Crosswell gave away a late free kick in the first quarter that cost his side the lead at the break, Ron Barassi stormed onto the field and argued with Crosswell, before banishing him to the bench for the second quarter. He had already been dragged from the ground after the free, and when the coach gave Crosswell a piece of his mind the two clashed and the played stormed away. Demon team managed Max Scales convinced Crosswell to return but Barassi sent him away again. Crosswell returned 10 minutes into the second quarter and broke his right thumb later in the day.
Mark Jackson also put on a show for the Sydney crowd, with antics to try and put off his opponent like attempting to headbutt him in the back, and strutting around him yelling.
Geelong kicked away with 10 goals in the second quarter to set up a match-winning lead. A third quarter Demon revival was driven by Peter Maynard from the half-back line, and as the side started moving the ball down the middle of the ground instead of along the flanks they looked considerably better.
An early goal in the last term to Vin Catoggio gave Melbourne some hope of a comeback before the Cats kicked six in a row to kill the contest. It could have been worse, up front for the Cats Terry Bright kicked 5.7. It equalled the highest score Geelong had ever kicked against Melbourne to that point.
After the match Barassi said, "It's as boring as hell going through this losing coach routine". His side had been thrashed in the ruck and the centre of the ground. "I would be happy if they showed they were learning" he snarled, "They're just not catching on quick enough". Speaking of the Crosswell clash he said "he was just sent off. It is of no consequence why I did it", but suggested he would have "plenty to say" when speaking to Crosswell later. When quizzed by a reporter about whether the subject would be football, Barassi replied "About the weather".
Best were Maynard, Gordon and Baker. Brent Crosswell suffered a suspected broken thumb and Wayne Gordon a cut eye.
Geelong 23.24.162 d. Melbourne 11.14.80
Goals - Hardeman 3, Barnes 2, Todd 2, Barham 1, Dullard 1, Hamilton 1, Young 1
Best - Barham, Pinnell, Dullard
Geelong 22.18.150 d. Melbourne 14.9.93
Goals - Whitworth 4, Bergman 3, Cordner 2, Hedger 2, Battiston 1, McKaige 1, Joycey 1
Best - Battiston, Bell, Connolly
Age - 04/05/1981
Canberra Times - 04/05/1981
Sydney Morning Herald - 04/05/1981
Football Record R7 1981