Melbourne win by 10 points
After two thumping losses, the Demons went in at long odds in without the injured Garry Lyon. The Saints had lost their first two games as well, but both had been against top teams and the night premiers were expected to open their account in the first - and only - meeting between sides at Princes Park. The team that had lost by an average of 20 goals across the first two weeks of the season pulled off a stirring victory.
In the weeks before the game there was a suggestion that the game would be moved to Waverley due to construction work at Princes Park, but Melbourne made it clear that they preferred not to move, despite ongoing disputes about sponsorship. Before the game acting president Bill Guest described the AFL's prohibition of Tooheys signage as "childish". He said "It's an absurd situation where not only do we have to play at this ground where you can't park, and you can't drink Tooheys beer, and you've got this totally ludicrous situation where we can't even have a Tooheys sign."
After a week of criticism that they were too slow, the Demons responded by playing hard at the ball football which helped them unsettle the Saints. Shaun Smith was looking dangerous at full forward, with four shots on goal in the first quarter, before he was stretchered off midway through the second term after suffering a bump.
The Saints almost snatched victory in the last quarter despite losing three players to injury, including Nicky Winmar who hurt his knee, Justin Peckett his shoulder, and Stewart Loewe who suffered blurred vision for most of the match. Melbourne also battled injury issues, with best on ground Glenn Lovett remaining on the field during the last quarter despite a broken hand. He missed six weeks with the injury.
As well as Smith, and Lovett, Matthew Febey also suffered a concussion, while David Neitz had an eye injury. Paul Prymke had already been replaced in the selected side by Andrew Lamprill due to a back injury.
St Kilda 9.9.63 d. Melbourne 7.8.50
Goals - D.Yze 2, Polley 1, Gehling 1, Gaspar 1, Farmer 1, Bradly 1
Best - Irving, Cockatoo-Collins, Davidson
Age lists the attendance as 11,878
Age - 05/04/1996
Age - 15/04/1996
Football Record R4 1996