Sydney win by 12 points
Goalkickers: Jeff Farmer 3, Andrew Leoncelli 3, David Schwarz 2, Shane Woewodin 2, Cameron Bruce 1, Matthew Collins 1, Stephen Powell 1, Russell Robertson 1, Marcus Seecamp 1, Troy Simmonds 1, Adem Yze 1
2 - Shane Woewodin
Despite a betting plunge on the Dees, and a cheeky banner from the Cheer Squad suggesting that the Sydney Olympics were the only action the city would see in September, Melbourne went into the last quarter nearly six goals down, before launching a comeback that saw them fall just 12 points short.
Before the game the SCG was under question for Sydney's first home game of the season after heavy rain during the week, especially in areas of turf that had only recently been laid.
After eight goals in his first two games James Cook suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter, throwing the Demons forward line structure into disarray, while on the other side Sydney were busy kicking six goals in each of the first three quarters. David Neitz also failed to play four quarters, suffering a knee injury late in the third.
With Sydney running out fit players, Melbourne kicked the first four goals of the last quarter to get within 11 points after 19 minutes, before Brett Allison kicked the sealer. Just seconds before Jeff White looked like he was going to mark 20m out directly in front, before a late spoil kept the ball alive and allowed the Swans to go forward for Allison's goal. Adem Yze replied, but a David Schwarz marking attempt 30 metres from goal wasn't paid and Melbourne ran out of time.
"We had to take all our opportunities in the last quarter," said Neale Daniher, "I had a sense we may have been a little fresher than them, but we really needed to convert and we missed too many opportunities."
Leoncelli, Powell and Woewodin were best.
Sydney Morning Herald gives the crowd as 27,179
Sydney Morning Herald - 24/03/2000
Age - 27/03/2000
Sydney Morning Herald - 27/03/2000
Herald Sun - 27/03/2000
Age - 29/03/2000