Melbourne win by 23 points
Having stumbled into the finals with five losses from their last six games, Melbourne went in underdogs against the Pies but regained their form, and overcame injuries, to register a resounding win. The victory was gained without the injury Garry Lyon (thigh/groin), Danny Hughes (strained groin) and David Flintoff (thigh) who had broken down during the week. On the other side Collingwood sensationally dropped full-forward Brian Taylor despite the fact that he had kicked five goals the week before.
With the Pies on top in the second quarter, John Northey swung a change and replaced Steven O'Dwyer and Todd Viney with Ricky Jackson (pictured left celebrating a goal) and Graeme Yeats. The duo came off the bench and helped drag the Demons back into it. Jackson's pace burnt up the expansive Waverley surface and he helped himself to two goal after just two minutes on the ground.
The game was won in the third quarter. With Stynes taking control in the centre, Melbourne kicked five goals in five minutes, and nine to four during the quarter. Gavin Brown and Peter Daicos were shut down by Brett Lovett and Stephen Newport, and the mercurial Daicos spent much of the term on the bench after entering the game battling a groin injury. An errant Sean Wight pass which landed in the arms of Tony Shaw cut the lead to eleven points just before three quarter time but Brian Wilson's left foot snap at the 30 minute mark broke a run of three straight Pie goals.