Round 1, 1981
Melbourne vs Hawthorn
Saturday 28 March
Hawthorn win by 41 points
Goalkickers: Mark Jackson 4, Andrew Moir 3, Bill Nettlefold 3, Tony Barnes 2, Robert Flower 1, Graham Gaunt 1, Gerard Healy 1, Kelly O'Donnell 1
First game and First goal
First MFC Game
First Game as Coach
When Ron Barassi ran out with his team before the Round 1 clash with Hawthorn he had been given a rock star reception by most of the 32,202 fans in the ground, but nobody really expected miracles against a side that had finished one spot but five wins in front of the Demons on the table in 1980.
What they got instead was a magical first twenty minutes of the season. When the lead reached 27 points even the skeptics were rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Maybe Barassi was the ultimate miracle worker after all? They’d seen false dawns in first rounds before many times over the last 17 years, but with the super coach at the helm and new recruit Jackson on the way to four goals on debut it seemed more plausible that they’d be able to go on with it.
Then Hawthorn kicked three goals in a row to end the quarter. The momentum had shifted and it never returned. Jackson was handy at one end but at the other Leigh Matthews was unstoppable, helping himself to an opening round 11 goals, and the defensive frailties which would dog Barassi’s side throughout the year were thrown wide open in the first match of the season. The coach tried five different opponents on Matthews without effect.
Best for Melbourne were Baker, Pinnell and Gordon.
Tony Martyn was reported for striking Michael Tuck in the second quarter and suspended for two matches. He plead not guilty but the charge was upheld when the tribunal viewed video evidence.
Melbourne 18.13.121 d. Hawthorn 14.18.102
Goals - McGlashan 5, Byrne 4, O'Dwyer 2, Barham 1, Bickford 1, Czarnecki 1, Maynard 1, McDermid 1, O'Brien 1, Tossol 1
Best - Keenan, Whitfort, McGlashan
Hawthorn 20.13.133 defeated Melbourne 15.19.109
Goals - Cordner 6, Battiston 4, Kane 2, Deakin 1, Dickson 1, O'Sullivan 1
Best - Tossol, Cordner, Dickson
Most goals on debut
Canberra Times - 29/03/1981
Age - 30/03/1981
Age - 31/03/1981
Football Record R2 1981