Carlton win by 42 points
Needing a win against the top of the table Blues to stay within striking distance of the top four Melbourne failed miserably, and the season which had promised so much early now saw them three games out of finals contention.
The first clash between Ron Barassi and a non-Norm Smith coached Demons saw Smith pick against Melbourne in his Age newspaper for the first time all season, and despite his son Peter being in a Blues guernsey Smith was still seen at Princes Park willing his old side and its new coach John Beckwith on.
Lacking the talls to take on Carlton, Melbourne were outmuscled by John Nicholls in the ruck and were thrashed around the packs. The Demons were expected to use their superior pace and fitness to trouble the home side but were never allowed to exploit their advantages. Whenever they got the ball Carlton tackled them hard and despite switching Hassa Mann in and out of the centre, Beckwith could never get his champion into the game.
Best were Dixon, Davis and Groom. K. Osborne was replaced by Forster in the last quarter. Bourke (knee) was replaced by Lees in the last quarter. Mann bruised his ribs.
The match was the first of the season played at the new starting time of 2.10pm.
Melbourne 8.19 d. Carlton 8.12
Goals - Stone 3, Catlin 2, D. Clarke 1, K. Clarke 1, Rowlands 1
Best - Catlin, Dowsing, Stone
Melbourne 13.10 d. Carlton 11.7
Goals - Stanton 3, Mitchell 3, McLean 3, Walker 2, Hodges 1, Swift 1
Best - Cutting, Stevenson, Stone
Blueseum match report