Melbourne win by 34 points
In a week where newcomers to the ground Collingwood played a home game at the MCG, the traditional inhabitants of the ground were forced into a home game at Optus Oval. Demon fans responded by staying away in droves, with the ones who stayed home missed a virtuoso performance by Stephen Powell. Having only just returned from a year on the sideline with osteitis pubis, and not yet 100% fit, the Melbourne midfielder torched the Eagles with 35 possessions, seven marks and three goals despite spending vast periods of the game on the interchange.
The Eagles started better in front of the near empty stands, but when their only two winners - Ben Cousins and Michael Gardiner - were contained the wheels started to fall off. After failing to register a stat in the first quarter, David Neitz took advantage of an injury to Ashley McIntosh to boot five of his side's seven goals of the second quarter. When Brad Green kicked his second of the day the margin had blown out to six goals before half-time.
The Eagles steadied and hit back in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 23 points. For ten minutes the game swung back and forward but it was Powell who goalled to put the Demons back in control. Three minutes later he marked in front of Darren Glass, sold the dummy and goalled. The Eagles charged again in the last quarter, kicking three of the first four goals but Powell once again saved the Demons with a goal.
Neale Daniher said "It was a very good win today. The Eagles were at us, and at us, and at us. To come away with the win and go 3-1 was really important." President Gabriel Szondy estimated his club lost $30,000 as a result of playing the game at Princes Park instead of the MCG.
Age - 21/04/2002
Age - 21/04/2002
Match report 20/04/2002