Game Day Round 22, 2023 : West Coast Eagles vs Fremantle Dockers

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The fiercest rivalry in WA footy and if you believe the WA based media, the biggest rivalry in the AFL. Plenty of eagles and dockers fans would agree. I used to

But in reality, it isn’t. Beyond the WA border it doesn’t generate much interest, certainly less than the SA showdown. Even after 28 years many over east still can’t even pronounce derby correctly.

And when you try to conjure up truly memorable derbies from the 56 that have been played, there aren’t really that many

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So why might that be? The fans genuinely don’t get along

One answer might be that there aren’t many close games. Just 5 of the 56 derbies have been decided by less than a goal. Another 9 by less than 3 goals making a total of 14 (25%) than could be considered narrow margins. By comparison 23 of 54 showdowns have a margin less than 3 goal. The H2H record in showdowns is also a lot tighter at 27 all

Over half (32) have been decided by 5 goals or more. West Coast have an average winning margin of 38 points. For Fremantle it’s a less impressive 28 points.

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But when you look at it closely, the overwhelming answer is that, basically, Freo are s**t

Consider the following, since 1995 :

Premierships : WCE 2, FD 0
Grand Finals : WCE 4, FD 1
Finals : WCE 19, FD 8
Bottom 4 : WCE 5, FD 9

Aside from unadulterated gloating, there’s also a point to the above.

West Coast and Fremantle are more often than not at opposite stages in their build.

Of the 28 completed seasons, the two WA sides have only both made finals 4 times. They’ve both missed finals 6 times including this year.

When the sides have been relatively even the H2H record is 7-12 Fremantle’s way

It’s the other 19 seasons that underlines the reason why the rivalry isn’t what it might be.

When West Coast have made finals whilst Fremantle watch (15 times), the H2H record is 25-4. It’s even more stark in years when we watch Freo in the finals - 0 from 8 in derbies on those 4 occasions

In essence, it’s a myth that ladder position don’t count in derbies. When one side is better, they win and because we’ve mostly been better, we mostly win. Hence our 32-24 lead

Another curiosity is that apart from a stretch from 1999-2007, wins have come in streaks. Fremantle are currently on a 4 game streak after they broke a stretch of 11 Eagles wins. Before that Freo had won 13 of 16 from 2007-15 (when we missed finals 5 times) to get within one game of levelling the H2H - 21-20 was as close as they got

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So onto this weeks game, does anyone even care. You probably haven’t even noticed that up till now this OP is a direct copy of the round 3 preview (adjusted for the result of that game)

Freo aren’t making finals and we’re torn between beating them or keeping a Harley

And hoping that we don’t lose half our team before half time again

Danger game

Eagles by 40. Hewett to get the Rising Star nomination

Freo fans to gloat that they cost us Harley Reid whilst failing to realise that the draft pick they traded to Melbourne for Jackson will lead to them securing Reid when they trade up. Freo Forever Failing
 

Bleedblueandgold

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 9, 2009
10,940
11,502
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Danger game...
Dockers by 57 Hayden Ballantyne posters.
 

ROO DOGG

Club Legend
Jul 30, 2013
1,504
2,445
AFL Club
West Coast
Is this the first time we have played each other with both out of the finals race? Should make for a good game, with both sides not having to worry about getting injuries (or suspensions) for a finals campaign.
 

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EagleEgo

Club Legend
Jun 3, 2008
2,240
1,657
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Double entertainment:
3pm: Optus Stadium big screen: Matilda vs France Women World Cup
6:10pm: Western Derby.

Triple entertainment: 11:45am: for those whose care about the result of North Melbourne vs Essendon
 

Astro7

Official Halftime Oranges Man
Aug 6, 2017
4,090
5,118
AFL Club
West Coast
I'm very conflicted. Being a Derby-Darby it's the traditional time of intense loathing for the Purple People Eaters,
but do I go for the Eagles or Harley and therefore Freo?
Hope Hewey and Jones have a blinder!

Also a bit concerned about the growing mountain of hype over the Matildas, can they live up to it?
But thats another story for another thread somewhere...

Could be 2 wins today (and the loss of a Harley), or 2 losses (and a Harley gain), or a win-loss or loss-win.
Either way, looks like some good odds for betting (responsibly of course)
Go Eagles...and Harley?
 

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random260

Premiership Player
Apr 20, 2013
3,561
3,886
AFL Club
West Coast
I'm very conflicted. Being a Derby-Darby it's the traditional time of intense loathing for the Purple People Eaters,
but do I go for the Eagles or Harley and therefore Freo?

Also a bit concerned about the growing mountain of hype over the Matildas, can they live up to it?
But thats another story for another thread somewhere...

Could be 2 wins today (and the loss of a Harley), or 2 losses (and a Harley gain), or a win-loss or loss-win.
Either way, looks like some good odds for betting (responsibly of course)
Go Eagles...and Harley?
That's why you don't watch. Not watching because cant resolve conflict
 

BeornJ

Premiership Player
Sep 17, 2017
3,058
5,855
AFL Club
West Coast
Always after a win.

Reid looks the goods but so does Curtain. What is more important is a winning culture.

Hoping at least for a competitive showing. Hewett doing a lap of honour after a goal would be good as well.
 

BeornJ

Premiership Player
Sep 17, 2017
3,058
5,855
AFL Club
West Coast
Also, are Freo even allowed to have a player called Worner and one called Wagner?

Seems like it shouldn't be allowed.
 

jesterwester

Premiership Player
May 1, 2007
3,668
6,506
Australind
AFL Club
West Coast
Want to see us build on our defensive work behind the ball in the front half and working on scoring off turnover.

Fremantle score heavily from stoppages, so also curious to see what we do to negate that.
 

Astro7

Official Halftime Oranges Man
Aug 6, 2017
4,090
5,118
AFL Club
West Coast
Mumbles Longmuir reckons he's swinging a key midfielder back in defence, not a biggie, but let the ducks n' drakes begin...
 
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