Optus Stadium, Perth
|First meeting||14 May 1995|
|Latest meeting||19 July 2020|
|All-time series (AFL only)|| West Coast 31 wins|
Fremantle 20 wins
|Largest victory||West Coast – 117 points|
(15 April 2000)
|Longest win streak||West Coast, 10|
(16 August 2015 – present)
|Current win streak||West Coast, 10|
(16 August 2015 – present)
The Western Derby (//) is the name given to the Australian rules football match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers, who both participate in the Australian Football League (AFL). As both teams are based in Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, the term "derby" is used to describe the match. It has become one of the most important matches for football in Western Australia, with former South Fremantle and West Coast player, and former West Coast coach John Worsfold claiming that in the week before a derby that it is the main topic in Perth.
It's obviously different to the build-up of any normal game... We don't care what else is happening in the country, which is great."
In 2004, during the 175th-anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the Swan River Colony, the Western Derby was named as one of 12 "Heritage Icons", in recognition of "football's key social and historical importance to the State".
Referring to a melee during the Round 21, 2000 Derby, Channel Nine sports reporter Michael Thomson said the match had divided Western Australia and the "football landscape in WA has been changed forever."
There are two Western Derbies every year during the home and away season. From 1995 until 2017 the derbies were held at Subiaco Oval. From 2018, all derbies will be held at Perth Stadium. There has never been a Western Derby finals match. There has been one edition held overseas – in October 2005 at The Oval in London.
West Coast were the dominant team during Fremantle's early years winning the first nine derbies. Fremantle won their first Western Derby in July 1999 and since the turn of the century, it has been an even 19 wins to both clubs. West Coast are the current holders of the Western Derby Trophy after defeating Fremantle by 30 points in round 7 of the 2020 AFL season.
Derby XII Round 21, 2000. (AKA The Demolition Derby)
An infamous derby occurred in round 21, 2000. Both clubs were out of finals contention, the derby earlier in the year had recorded the biggest ever margin—(Scott Cummings' 10 goals led West Coast to a 117-point win), and in the lead-up both teams were talking down the importance of the game with the standard line of "it's only worth four points". However, Clive Waterhouse indicated that something different might happen by saying that "blood would be spilled".
Before the first bounce, West Coast, through Michael Gardiner, went on the attack, pushing and shoving first-year player Matthew Pavlich. The umpires awarded a free kick to Pavlich before the ball was bounced. However, West Coast settled and led by four goals at quarter time with goals to Phillip Read, Andrew Embley and three to Phil Matera. Fremantle's forward line was struggling, with only four goals to half time, including two to Waterhouse, and singles to midfielders Heath Black and Troy Cook, while two goals to Mitchell White, a fourth goal for Matera and one to Chad Morrison in the second quarter saw West Coast go to the half-time break 32 points in front. During the break, a brawl broke out which cleared both teams' benches and resulted in one of longest tribunal records in recent times.
In the third quarter, Phil Matera kicked his fifth goal, bringing the Eagles lead to 42 points, but Fremantle surged to cut the margin to 18 points at three-quarter time with three goals to Clive Waterhouse and singles to Pavlich and Daniel Bandy.
The last quarter saw Phil Matera carried from the ground on a stretcher after a hard collision with umpire Steven Handley, and a solid but legal shirtfront by Troy Cook also saw Mitchell White carried from the ground on a stretcher. A six-goal to three final quarter, including another two to Waterhouse and singles to Koops, Shipp, and Kickett and Dodd saw Fremantle hit the lead by two points. With only seconds to spare the Eagles pushed forward and a loose ball was unable to be gathered in by makeshift forward Darren Glass, resulting in a rushed behind and a one-point victory for Fremantle, only their second ever in a Western Derby.
The following suspensions and fines were handed out as a result of the brawl:
- Dale Kickett was suspended for a total of nine matches for striking Phillip Read twice and striking Andrew Embley once.
- Michael Gardiner was suspended for two matches for striking Matthew Pavlich.
- Brad Dodd was suspended for two matches for attempting to strike Phillip Read, while Read was suspended for two matches for striking Dodd in retaliation.
- Seven players from Fremantle (Heath Black, Paul Hasleby, Shaun McManus, Clem Michael, Jason Norrish, Jess Sinclair and Andrew Shipp) and five players from West Coast (Ben Cousins, Andrew Embley, Kane Munro, Michael Gardiner and Phillip Read) were reported for melee involvement. Embley was found not guilty; the remaining players were fined between $2000 and $4000.
The following week both teams were well beaten, with Fremantle beaten by Brisbane by 107 points at the Gabba and Melbourne winning by 70 points over the Eagles at Subiaco.
London Derby, 2005
The only time the fixture was played outside of Perth was in October 2005 at The Oval in Kennington, South London. West Coast had narrowly finished as runner-up to Sydney the previous month but were missing their vaunted midfield of Cousins, Chris Judd and Daniel Kerr. The game included a third-quarter fight and the Dockers’ Jeff Farmer and the Eagles’ Adam Hunter kicking four goals each. No video footage has been shared from the game, which Fremantle won by 13.12 (90) to 11.7 (73) in front of nearly 19,000 people, which was a record crowd for an Australian rules football game in England.
Derby XXV Round 3, 2007
The round 3, 2007 match will be remembered as one of the most controversial and spiteful derbies ever played. Nearing three-quarter time, Fremantle's Des Headland was reported by umpire Stuart Wenn for striking and wrestling with West Coast's Adam Selwood, who made an inappropriate comment about a tattoo on Headland's arm, which depicted his then six-year-old daughter.
The case was heard on 18 April, with Selwood cleared of using abusive language towards Headland. Headland was found guilty of both striking and wrestling with Selwood, but was not suspended because of "exceptional and compelling circumstances by way of provocation".
West Coast won this match by 31 points, and Michael Braun was awarded the Ross Glendinning Medal, ending his acceptance speech with "Let's have a fucking good year" which was broadcast to 550,000 viewers on live television and to the 42,551 in attendance. Braun was fined $500 by the Eagles, but the AFL intervened, severely reprimanded the Eagles and fined Braun an additional $5000.
Several weeks after the match, Selwood officially apologised to women, and claimed that he did not mean what he had said to Headland four weeks earlier. Paradoxically, he also claimed that he was badly treated by the media because he was innocent of the charges in the Headland saga and he should have just been allowed to prove his innocence.
Source: AFL Tables
Derby XXXIV Round 18, 2011
The closest finish to a derby occurred in Round 18, 2011 when Eagles midfielder Matt Rosa was penalised by umpire Dean Margetts in a deliberate out of bounds decision with West Coast leading by two points in the dying seconds. Having earned a free kick from the decision, Hayden Ballantyne had a chance to win the game for Fremantle with a shot after the siren from 50m out on a tight angle and while his drop punt looked a goal for much of its journey, it hit the padding on the right hand goalpost amid a sea of hands from both sides, leaving the Eagles the winners by a single point, 8.17 (65) to Fremantle's 9.10 (64). Ballantyne prematurely celebrated, believing that the kick was a goal and had won the match.
This proved to be the catalyst for both sides as the season wound down. Fremantle slid down the ladder, losing the next six matches in succession to end a disappointing season, while West Coast went on to win their remaining regular season matches.
Derby XLVIII Round 20, 2018
Nearly two decades after the most violent derby in its history, another infamous contest occurred in Round 20, 2018. During the third quarter, West Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff struck Fremantle first-year player Andrew Brayshaw in the face in an incident which occurred off the ball and resulted in Brayshaw suffering a broken jaw. Gaff was targeted by Fremantle players for the remainder of the game, until his coach decided to bench him after suffering from a double-team shoulder hit from two Fremantle players. Gaff was sent straight to the AFL Tribunal the following day, where he pleaded guilty to intentionally striking Brayshaw, and subsequently suspended for eight AFL matches, thus missing the AFL finals where West Coast would go on to win the Premiership.
Derby L Round 16, 2019
In this Derby Fremantle registered the lowest score in Derby history scoring 2.19 to cap off a disappointing day, where they lost by over 90 points. Fremantle also registered the worst goal conversion in an AFL premiership game.
Derby LI 2020
For the first time, due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic reducing the season to 17 games, only a single derby was played in 2020. The ground capacity was restricted to half of the maximum to allow for social distancing. The crowd of 25,306 people was the highest for the AFL since the pandemic started due to the Western Australian Governments successful handling of the Pandemic, but the lowest ever for a derby. West Coast won by 30 points, setting a new record of ten consecutive derby wins dating back to August 2015.
Western Derby results
|Year||Date||Rd||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Score||Ground||Crowd||Winner||M||H2H|
|1||1995||14 May||7||West Coast||23.13 (151)||Fremantle||9.12 (66)||Subiaco Oval||40,356||West Coast||85||+1|
|2||3 September||22||Fremantle||8.10 (58)||West Coast||16.15 (111)||39,844||West Coast||53||+2|
|3||1996||31 March||1||Fremantle||6.9 (45)||West Coast||9.13 (67)||33,041||West Coast||22||+3|
|4||21 July||16||West Coast||12.10 (82)||Fremantle||7.6 (48)||35,406||West Coast||34||+4|
|5||1997||13 April||3||West Coast||16.15 (111)||Fremantle||9.17 (71)||39,294||West Coast||40||+5|
|6||3 August||18||Fremantle||7.7 (49)||West Coast||13.4 (82)||39,711||West Coast||33||+6|
|7||1998||12 April||3||Fremantle||10.7 (67)||West Coast||14.10 (94)||34,710||West Coast||27||+7|
|8||2 August||18||West Coast||15.9 (99)||Fremantle||8.12 (60)||37,145||West Coast||39||+8|
|9||1999||28 March||1||Fremantle||13.20 (98)||West Coast||15.12 (102)||32,680||West Coast||4||+9|
|10||18 July||16||West Coast||11.6 (72)||Fremantle||17.17 (119)||36,763||Fremantle||47||+8|
|11||2000||15 April||6||West Coast||28.10 (178)||Fremantle||9.7 (61)||40,460||West Coast||117||+9|
|12||30 July||21||Fremantle||15.11 (101)||West Coast||15.10 (100)||37,573||Fremantle||1||+8|
|13||2001||21 April||4||Fremantle||13.10 (88)||West Coast||16.16 (112)||38,804||West Coast||24||+9|
|14||12 August||19||West Coast||14.14 (98)||Fremantle||9.10 (64)||41,285||West Coast||34||+10|
|15||2002||31 March||1||West Coast||21.11 (137)||Fremantle||18.10 (118)||39,467||West Coast||19||+11|
|16||20 July||16||Fremantle||15.10 (100)||West Coast||11.4 (70)||41,779||Fremantle||30||+10|
|17||2003||27 April||5||Fremantle||10.13 (73)||West Coast||16.12 (108)||41,654||West Coast||35||+11|
|18||30 August||22||West Coast||11.16 (82)||Fremantle||14.12 (96)||43,027||Fremantle||14||+10|
|19||2004||1 May||6||West Coast||11.7 (73)||Fremantle||12.11 (83)||42,135||Fremantle||10||+9|
|20||22 August||21||Fremantle||6.9 (45)||West Coast||13.15 (93)||41,907||West Coast||48||+10|
|21||2005||9 April||3||Fremantle||12.8 (80)||West Coast||12.16 (88)||42,027||West Coast||8||+11|
|22||12 August||20||West Coast||19.14 (128)||Fremantle||12.8 (80)||40,720||West Coast||48||+12|
|23||2006||6 May||6||Fremantle||12.16 (88)||West Coast||12.11 (83)||42,213||Fremantle||5||+11|
|24||27 August||21||West Coast||8.13 (61)||Fremantle||18.10 (118)||43,527||Fremantle||57||+10|
|25||2007||14 April||3||Fremantle||11.4 (70)||West Coast||14.17 (101)||42,051||West Coast||31||+11|
|26||5 August||18||West Coast||14.13 (97)||Fremantle||19.10 (124)||43,096||Fremantle||27||+10|
|27||2008||5 April||3||West Coast||10.13 (73)||Fremantle||12.15 (87)||39,027||Fremantle||14||+9|
|28||3 August||18||Fremantle||17.14 (116)||West Coast||12.11 (83)||42,096||Fremantle||33||+8|
|29||2009||2 May||6||West Coast||9.20 (74)||Fremantle||13.9 (87)||41,654||Fremantle||13||+7|
|30||25 July||17||Fremantle||10.11 (71)||West Coast||8.18 (66)||39,536||Fremantle||5||+6|
|31||2010||2 May||6||West Coast||10.13 (73)||Fremantle||17.9 (111)||40,886||Fremantle||38||+5|
|32||1 August||18||Fremantle||24.16 (160)||West Coast||13.7 (85)||40,451||Fremantle||75||+4|
|33||2011||15 May||8||West Coast||14.12 (96)||Fremantle||9.9 (63)||40,567||West Coast||33||+5|
|34||24 July||18||Fremantle||9.10 (64)||West Coast||8.17 (65)||41,055||West Coast||1||+6|
|35||2012||27 May||9||West Coast||11.18 (84)||Fremantle||5.6 (36)||40,905||West Coast||48||+7|
|36||4 August||19||Fremantle||17.11 (113)||West Coast||6.12 (48)||39,694||Fremantle||65||+6|
|37||2013||23 March||1||Fremantle||16.12 (108)||West Coast||11.14 (80)||39,629||Fremantle||28||+5|
|38||14 July||16||West Coast||14.9 (93)||Fremantle||19.7 (121)||39,839||Fremantle||28||+4|
|39||2014||4 May||7||West Coast||7.12 (54)||Fremantle||11.7 (73)||40,476||Fremantle||19||+3|
|40||28 June||15||Fremantle||13.10 (88)||West Coast||11.15 (81)||40,490||Fremantle||7||+2|
|41||2015||19 April||3||West Coast||12.9 (81)||Fremantle||17.9 (111)||39,138||Fremantle||30||+1|
|42||16 August||20||Fremantle||11.14 (80)||West Coast||15.14 (104)||41,959||West Coast||24||+2|
|43||2016||9 April||3||West Coast||12.20 (92)||Fremantle||8.11 (59)||40,555||West Coast||33||+3|
|44||7 August||20||Fremantle||9.10 (64)||West Coast||17.8 (110)||36,215||West Coast||46||+4|
|45||2017||29 April||6||West Coast||16.7 (103)||Fremantle||9.8 (62)||40,836||West Coast||41||+5|
|46||16 July||17||Fremantle||5.14 (44)||West Coast||11.8 (74)||38,722||West Coast||30||+6|
|47||2018||29 April||6||Fremantle||12.9 (81)||West Coast||13.11 (89)||Optus Stadium||56,521||West Coast||8||+7|
|48||5 August||20||West Coast||21.16 (142)||Fremantle||13.6 (84)||57,375||West Coast||58||+8|
|49||2019||13 April||4||West Coast||10.9 (69)||Fremantle||7.14 (56)||58,219||West Coast||13||+9|
|50||6 July||16||Fremantle||2.19 (31)||West Coast||19.8 (122)||56,358||West Coast||91||+10|
|51||2020a||19 July||7||Fremantle||5.2 (32)||West Coast||9.8 (62)||25,306||West Coast||30||+11|
Women's Western Derby results
|Year||Date||Rd||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Score||Ground||Crowd||Winner||M||H2H|
|1||2020||15 February||2||West Coast||2.3 (15)||Fremantle||9.6 (60)||Optus Stadium||35,185||Fremantle||47||+1|
Timeline of results
Up-to-date at the completion of Derby 50
Most Goals in One Game
|Scott Cummings||2000||Round 6||West Coast Eagles||10||2|
|Matthew Pavlich||2012||Round 19||Fremantle Football Club||8||2|
|Josh Kennedy||2016||Round 20||West Coast Eagles||7||2|
|Clive Waterhouse||2000||Round 21||Fremantle Football Club||7||2|
|Josh Kennedy||2017||Round 6||West Coast Eagles||6||2|
|Tony Modra||1999||Round 16||Fremantle Football Club||6||2|
|Troy Wilson||2002||Round 1||West Coast Eagles||6||1|
Most Career Goals
|Matthew Pavlich||Fremantle Football Club||61||35||34||1.79|
|Josh Kennedy||West Coast Eagles||47||32||18||2.53|
|Mark LeCras||West Coast Eagles||43||22||18||2.39|
|Jack Darling||West Coast Eagles||40||21||18||2.23|
|Phil Matera||West Coast Eagles||37||16||16||2.31|
|Hayden Ballantyne||Fremantle Football Club||23||10||14||1.66|
|Jeff Farmer||Fremantle Football Club||19||10||11||1.73|
|Scott Cummings||West Coast Eagles||19||2||4||4.75|
|Matthew Pavlich||Fremantle Football Club||34|
|Dean Cox||West Coast Eagles||27|
|David Mundy||Fremantle Football Club||27|
|Aaron Sandilands||Fremantle Football Club||26|
|Darren Glass||West Coast Eagles||24|
|Shannon Hurn||West Coast Eagles||24|
Brownlow Votes through the end of the 2016 AFL season.
|Daniel Kerr||West Coast Eagles||15||17||0.88|
|Guy McKenna||West Coast Eagles||13||11||1.18|
|Stephen Hill||Fremantle Football Club||12||15||0.80|
|Chris Judd||West Coast Eagles||11||11||1.00|
|Ben Cousins||West Coast Eagles||11||20||0.55|
|Paul Hasleby||Fremantle Football Club||11||20||0.55|
|Aaron Sandilands||Fremantle Football Club||11||24||0.45|
|Matthew Pavlich||Fremantle Football Club||11||34||0.32|
|Peter Bell||Fremantle Football Club||10||15||0.66|
|Matthew Priddis||West Coast Eagles||9||21||0.42|
Other Western Derbys
In preparation for the 2017 launch of the AFL women's league competition, the AFL held 10 Exhibition Series matches during 2016. The only match held in Perth featured both a women's side from the Fremantle Football Club & the West Coast Eagles, played as a curtain-raiser for the men's Western Derby, won by the West Coast Eagles. The First Western Derby in the AFLW took place on 15 February 2020, when the West Coast Eagles lost to the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium.
- Heritage Icons: The Western Derby – Constitutional Centre of Western Australia. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- AFANA AFL News 6 August 2000
- Mark Fine (1 September 2011). The Book of Footy Lists. Slattery Media Group. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-921778-30-8. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- Dockers down Eagles in London Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Burgan, M; A Night at the Tribunal; 19 April 2007
- "Michael Braun Ross Glendenning Medal Speach [sic]". YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Braun no help to the Eagles cause, Tony Jones, Ninemsn; 16 April 2007
- West Coast concede error over Braun fine, AAP, The Age; 21 April 2007
- "West Coast's Braun fined $5000 by AFL". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
- Hagdorn, K;'Slut' allegation AFL player says sorry to women; 13 May 2007; Retrieved on 22 June 2007
- Broughton 'thought it went through'
- Mark Duffield: Seasons turn on these moments
- Hayden Ballantyne miss hands one-point victory to West Coast
- "AFL Match Review for Round 20: Andrew Gaff referred to tribunal, plenty of fines". Fox Sports Australia. 6 October 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
- Beveridge, Riley (7 August 2018). "Tribunal hands down Gaff verdict". AFL.com.au. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "Season cut to 17 games, call delayed on R1 start". afl.com.au. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
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