THE West Australian Football League kicked off with the closest opening round since 1973 when all four games were won by less than three goals each at the weekend, signaling a highly entertaining season ahead.
The combined round one winning margin for South Fremantle (17 points), Subiaco (15 points), East Fremantle (8 points) and West Perth (7 points) totalled just 47 points, which was the lowest for an opening round consisting of four games since the 1973 total of 35 points.
That round included a one-point win to East Fremantle over South Fremantle and 10-point win to East Perth against West Perth, while Perth and Claremont were separated by two points and Subiaco and Swans produced a 22-point margin.
WAFL opening rounds have consisted of four games for 80 seasons, with 24 of those producing aggregate margins of less than 100 points. Of those, only three opening rounds have produced less than last weekend’s total of 47 points.
Along with the 1973 total of 35 points, 1960’s opening round saw combined margins tally 42 points after a draw between West Perth and Perth, six-point margin between Claremont and Swan Districts, nine points separating South Fremantle and East Fremantle, and a 27 points deciding East Perth’s clash with Subiaco.
The lowest aggregate margin on record for round one is 30 points, which came on the opening weekend of the 1908 season. Results for that round included a draw between Subiaco and Midland Junction, two seven-point results and a 16-point margin.