The Black Swans
|West Australian Football League|
| Victoria 14.10(94)-8.11(59) Western Australia |
The Western Australia Australian rules football team is the state representative side of Western Australia in the sport of Australian rules football.
Western Australia has a proud history in interstate football, having a successful historical record and winning three Australian Championships and a State of Origin Carnival Championship, in the State of Origin era.
Western Australia has a long and intense rivalry with Victoria. The 1986 game between Western Australia and Victoria is "regarded by many people as one of the greatest games - not just in State of Origin - but in the 150 years of Australian Football".
The rivalry with Victoria stems from before State of Origin started clubs in the Victorian Football League (VFL), being the richest league, used to sign many of the best players from interstate and the standard rules prior to 1977 were that all VFL players played interstate football for Victoria. Also contributing a feeling in Western Australia that Victoria never gave them the credit they deserve, despite some of the best players of all time coming from the state. The rivalry with Victoria is characterised in the West Coast Eagles first song, with the line "for years they took the best of us and claimed them for their own, but now we've got them back again", referring to the VFL making Western Australian players play for Victoria.
Western Australia played several interstate matches annually from 1904 until when State of Origin ended in 1999. Western Australia has participated in every Australian National Football Carnival, and always in section 1 when there were divisions. Throughout the majority of the team's history its players came from the West Australian Football League. Between 1977 and 1999 West Australian players in the Victorian Football League played State of Origin football for the Sandgropers.
Western Australia has won three State of Origin Carnival championships. The 1980s were Western Australia's most successful period, winning the Australian Championship three times.
Western Australia won the historic first State of Origin game against Victoria in 1977 by 94 points. This game was a significant endorsement of the concept as a Victorian team had defeated the West Australian team under the previous selection rules by 64 points in the same year.
Although Western Australia has a very strong rivalry with South Australia, the rivalry with Victoria is the state's strongest. Western Australia's rivalry stems from dislike coming from a number of reasons, like a feeling in Western Australia that Victoria never gave them the credit they deserve, despite some of the best players of all time coming from the state. It has been described that Western Australia has disdain for Victoria.
Some games widely regarded as some of the best in the history of Australian football were played between Western Australia and Victoria in the 1980s. Some include the games in 1986 and 1984, which were high scoring, with multiple high goal scorers.
Shane Parker a former Western Australia player, has stated about his memories of State of Origin growing up "Oh, when I was a kid the State of Origin games were the greatest ever. It was a really big thing to see the WA side play, particularly against Victoria".
The entire Western Australian team that won the 1961 Interstate Carnival was inducted into the Western Australian Hall of Champions, because they won a breakthrough carnival, which had been dominated by Victoria.
Fans at games between South Australia and Western Australia have been described as vociferous and parochial. A game between Western Australia and South Australia in Adelaide has been described as parochialism raining.
The best player for Western Australia is awarded the Simpson Medal. The medal has been awarded since 1946. Between 1995 and 1998 the Graham Moss Medal was awarded to the best player from a Western Australian team.