Round 1 of the 2018 AFL fixture has been revealed, and the Sydney Swans have the notable honour of being the first away side to play at the new Perth Stadium.
Sydney’s hosts for the Sunday March 25th match will be the West Coast Eagles, who've recently lost 1,485 games of experience, and two Brownlow Medalists from their side.
While the trip west will be as tough as they get, it’s certainly better to have it out of the way in Round 1, than sandwiched in the middle of the draw. Combine this with the supposedly weaker opposition, and it’s a pretty fair opening draw.
However, the statistics tell us the Swans are historically weak in Western Australia, having won just 14 of 40 contests at both the WACA and Subiaco Oval.
Technically, how may the Swannies fare at the new oval?
According to PerthNow, the dimensions of the ground are 165 long by 130 wide, making it comparable to two grounds the club struggles at, Subiaco and the MCG, but 10 metres shorter than the former and five longer than the latter.
This also makes it wider than Subi (175 x 122) and thinner than the Melbourne Cricket Ground (170 x 146). Generally, more expansive grounds will hurt the Bloods, who prefer the cramped nooks and crannies of the Sydney Cricket Ground.
There’s also some pretty lights.
AFL Round 1, 2018
Thursday, March 22
Richmond v Carlton, MCG, 7.25pm
Friday, March 23
Essendon v Adelaide, Etihad Stadium, 7.50pm
Saturday, March 24
St Kilda v Brisbane Lions, Etihad Stadium, 3.35pm
Port Adelaide v Fremantle, Adelaide Oval, 4.35pm
Gold Coast v North Melbourne, Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns, 7.25pm
Hawthorn v Collingwood, MCG, 7.25pm
Sunday, March 25
Greater Western Sydney v Western Bulldogs, Canberra, 1.10pm
Melbourne v Geelong, MCG, 3.20pm
West Coast v Sydney, Perth Stadium, 7.10pm
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