The calming influence of Malcolm Gregory Brown and guaranteed ladder positions should be enough to avoid a repeat of the WA Day post-match dramas but East Perth will still supply extra security for their match against West Perth at Medibank Stadium today.
The nail-biting draw between the arch rivals at Arena Joondalup in June ignited remarkable scenes after the final siren for which West Perth coach Bill Monaghan was heavily fined, the club forfeited a good behaviour bond and Kody Manning was suspended for racial vilification.
Both clubs initially feared today's final home-and-away fixture would provoke more off-field dramas with steps being planned to limit clashes between the two passionate supporter bases.
But West Perth's limp end to the season, which forced their exit from the finals race with two rounds to go, and the fact that East Perth can't rise or fall from fourth place has taken the edge off the contest.
"We will have extra security in place but the reality is that the game doesn't have as much sting as we thought it would," East Perth chief executive Alex Wilson said.
"Things would be different if it was a knockout and both teams had to win to qualify for finals."
WAFL operations manager Cam Knapton said he was satisfied with East Perth's planning for the match but recognised the forecast rain and the fact that neither club would change ladder positions had reduced the potential for trouble.
East Perth will use the match to celebrate premiership anniversaries for Brown's 1972 team and the 2002 outfit that won the second leg of a hat-trick under current coach Tony Micale.
The flamboyant Brown, who remains the WAFL's third most experienced coach with 381 matches for the Royals, Claremont, South Fremantle and Perth, will host the premiership reunion alongside 2002 Simpson medallist Ryan Turnbull.
Premiership ruckman David Whittle claimed recently that Brown was often overlooked when successful football tacticians were discussed but said East Perth would not have won the 1972 grand final without their captain-coach's inspired planning.
"Claremont had an outstanding ruck division in Graham Moss and Peter Hines but Brownie pulled a masterstroke when he put himself in the ruck at the first bounce alongside me and Brad Smith," Whittle recalled.
"We were able to wear them down which negated Claremont's strength."
·Subiaco coach Chris Waterman has been fined $1000 for bringing the game into disrepute by abusing the umpires advisers at Bendigo Bank Stadium last weekend.
It was Waterman's second offence this season after he was fined $500 for abusing the umpires during a match in May.
- WAFL LADDER * P W L D For Agst % Pts Claremont 19 14 5 0 2271 1366 166.3 56 Swan Dists 19 14 5 0 2055 1738 118.2 56 East Frem 19 13 6 0 1996 1584 126.0 52 East Perth 19 11 7 1 1878 1717 109.4 46 West Perth 19 8 10 1 1646 1854 88.8 34 South Frem 20 7 13 0 1922 2183 88.0 28 Subiaco 19 7 12 0 1602 1876 85.4 28 Perth 19 6 13 0 1677 2071 80.9 24 Peel 19 5 14 0 1633 2291 71.3 20