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Round 19 Talking Points

Round 19 Talking Points

📁 News 🕔12.August 2018
Round 19 Talking Points

1. MIRRA MOVES FORWARD

With his leading goal kicker sidelined and the competition’s in form player patrolling his half-forward line, Chris Newman and his coaching group had to think laterally; after all, curtailing the influence of Werribee’s Sam Collins is difficult enough with your number one spearhead, let alone without them.

A one-time Box Hill Hawk and former Fremantle Docker, Collins averages a tick over 11 marks a match in 2018, with just over seven of those uncontested, whilst Mirra has made a sterling reputation for himself across 137 VFL games as a defender.

When Mirra trotted towards the Hawks’ forward fifty for the first bounce John Lamont’s coaches’ box could’ve been forgiven for thinking he was lost.

What ensued was a tactical game of cat and mouse, in which Mirra and the Hawks were happy to take the match-up of Collins, or see the league’s outstanding defender push out of his favoured half-back role in search of the freedom to zone off and set up the host’s attacks.

In the end Mirra would lead the line fabulously, with his smart movement, deft bodywork and assured set shots resulting in a return of 4.2 from six shots – he’d only managed eight goals in his VFL career – and suggesting we might yet see a sequel to 2018’s most unexpected hit: ‘David Mirra, Forward’.

2. SEPTEMBER SECURED

It didn’t go down how we’d have liked, but with Essendon’s defeat to Geelong on Saturday night finals football was officially secured.

The Hawks sit fifth on the competition table – knocked from the top four following Williamstown’s remarkable defeat of the league leading Richmond – three games inside the eight with just two to play.

It means that Box Hill will figure in Spring time footy for the ninth time in the last ten seasons.

A double chance is still a distinct possibility despite Saturday’s set-back, but it’ll not come easily.

Box Hill finish off the home and away season with the second and third placed Casey and Geelong at City Oval – an opportunity to tune up against the best for a crack at them just a few weeks later – whilst Williamstown entertain the seventh-placed Port Melbourne in round 20 before travelling to Casey a week later.

3. A THIN LINE BETWEEN EVERYTHING AND NOTHING

Seven.

The number of changes from the win against Collingwood to the loss at Werribee.

Chris Newman lost vice-captain Will Hams, 31-goal forward Mitch Lewis and the damaging Will Langford to injury, Conor Nash and Marc Pittonet to senior AFL call-ups, Taylor Duryea was an AFL holdover and the skipper, Andrew Moore, missed via the first match of a two-week suspension.

In came Liam Mackie, Billy Murphy, Stuart Horner, Nick Evans, Michael Knoll, Lachie Walker and Nathan Boucher, all of whom are Box Hill listed talent.

And yet, despite the upheaval, barely ten minutes into the last term a magnificent victory was in the offing.

Whilst understandably disappointing, to lose all perspective of how small the margins were between victory and defeat would do a disservice to what was a fine effort in trying circumstances.

Still, lessons and learnings are there for all and the final term fade out should serve as motivation for individuals and the collective.

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