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VFL – ROUND 13 MATCH PREVIEW

📁 News 🕔13.July 2017
VFL – ROUND 13 MATCH PREVIEW

WHERE: Box Hill City Oval
WHEN: Sunday, 12pm
COVERAGE: 3WBC Radio – 94.1 FM

LAST FIVE MEETINGS

Round 8, 2017: North Ballarat 11.9 (75) defeated by Box Hill 12.16 (88) at Eureka Stadium

Round 9, 2016: Box Hill 12.18 (90) defeated North Ballarat 9.9 (63) at Box Hill City Oval

Round 13, 2015: Box Hill 12.11 (83) defeated North Ballarat 11.12 (78) at Box Hill City Oval

Round 9, 2014: Box Hill Hawks 8.11 (59) defeated by North Ballarat 8.13 (61) at Box Hill City Oval

Round 7, 2013: North Ballarat 14.7 (91) defeated by Box Hill 17.12 (114) at Eureka Stadium

FORM

Round 8:
Box Hill defeated Nth Ballarat (A)  by 13
Nth Ballarat lost to to Box Hill (H) by 13

Round 9:

Box Hill BYE
North Ballarat lost to to Williamstown (H) by 56

Round 10:
Box Hill lost to to Casey (H) by 26
North Ballarat lost to to Geelong (H) by 49

Round 11:
Box Hill defeated Northern Blues (A) by 26
Nth Ballarat BYE

Round 12:
Box Hill lost to Williamstown (H) by 45
North Ballarat lost to to Essendon (H) by 54

SUMMARY

This Sunday’s round 13 clash marks the second meeting of these two sides in just 35 days.

So, five weeks removed, what has changed?

North Ballarat are still yet to win in 2017. Prior to the round 8 match-up they’d turned around their early season woes by stringing together a couple of weeks of positive, confidence building form. It was an encouraging period for the Roosters, one which culminated in running the then ladder-leading Hawks to 13 points.

Since that bitterly cold Sunday in Ballarat the Roosters have lost a further three matches by an average of 53 points; somewhat more tellingly, on average they score just 58 points a match this year, by far the lowest in the VFL.

Stats only ever tell half the story, though, and no matter the numbers in the win/loss columns or form line, no team can ever be taken lightly.

As for the Hawks, it’s been a tricky month. Immediately after the victory at Eureka Stadium Box Hill had the bye, with a maiden loss following the week off. Chris Newman’s men bounced back at Preston City Oval, with a 26-point win over the Blues, before losing top spot by virtue of a disappointing defeat at home to Williamstown.

It’s time to dig in, dig deep and ride out a rough spell.

TALKING POINTS

1. CAP’S BACK
He’s back. Box Hill’s no.1; it’s captain; it’s back-line general; its Mr. Consistent.

David Mirra returns to the field for the first time in some 62 days.

Unsighted in brown and gold since the round 5 win over Richmond, Mirra has been taunting and teasing eager onlookers with a series of fitness tests prior to most recent Hawks matches, making sports scientists and physios out of us all.

‘Looks like he’s moving pretty well,’ you’d find yourself thinking. ‘Surely he’s close.’

Well, the wait is over. You get the sense Mirra won’t be easing himself into the contest. You get a sense he’ll be keen to make up for lost time.

Following the aforementioned run of patchy form, the skipper’s inclusion shapes as vital to a Box Hill side looking to get back on track. The likes of Max Warren, Ayden Kennedy, Harry Morrison and Conor Glass have all chipped in and covered well for ‘Miz’ during his layoff, but the captain is the captain.

His presence straightens the side up and adds an undeniable quality to a back-half that is statistically the third best in the VFL. His contest work is always first rate. His decision making under pressure is elite. What he brings to the table cannot be ignored: class, steel and leadership.

2. PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES
Just a game-and-a-half separates first and sixth. Last weekend’s loss cost the Hawks top spot, which was ceded to Port Melbourne on account of their superior percentage, so an emphatic response is top of the agenda.

The Hawks have the fifth best percentage (116.76) of the top six, so any gains in this department will be a welcome bonus to the four points as the ladder logjam heats up. Who knows, it could be the difference between a double chance and elimination final.

The Roosters have found themselves on the wrong end of some nasty looking score lines in 2017, but put in one of their best efforts of the season when last these teams met. Even though they’ve scored the fewest points, conceded the most and have a percentage of just 48.83, you can never put the cart before the horse in this game.

The Hawks need a win, that is imperative, but a big win would be even better.

3. FIREPOWER
Ty Vickery, Chris Jones, Anthony Brolic, Sam Switkowski and Mitch Lewis.

All five are named this weekend. All five represent the Hawks’ leading goal kickers in 2017. All five would be keen to fill their boots – or, in the interest of team sport and team work, fill each other’s boots – this weekend.

During the past month Box Hill average a tick under eleven goals a game. It feels just short of a winning score, doesn’t it.

Teams go through periods where their effort and application doesn’t equal the outcome they’re after all the time, so saying “manufacture more goals,” seems a touch obvious as a game note. Still, it’d surely be a priority for Chris Newman and his assistants.

The reality is the Hawks need to generate more offence. Fortunately, they have the players that can do it and the stage this Sunday to get it done.

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