Hawks Host Lions in ANZAC Cup

The Box Hill Hawks welcome Coburg to City Oval to contest the annual ANZAC Cup on Saturday afternoon. 

Who: Coburg
Where: Box Hill City Oval
When: Saturday 22 April
First bounce: 1:05pm
Gates: 11:30

Recent History

While proud and long tenured members of the VFA-turned-VFL as both standalone and aligned entities, the Hawks and Lions have shared a relatively one-sided rivalry of late.

Box Hill have claimed each of the past 12 match-ups between the clubs by an average of 46-points, with Coburg’s most recent victory against the brown and gold coming by way of a 13-point round win in round six of 2012.

The Hawks have claimed the past eight hit-outs between the sides at Box City Oval and haven’t lost to Coburg at home since copping a 52-point hiding in round 13, 2008.

The last time the Hawks and Lions met was a strange encounter, with the visiting Box Hill ultimately retaining the ANZAC Cup and securing the four points following – and despite – a spluttering afternoon in front of goal.

Lead by standout contributions from best afield Jordan Cunico (25 disposals, 1 goal), Cal Porter (28 disposals, 7 clearances), Damian Mascitti (28 disposals, 6 marks) and James Parsons (26 disposals, 2 goals), Box Hill rallied from nine points down at the last change to run out 24-point winners.

In truth, the visiting Hawks had created more than enough chances to be in control of the game long before it was decided, but a score of 2.16 at three quarter time had handed their hosts the initiative.

The Stories So Far

Box Hill’s have enjoyed a wonderful start to the new season, notching wins against Sydney, Geelong and Collingwood through four rounds, while also enjoying the perks of an early season bye. 

As for Coburg, the Lions have endured a testing opening month of the 2023 campaign under new coach Jamie Cassidy-McNamara, falling to Collingwood, Richmond, GWS and Williamstown in successive weeks. 


As is tradition, Box Hill and Coburg will play for the ANZAC Cup, with the player judged best afield to be awarded the Gibbs-Lyons Medal. 

The two sides have played on or around this day since 2000, with seven matches total having taken place on April 25th.

The Lions claimed six of the first eight ANZAC Round clashes with Box Hill, before the Hawks turned the tables to prevail in 10 of the next 12 – including the past eight. 

Both clubs, match day officials and staff will observe and participate in an ANZAC commemoration service delivered by John Haward, the President of the Box Hill RSL and a Vietnam veteran.

Proceedings will get underway at 12:50pm.

Selection News

Box Hill have confirmed two Club debutants for Saturday’s match-up, with former Fremantle big-man Lloyd Meek named in place of the elevated Max Lynch and former Morwell Tiger and Palmerston Magpie Tristen Waack selected for his first state league hit-out.

Cooper Stephens and Emerson Jeka are also among the inclusions, with each having overcome injury to make their on-field returns.

Hawthorn are yet to confirm their tactical sub for Sunday’s match against Adelaide, though looking at both squads Finn Maginness and Jack Scrimshaw shape as the likeliest candidates to get the nod. 

Stu Horner will miss at least the next couple of matches for the Hawks, with the reliable defender sustaining a hamstring injury in the last-start win against Collingwood. He is joined on the sidelines by Irishman Fionn O’Hara, who was placed in the AFL’s concussion protocol following a sickening impact last weekend.

Damian Mascitti, Max Hall and Liam Coghlan have each been provisionally omitted, but retain their places in the extended squad as emergencies. 

One to Watch

Ed Phillips has started the 2023 season in wonderful form, averaging a tick over 25 touches and eight marks in each of the Club’s first three matches.

In his third year at City Oval, Eddo’s ability to balance the inside and outside aspects of his game have been a particular highlight, as illustrated by an average of five clearances across the past two weeks.

An experienced, consistent and hard-working contributor week in, week out, you could easily make the argument Phillips’ early season performances rank as his best since landing at Box Hill. 

How To Follow

Hawks fans can keep up-to-date with all the action via our official social media channels.

Curated match commentary will be provided on Twitter, while further coverage will be available across Instagram and Facebook.  

Where To Watch

All VFL matches can be streamed via the AFL app and can be found in the match hub or via this link.

Further, radio commentary can be found via our community radio partner, 3WBC 94.1FM.

Unable to follow the action on the tube or radio? We’ve got you covered with our socials! We’ll provide a curated coverage on our Twitter and Instagram accounts in the build-up to, during and post the match. 

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