Grand Final Preview & Team: Box Hill vs. Williamstown

ON Sunday the Box Hill Hawks will enter their third consecutive VFL Grand Final – this time against Williamstown at Etihad Stadium.

The Hawks were premiers in 2013 when they defeated Geelong, but succumbed to a clinical Footscray in last year’s Grand Final.

Box Hill finished season 2015 as minor premiers and will enter the game as favourites against the standalone Seagulls.

Box Hill Hawks vs. Williamstown: Grand Final Team:

B Mirra Litherland Heatherley
HB Miles Spangher Willsmore
C Iles Simpkin O’Rourke
HF Sicily Anderson Whitecross
F Tatupu Grimley O’Brien
R Ceglar Howe Langford
Int Exon Lock Fisher
Collins Jones Williams
Gordon Switkowski Gibson
Evans Lawlor Tobin
Pittonet

Those planning on attending this weekend’s match are likely to witness two contrasting game styles.

Box Hill tends to favour short and precise kicking – moving the ball around the ground before connecting forward. While the Seagulls have shown that they prefer longer kicking, relying heavily on their contested football to score.

The Hawks have accumulated 2,018 short kicks this season, 722 more than their Grand Final opponents.

Box Hill’s players will be looking to apply the same kind of pressure to the ball carrier as they did during Round 10’s impressive 62-point win at Burbank Oval.

That pressure resulted in Williamstown using the ball by foot at 45.6% efficiency, compared to the Hawks’ 65%.

The Hawks will be in good stead to become this year’s Peter Jackson VFL premiers if they can control the ball by foot, and maintain their pressure on the ball carrier.

In anticipation for Sunday’s match we have taken a look at Box Hill’s history within the competition, as well as its history against Williamstown.

Box Hill & Williamstown – Premierships:

Box Hill’s VFA/VFL Premierships: (4) 1984 (VFA Division Two), 1986 (VFA Division Two), 2001 (VFL), and 2013 (VFL).

Williamstown’s VFA/VFL Premierships: (15) 1907, 1921, 1939, 1945, 1949, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1969 (VFA Division Two), 1976 (VFA Division Two), 1986, 1990, and 2003.

Box Hill vs. Williamstown – Past Results:

Years played: 1951 to 2015:

Played                 Won           Lost          Drawn

Home: 41            15              25              1

Away:   36            9              25               2

Finals: 10             3                7               0

Total:   87           27              57               3

Box Hill: Longest Winning Sequence vs. Williamstown: 5 (1993-1995) & (2013-2015)

Box Hill: Longest Losing Sequence vs. Williamstown: 12 (1979-1988)

2015’s Meetings:

Round 10 – Burbank Oval: Box Hill Hawks 19.8-122 defeated Williamstown: 8.12-60

Best Players (Box Hill): B. McEvoy (9 marks, 31 hit outs, 1 goal), J. Simpkin (31 disposals, 9 marks, 15 handballs received), J. Sicily (16 disposals, 9 marks, 5 goals), M. Spangher (11 disposals and 7 marks), S. Collins (16 disposals and 10 marks), B. Whitecross (24 disposals and 10 marks).

Best Players (Williamstown): W. Wheeler (23 disposals, 6 marks, 1 goal), B. Casley (8 disposals and 2 goals), B. Myers (11 disposals and 1 goal), T. Currie (8 disposals), M. Gibbons (26 disposals and 15 handballs received).

Round 20 – Box Hill City Oval: Box Hill Hawks 10.8-68 were defeated by Williamstown 11.16-82

Best Players (Box Hill): M. O”Donnell (23 disposals, 6 marks, 7 tackles), N. Evans (15 disposals, 5 tackles, 1 goal), D. Willsmore (25 disposals and 12 marks), B. Whitecross (29 disposals and 9 marks), T. O”Brien (6 disposals and 1 goal).

Best Players (Williamstown): T. Hine (20 disposals and 11 handballs received), D. Fahey (20 disposals and 6 marks), S. Dunell (16 disposals, 8 marks, 4 goals), M. Banner (42 disposals, 9 marks, 1 goal), N. Meese (14 disposals and 39 hit outs), B. Jolley (30 disposals and 8 marks).

 

Photo credit: Jenny Owens

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