R11 Preview: Rivals clash


Round 12, 2018: Box Hill Hawks 6. 12. (51) defeated by Essendon 9. 11. (65) at Box Hill City Oval.


Box Hill Hawks will be searching for its first back-to-back wins since Round 2 when it faces off against Essendon on Saturday.

Box Hill and Essendon enter the clash fresh off the bye, after both teams enjoyed convincing wins in Round 9.

Essendon bounced back from its three-point defeat to Richmond with a commanding 41-point win over the Northern Blues in Round 9. The Bombers started the VFL season on fire winning their first four games by an average of 74-points, until suffering their first defeat in Round 6 at the hands of Casey. Nevertheless, Essendon has proven to be a scoring juggernaut in the opening ten rounds of the season, averaging just shy of 100 points a game (#1) and boasting the healthiest percentage (164%).They’ve stacked up well defensively too, with their 62.6 points a game against, ranked second in the competition, presenting an ominous sign for the rest of the competition.

Box Hill put its season back on track with a comfortable 20-point victory over Williamstown in Round 9. Having been starved of victory since Round 4, Box Hill now sits on a positive ledger of four wins and a draw heading into Saturday’s clash.

Essendon’s David Myers has been in outstanding form since his selfless return to Essendon’s VFL side in Round 7, averaging 27 disposals and kicking five goals. The AFL-lister is averaging more disposals (27), contested possessions (16), clearances (nine) and inside-50s (seven) than any VFL Bomber this season.Myers will no doubt provide a tough assignment for Box Hill inside midfielders Luke Meadows and Harry Jones, who will again be without the assistance of Skipper Andrew Moore.

Mid-season draftee Will Snelling has been thrown straight into the Bomber’s engine room. The former Port Adelaide player put in a good showing in his Essendon debut in Round 9, gathering 23 possessions, seven marks and five tackles, and looms as an important player in the midfield for Essendon on Saturday.

Box Hill’s Luke Meadows produced his best game in the brown and gold in the club’s Round 8 victory over Williamstown. The inside midfielder hit his straps in amassing 28 disposals, six marks and five tackles, receiving praise post-match from coach Max Bailey.

“I was rapt with Lukey’s game,” Bailey said.

“We’ve known what he’s been able to do for so long, he just hasn’t quite been able to get it going. Today he did.”

“Sometimes that’s the case when we are missing Andrew Moore, someone else has to step up.”

“Luke did that today.”

Since booting five goals in Round 1’s Grand Final re-match, Jackson Ross has gone from strength to strength. The second-year Hawk sits comfortably in second place on the VFL’s leading goalkicking list with 19 goals, averaging nearly 3 per game. Ross has regularly looked a class above at VFL level this season with his clean ball handling skills and has significantly improved his defensive pressure to become an all-round player. Expect the sharpshooter to have a similarly significant impact on the clash this Saturday.

As it stands, Essendon sits perched in third position on the VFL ladder with a 6-2 record. While Box Hill will be determined to jump back into the top eight, currently sitting in ninth position with four wins and a draw.

Windy Hill will play host to the Hawk’s second double-header of season 2019 on Saturday.

Hawthorn’s VFLW side is set to take on Essendon at 11.30am, followed by the Box Hill Hawks taking on Essendon at 2pm.

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