R13 Preview: Grand Final re-match


Round 1, 2019: Box Hill Hawks 15. 14. (104) defeated Casey 4. 18. (42) at Box Hill City Oval.

The Box Hill Hawks will be looking to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 2 when they travel to Casey Fields to play the Casey Demons on Saturday afternoon.

The two teams have built a strong rivalry in recent times, with Box Hill holding a fruitful three-game winning streak against last year’s Grand Final opposition. The Hawks capped off a remarkable finals series to claim a stirring 10-point come from behind victory over the Demons in 2018 Grand Final. The reigning premiers then kicked off their 2019 season in emphatic style again defeating Casey by 62 points.

Box Hill defeated Sandringham by 37-points in commanding fashion on Saturday, in a game old fashioned, wet weather football at an arctic Box Hill City Oval. A seven goal-to-two first half built an unassailable lead for the Hawks, who boasted an engine room of nine players gathering 20 possessions or more.

Meanwhile, Casey claimed an important 15-point victory over Coburg last Sunday, reaffirming themselves as finals contenders. The Demons’ win was aided by a dominant second quarter when they kicked four unanswered goals to lead by 26 points at half time. Despite kicking only three goals in the second half, the victorious Casey was able to withstand a surging Lions comeback.

James Cousins amassed 32 disposals, 20 contested possessions and seven clearances to win the Silk-Miller medal as the best player on the ground last Saturday. Cousins led a Hawks engine room that dominated Sandringham by 42 in kicks, 13 in marks and even 41 in contested possessions. Box Hill will be determined to replicate its midfield superiority again this week, against a Casey outfit revered for a dominant contested game style. Andrew Moore (av. 23 disposals, 4 tackles per game), Daniel Howe (av. 21 disposals, 4 tackles per game) and Harry Jones (av. 20 disposals, 5 tackles per game) will play pivtoal roles for Box HIll if they are to win the midfield battle.

Unfortunately, the Hawks will be without Changkuoth Jiath for the clash, after the youngster sustained concussion and a broken jaw in the opening minutes of last Saturday’s victory. Jiath will be a significant loss for the Hawks, after gathering 15 disposals and seven marks in the teams Round 1 meeting.

Former Hawk Jordan Lewis was best afield for Casey last week recording 40 disposals, eight marks, 10 clearances and eight inside-50s. Midfielder Corey Wagner (20, 12 tackles, seven inside-50s and one goal) again put in a strong performance. But it is Brayden Preuss who looms as Casey’s most influential player this week after the ruckman collected 14 disposals, 55 hitouts and a goal in his sides victory over Coburg. Preuss will have his work cut out against the in-form Hawk Marc Pittonet, who is enjoying an outstanding season to average 16 disposals and 38 hitouts. The Pruess vs Pittonet ruck duel looms as an all-star battle likely to shape the fortunes of either side on the day.

The Hawks had lost four of their last five games before Saturday, however, their victory over Sandringham leapfrogged them into seventh position on the ladder (5-4-1 record).

Meanwhile, the Demons wins over Collingwood and Coburg have lifted them to 11thposition on the ladder, only one win outside the top eight (4-6 record).

Box Hill Assistant Coach Torin Baker believes the side will take some confidence from its Round 1 victory over Casey.

“We obviously played Casey in the first round of the year, and it was a strong performance for us that week,” Baker said.

“But personnel changes every week in the VFL.”

“We know they’re a really good contested ball team who get a lot of inside 50s.”

“We’ll need to be really strong around the ball, and that will be a real focus for us this week.”

Box Hill will travel to Casey Fields to take on Casey on Saturday at 2pm.



Similar Posts