LAST TIME WE MET
Semi Final, 2018: Box Hill 13. 12. (90) defeated Geelong 8. 13. (61) at Port Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Box Hill Hawks will be determined to bounce back and re-join the winners’ list when they take on Geelong on Saturday.
Box Hill was outplayed by the tune of 34 points in a Grand Final re-match against Casey at Casey Fields on Saturday. Battling artic winds, sheeting rain and a dominant Casey outfit, the Hawks were out-hunted by 21 contested possessions and 16 groundball gets. Although ranking second in the VFL for uncontested possessions per game prior to Round 13, the Demons managed to win 136 uncontested possessions to Box Hill’s 103. Caseyburst out of the blocks with the aid of a strong gale, leading by 26 points at quarter time. Box Hill was never able to recover, only managing six goals for the remainder of the game.
Geelong claimed a narrow victory over the Northern Blues last Saturday, winning by 14 points at Ikon Park. The Cats had the upper hand at every change, but only held a five-point lead at three-quarter-time. Geelong kicked two goals to one in the final term to stave off any kind of Blues comeback. Geelong laid 14 more tackles than the Northern Blues – a key difference in the victory.
Box Hill will be buoyed by a return to Box Hill City Oval, a happy hunting ground for the Hawks this season where they have defeated Casey, Coburg, Williamstown and Sandringham by an average of 43 points.
Young gun Harry Jones has reached all new levels the past fortnight. Jones backed up his brilliant 30 possession game in the wet against Sandringham, with a near repeat performance against Casey. The midfielder amassed 29 disposals, ten clearances and nine tackles in a pronounced balance of contested and uncontested football. Expect Jones to continue his standout form against a strong Geelong midfield this week.
It isn’t often Jackson Ross has been kept goalless this season. In fact, last Saturday’s contest against Casey was the first time Ross has been held goalless this season. Although finding himself with a tighter opponent on the day, the sharp-shooter was still able to impact the contest laying four tackles. Sitting second-place on the VFL goal-kicking list with 24 goals from 10 games, expect Ross to bounce back strongly on the scoreboard at home this week.
AFL-listed trio Scott Selwood (22 disposals, nine tackles and eight clearances), Lachie Henderson (22 and 11 rebound-50s) and Quinton Narkle (20 and four clearances) were all impressive for Geelong in Round 13 and loom as key threats if selected this week.
As it stands, despite a slow start to the season Geelong has now won five of its last six games to sit in seventh spot on the VFL ladder.
Having not recorded back-to-back wins since Round 2, Box Hill’s inconsistent seasons finds it sitting in eighth position.
Development Coach Marco Bello identified the contested ball as the key focus for the side this week.
“Our focus will be winning the contested football, using the ball in a manner that allows us to get the ball inside 50 and make the most of our entries,” Bello said.
“It starts with the guys in the middle, and being able to compete against Geelong’s rucks Smith, Buzzer and Abbott.”
“Our mids will need to work hard to get more than 32 inside 50s that we were only able to get against Casey.”
“We need to ensure that we have enough supply for our forwards and conversely stopping Geelong getting a lot of inside 50s for its forwards to get to work.”
Get down early to cheer on your teams for another Hawks double-header!
Hawthorn VFLW will be looking for its fifth win of the season when it takes on Geelong in a Grand Final re-match at 11:30am.
Box Hill will take on Geelong on Saturday at Box Hill City Oval at 2pm.