R20 Preview: Do or die

Box Hill will hope to keep its season alive when it hosts the Northern Blues at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Box Hill missed its chance to lock in a place for finals, falling to Werribee by 25 points at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday. The Hawks ultimately proved no match for the fifth-placed Werribee, with the home side notching two late goals to seal a comfortable victory. Recent losses have been tough to swallow for the Hawks. They recorded 13 more inside-50s but five fewer scoring shots than the Tigers last week and, prior to that, two more entries and three more scores than North Melbourne in a two-point loss.

The Hawks (9th on ladder, 7-8-1 record) dropped out of the top eight with their third loss in a row in Round 19. The finals hopes of the Blues (10th, 7-9) hang by a thread after back-to-back losses to Collingwood and then Richmond by 44 points last week. The Blues sit one place behind the Hawks on the ladder so fans can expect this one to go down to the wire.

The equation for Box Hill is simple. Win and finals become a likely proposition, lose and it makes things very difficult. Many games make up a season, but this one is ‘do or die’ for the Hawks. If the Casey Demons (8-9 record) defeat Frankston in their final home-and-away outing later on Sunday, Box Hill will need victories over Northern and then Collingwood to displace them in the top eight.

Box Hill Assistant Coach Torin Baker believes the side has what it takes to get back on the winners’ list this Sunday.

“Our destiny is in our own hands.”

“We need to keep bringing that effort we brought against Werribee.”

“We need to improve our inside 50s and defensive efforts to ensure we get the win.”

Box Hill will host the Northern Blues at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday at 12pm.

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