Coach Analysis: Mark Hibbins

Coming off the back of two big wins, Box Hill can head into their Round 3 game against the Coburg Lions with their confidence running high. We spoke to Senior Assistant Coach Mark Hibbins about the upcoming game.

“There is no question that the wins have given the boys quite a bit of satisfaction. Both Sandringham and Williamstown are highly regarded oppositions.

After a loss in the 2015 VFL Grand Final, the Box Hill Hawks had a score to settle, but it was a hard earned victory against Williamstown.

“They fought back in the second and third quarter. The backline was under a lot of pressure and went into its shell but they managed to persist and play through to the last quarter.”

“We looked to take a few more risks in that last quarter and try and get the ball moving as quick as possible to try and catch them off guard, we had to try something otherwise the game would have slipped away from us.”

Being new to Box Hill, Hibbins is yet to see Coburg play. However, he is still highly aware of areas the boys need to focus on in particular against this weekend’s competition.

“Coburg have a reputation for being a quick running side, they have runners on every line which we need to be aware of and need to shut down, frontal pressure and blocking their run and carry is something that we will need to focus on if we are to walk away with the four points.”

When comparing the Sandringham and Williamstown games, Hibbins draws some comparisons between the two, looking at what can be worked on for the Coburg game.

“Against Sandringham we played a good four quarters, but against Williamstown we let them fight back in the second and third but our last quarter got us over the line.”

“We really need to work on pressuring the ball carrier to give our midfield and defenders the time they need to setup.”

With this weekend’s game being the ANZAC Cup, the match holds special significance to both players and coaches.

“ANZAC Day is a special day. It’s a time to reflect on a sacrifice that the soldiers made.”

“The players understand that its not war but it is a situation where you walk out with 22 of your good mates all aiming for the same thing. It’s not often that you combine so many people trying to achieve the same thing.”

On a day full of such mateship, Hibbins is also keen to implement another aspect of the ANZAC spirit.

“Hopefully we can put some camaraderie into aspects of the game that we play to remind the boys that it isn’t war.”

The Seniors are set to take on Coburg for the ANZAC Cup at Piranha Park at 2.00pm, and the Development Squad will be providing all the morning action kicking off the day at 10.45am.

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