Round 19 Match Preview

The Hawks and Zebras renew acquaintances on Saturday afternoon – and in Box Hill for the first time since 2019. 

Continue reading for a tale of the tape!

Who: Sandringham
Where: Box Hill City Oval
When: Saturday 29 July
First bounce: 2:05pm

A Little Bit of History

So… Box Hill haven’t lost to Sandringham since round 1, 2012.

In fact, the nearest the Zebras have come to toppling the Hawks during this run was a draw at City Oval in round 2, 2014 – a day in which the hosts produced a five goal to two final term to take a share of the points.

All told Box Hill boast an 11-game winning streak against this week’s opponent.

Two of the more memorable wins in this run, 2015 Preliminary Final aside, just so happen to the the two most recent.

The last meeting of Hawks and Zebras saw the former keep the latter goal-less to half time on the MCG, run out 43-point winners and kickstart their 2022 season with a sensational win.

On a somewhat strange day the boys in brown and gold played without a recognised ruckman, were obliterated in hit-outs, won inside 50s by just two, lost clearance by 12… but tallied 89 more disposals, laid 21 more tackles and took 47 more marks. Huh. Lies, damned lies and statistics, eh.

Liam Shiels and Tom Phillips were excellent in racking up 28 touches apiece, while the always classy Damian Mascitti did his bit with 24 and a goal.

Ben Cavarra announced himself a Box Hill Hawk with four superb snags, while fellow recruit James Parsons played as an undersized ruck, had 14 touches, kicked three goals and, rather extraordinarily, won two hit-outs.

One of Box Hill’s great modern day home and away wins came a year earlier at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. It was round 3, 2021 and, to put it mildly, I’m not sure I can do it justice in the re-telling.

Having won the toss and decided to kick with a stiff breeze, the Hawks quickly built a five goal cushion. But in time on of the first Sandy managed to pinch a couple back to reduce the gap to just three goals.

The Zebras were no doubt thrilled because, as far as leads go, it wasn’t enough.

When the time came for Sandringham to kick with the breeze they played their home ground superbly, turning a three goal deficient into a six goal lead at half-time. If it wasn’t against us it would’ve been great footy to watch. 

A long way down and with a long way back, the Hawks needed a special third quarter and, in truth, got a response. A 37-point half-time gap was whittled down to just three with one to play – but we’d left ourselves with too much to do, surely…

Uh, no, we hadn’t.

Fergus Greene kicked four of Box Hill’s six last quarter goals to lead his side to a rousing five goal win, while Vincent Adduci’s 21 touches and three* goals saw him adjudged best afield.

*if you ever run into Brayden Kilpatrick, ask him about the fourth goal attributed to Dooch.

2023 So Far

The Hawks just keep on keeping on in 2023, with our most recent win – a thrilling three point victory at Punt Road – seeing the side move to a game clear in fourth and two wins inside the competition’s top six.

A win this weekend wont quite guarantee finals football, but will go a long way towards doing so.

Box Hill currently enjoy a four-match winning streak, including back-to-back nail biters against North Melbourne and Richmond – and will look to make it five on the spin in the Club’s first home match since the first of July.

It’s been a trickier year for the team from Bayside.

The Zebras have won three of their 15 matches to date and sit in 17th spot, having last won in round 10 against Coburg. Otherwise they’ve accounted for Port Melbourne and Essendon – and had a very meritorious draw with the high-flying Lions.

Somewhat understandably, injury and availability issues for St. Kilda at senior level have heavily impacted Sandy’s playing stocks in 2023, robbing the side of much-needed continuity and conditioning. 

As for last weekend, they lead Collingwood part way through the second term and drew to within a kick at the final change. In what was a low-scoring arm-wrestle on Olympic Parade the Magpies booted four goals to two in the last frame to win by 16-points. 

Nick Coffield was impressive as he continues to build a case for a senior re-call, while Oliver Lowe’s two goals saw him be their only multiple goal-kicker on the day.

There’s No Place Like Home

As mentioned above, Saturday will be Box Hill’s first home match since July 1st! With Hawthorn not scheduled to play until Sunday afternoon, there’s no better time to get down to City Oval to support the boys. 

Selection News

There are six changes to the side which defeated Richmond last weekend, headlined by the return of Fergus Greene – but more on him later.

Denver Grainger-Barras and Max Ramsden resume following stints with the senior side, while Ned Long and Jack Scrimshaw do likewise.

Jake Arundell, the crafty, creative livewire out of Rowville has been named to make his first appearance of the year.

Among the outs are big-man Lloyd Meek, speedster Lachy Bramble, midfielder Cam Mackenzie, youngster Darcy Murr and key back James Blanck.

In exciting news, mature spearhead Brandon Ryan will make his AFL debut on Sunday. 

One(s) to Watch

During his time in the Box Hill/Hawthorn alignment, no one has kicked more goals in brown and gold than Fergus Greene. 

A favourite of among the Box Hill playing and support staff, Ferg comes back to VFL level having booted 15 senior goals from 11 matches in 2023 – including two bags of three in rounds five and six – and no doubt out to press his claim for a senior re-call before the year is done.

Community Day

There’ll be no shortage of excitement and activities on Saturday, with the day jam-packed with things to do and see on and off-field.

Gates open from 12:30pm the action begins immediately. There’s a FIDA exhibition game showcasing all-abilities football, AusKick at half-time, face-painting for the kids, Hawker and Hawkette, a Footy-4-Fun clinic and, get this, appearances and photo opportunities with AFL and AFLW Hawks!

How To Follow

Hawks fans can keep up-to-date with all the action via our official social media channels.

Curated match commentary will be provided on Twitter, while further coverage will be available across Instagram and Facebook.  

Where To Watch

All VFL matches can be streamed via the AFL app. Coverage of Sunday’s game starts at 2:00pm and can be found in the match hub or via this link.

Further, radio commentary can be found via our community radio partner, 3WBC 94.1FM.

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