Round 19 Match Preview

WHERE: Avalon Airport Oval
WHEN: Saturday, 1:00 PM
COVERAGE:  3WBC radio – 94.1FM


Round 9, 2018: Box Hill 11.7 (73) defeated by Werribee 12.8 (80) at Box Hill City Oval
Round 14, 2017:
Box Hill 15.18 (108) defeated Werribee 9.9 (63) at Box Hill City Oval
Round 18, 2016: Box Hill 13.20 (98) defeated Werribee 9.7 (61) at Box Hill City Oval

Round 6, 2016: Werribee 10.10 (70) defeated Box Hill 9.14 (68) at Avalon Airport Oval
Round 15, 2015: Werribee 9.12 (66) defeated Box Hill 7.11 (53) at Avalon Airport Oval


The Box Hill Hawks will this week look to solidify their current top four position, travelling to Avalon Airport Oval to take on the Werribee Tigers on their home deck.

While Box Hill and Werribee find themselves placed fourth and twelfth on the table respectively, it was the Tigers who took the four points when the two clubs last met, in a seesawing round nine affair which was decided by just over a straight kick.

A win for Box Hill would guarantee a finals berth and set the Hawks up to mount their case for the double chance ahead of a tough run home. While it may only be pride on the line for Werribee, the Tigers will have plenty to prove, eager to maintain a perfect record against the Hawks for season 2018.

The contest also marks the battle for the ninth annual beyondblue Cup, a cause close to the hearts of both clubs, which aims to smash the stigma surrounding anxiety and depression. With over three million Australians currently experiencing these issues, the goal remains to encourage the community to start the conversation – because talking about mental health is the game changer.


Fans will be able to tune in to the team at 3WBC, who will be providing a radio call once more; while our official social channels continue to report throughout the match. Twitter remains the destination for play by play commentary, or head to Facebook and Instagram for updates by the quarter.


A number of opportunities arise this week, with injury and suspension forcing a change of hand for Chris Newman and his extended 27-man squad.

Skipper Andrew Moore has been ruled out of this week’s clash, in addition to the Hawks’ round 20 match up against Casey, after being handed a two-week suspension following an incident with Collingwood’s Jarryd Blair during last weekend’s stirring win against the Magpies.

Joining Moore amongst the exclusions are AFL-listed trio Mitch Lewis, Will Langford and Conor Nash. Langford could be sidelined for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury, while Box Hill’s leading goal-kicker, Lewis, will monitor a shoulder injury over the next couple of weeks. In good news, Nash will this week join the senior Hawks for his well-deserved AFL debut in a huge clash against Geelong at the MCG.

Harrison Jones also stays sidelined and will unfortunately remain that way for the duration of the season, undergoing shoulder surgery following an injury sustained a fortnight ago.

However, plenty of VFL-listed talent await, headlined by vice-captain Nick Evans, who could feature for the first time since Box Hill and Werribee last met in round nine if named in Newman’s final squad. Evans had been a victim of the mid-season squeeze for spots and was playing at local level when he suffered a fractured jaw and has since earned his way back into the mix, following a successful return to the field last weekend.

A late omission from last week’s side, the in-form Anthony Brolic is back in the frame to return, after a conservative approach to a niggling injury.

Livewires Nathan Boucher and Billy Murphy are also in the selection mix, the former impressing during his recent two-match stint as 23rd man, while the latter remains in outstanding form at local level.

Lachlan Walker and Michael Knoll may also figure in their second games for the year; while Liam Mackie will look to add to his four-game tally for Box Hill since joining the club at the beginning of the year.

In contrast, Werribee remain a relatively unchanged side on paper, following their round 18 defeat of Coburg.

Identified by Newman as one to watch, ex-Hawk Sam Collins will look to back up last week’s best afield performance patrolling the backline, comprising 24 disposals and 15 marks – 10 of which were contested – numbers becoming customary for the in-form defender.

Leading disposal winners Tom Gribble and Joe Maishman will also return, joined by Kurt Aylett and skipper Michael Sodomanco, among a powerful midfield unit.

In the frame for a possible return are inside midfielder Ben Moloney and potent forward Matthew Munro, who have been added to the squad following stints on the sideline courtesy of ankle and hamstring complaints, respectively; while Jade Cleeland remains a potential inclusion after retaining his spot on the extended bench.

Murray Bushrangers key-position utility Jordan Butts also holds his position as Werribee’s 23rd  man.

In a good news story for the Tigers, hard-nosed defender and Werribee stalwart, Nathan Laracy is also in the selection mix and well-placed to return, following an unfortunate run battling a persistent posterior cruciate ligament injury. The longest-serving player on the Werribee list, Laracy’s return would mark his first appearance since round one of the 2016 season, after being named among his side’s initial 27-man squad for the first time this year.


The Box Hill Hawks jumped back into the top four following a stirring victory against fellow finals contender, Collingwood. The breeze played a major role in the clash as the Magpies made the most of their first half opportunities, before the Hawks bounced back late in the third term, keeping Collingwood goalless while adding six majors of their own. Holding a 13-point advantage at the final change, the Hawks moved to steal victory against the breeze, with the final margin standing at just seven points.

Box Hill have rebounded from three defeats in June to win four in a row, including two wins against top eight sides. While currently standing in fourth position, they do so on percentage alone and as such, each of their remaining matches remain vital in solidifying their shot at the double chance.


The Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak following disappointing defeats at the hands of the Northern Blues and Richmond, bouncing back against Coburg to take victory to the tune of 47 points. Werribee kicked six unanswered goals in the first quarter but had their lead reduced to 12 points midway through the third, before accelerating away from Coburg in the last to hold a comfortable margin by final siren.

Despite remaining out of finals contention, the 12th placed Tigers need not be taken lightly. With scalps including Williamstown, Essendon and this week’s opponent Box Hill, the Tigers have thrown down the gauntlet against top eight sides, with a number of close contests against this season’s contenders.


Fresh off a performance which saw him named ‘Stang of the Day, Will Hams continues to impress as a pivotal component of a defensive unit which continues to deliver under pressure.

Newman praised the endeavour and effort of the group in a match in which they remained under siege – and it was Hams who led from the front – accumulating 30 disposals and taking 7 marks, integral on the last line and a key in turning defence into attack.

Consistently level-headed, ever reliable in a one-on-one battle and never short of bravery running into a contest, Hams will look to continue what has thus far been a season nothing short of outstanding.

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