Round 21 Match Preview

WHERE: Box Hill City Oval
WHEN: Saturday, 2:00 PM
COVERAGE:  3WBC radio – 94.1FM


Round 16, 2017: Box Hill 19.23 (137) defeated Geelong 13.7 (85) at Box Hill City Oval

Round 4, 2017: Geelong 8.5 (53) defeated by Box Hill 14.11 (95) at Simmonds Stadium
Round 11, 2016:
Geelong 18.10 (118) defeated Box Hill 10.9 (69) at Simmonds Stadium
Round 18, 2015: Geelong 10.11 (71) defeated by Box Hill 19.7 (121) at Simmonds Stadium

Round 3, 2014: Geelong 14.11 (95) defeated by Box Hill 17.20 (122) at Simmonds Stadium


With finals on the horizon, a fierce rivalry will reignite at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon, when the Hawks host the Cats in a top of the table clash with plenty at stake.

In spite of the home and away season coming to a close, the make-up of September still remains unsettled. Three teams are jockeying for top spot, another three remain locked in a battle for the final place in the top four, while four more contend for the final two places in the eight. For the Hawks, the door for the coveted double chance remains slightly ajar; while favourable results for Geelong could see the Cats make a last gasp effort to snatch the minor premiership.

Box Hill and Geelong rank either first or second in the competition for disposals, uncontested possessions, uncontested marks and handball-receives. Pressure on the opposition will remain crucial to the result – with Box Hill looking for a repeat performance, out-tackling the top-ranked Demons in last week’s stirring win.

City Oval will be a hub of brown and gold, playing host to a blockbuster double-header, with the VFLW Hawks also taking on the Cats in their final hit-out of the home and away season. Kicking off the action at 11:30AM, the women continue their own hunt for the double chance and look to secure both the four points and a top two finish.


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.


Headlining the inclusions for this week’s clash is Box Hill captain Andrew Moore, welcomed back after a suspension induced two-week stint on the sidelines.

In the mix to join the skipper are a handful of AFL-listed names including experienced campaigner Brendan Whitecross, returning big men Marc Pittonet and Jonathon Ceglar, as well as dashing Irishman, Conor Glass.

Vincent Adduci, Nelson Lane and Chris Jones are also in the selection frame; the VFL-listed trio named in the extended squad with each a potential to return from respective injuries should they take the field on Saturday.

Mitch O’Donnell unfortunately comes from the winning side which defeated Casey, sustaining a jaw injury which could see him miss a significant portion of the finals series; while Kurt Heatherley will also miss the remainder of the year, by the way of a high-grade hamstring injury.

The consistent form of David Mirra has been rewarded, the backman come forward recalled to the Hawthorn senior side; while inform midfield duo James Cousins and Jonathan O’Rourke have been named emergencies for the Hawks crucial clash with Sydney – the latter to record his 50th VFL match should he line up for Box Hill.

For Geelong, a shrinking injury list coming into the tail-end of the season sees 18 senior-listed Cats named to take on Box Hill.

Power forward Esava Ratugolea will play for the first time since fracturing his ankle in round ten and will look to mount a case for an AFL finals comeback; the athletic project player returning to full training in recent weeks after receiving the green light following a cautious recovery.

Promising small forward Lincoln McCarthy will also return for the first time in more than two months, with a hamstring issue the latest of a horror run of injuries which has restricted the luckless Cat to a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

George Horlin-Smith comes back after missing a week courtesy of a broken nose while Jackson Thurlow returns from AFL level; the pair providing the Cats with a boost inside.

Geelong will be without emerging big-man Wylie Buzza, unfortunately ruled out for the remainder of the year after going under the knife following a foot injury sustained early in the Cats last start win. 

In his absence, Zac Smith prospered in the ruck and will return this week off the back of his impressive performance, boasting 54 hit-outs and two goals. 

Stewart Crameri will spearhead the forward line, booting four goals last week on return from injury; joined up forward by VFL-listed Sam Dobson, who recorded three of his own – all in the final term.

The explosive Quinton Narkle, hard-nosed Lachie Fogarty and versatile Charlie Constable comprise a strong midfield unit; while key position utility Ryan Gardner will notch his 50th VFL game, transitioning from back to forward this year and kicking 18 goals from his 17 appearances.


Box Hill bounced back from an upset defeat at the hands of Werribee a fortnight ago, to topple the league-leading Casey and remain in contention for a top four finish. It was the Hawks who made the most of the clear weather conditions when they arrived, with a seven goal to three third term ultimately the difference. The purple patch set Box Hill up to run away 45-point victors, snapping a formidable 12-game Casey winning streak to deal the in-form Demons their first loss since round four.

While the fate of the Hawks does in part rely on other results falling their way, the double chance still remains a possibility. However ultimately, September football is locked away, with the lowest possible finish for the Hawks their current sixth position.


Geelong recorded their third straight victory when they comfortably accounted for Coburg last week, to the tune of 80 points. While a lopsided final scoreline, the Cats did have to shake off a dogged Coburg outfit with a big second half. Coburg led by six points early in the second quarter, but a rampant Geelong then held the Lions to two goals for the rest of the match – and scoreless in the final term.

For the third-placed Geelong, they too can’t fall further than their current positioning. While the minor premiership remains unlikely, albeit not completely out of the question, the in-form Cats will be out to book another four points and carry positive momentum toward September regardless.


The 23rd man position typically remains reserved for young up-and-comers to find their feet and settle in to the next level, comfortably adjusting to the bigger bodies and higher standard of football. However, when defensive stalwart Kurt Heatherley went down early with injury, and with David Mirra enjoying a stint up forward, debutant Sam Parsons was issued a baptism of fire.

Dealt the responsibility of extended minutes and increased accountability down back, Parsons demonstrated composure beyond his years in just his first VFL match. Against the league-leaders and number one pressure side, Parsons stood up tremendously and has been duly rewarded with the retention of his position with yet another challenge – and chance – on the big stage against Geelong this week.

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