Round 22 Match Preview

WHEN: 12.35pm, Saturday August 20
Box Hill City Oval
Stream live via the AFL Live Official App or tune in to listen to 3WBC 94.1FM. 

It’s a high stakes game, as you’d expect at this point of the season. For the final round of the home and away season, the Box Hill Hawks are hosting the Sydney Swans at Box Hill City Oval. 

As the race for finals heats up, the fifth-place Hawks sit a game and 2.9% behind the fourth placed Swans, so it’s sure to be a clash to remember. 

These two sides will meet for the first time in the VFL, with the Swans having joined the competition in 2021 after competing in the NEAFL prior to that. 

How have we been going? 

L, L, W, W, L, W, W, W, W, W, L, L, L, W, W, W, W. 

In the first of two back-to-back home games to finish of the regular season, Box Hill ran out 43-point winner over the visiting Geelong Cats. 

It was the utility in Cal Porter who was named best on for the Hawks in the Round 21 clash. He tallied 26 touches, laid three tackles, won a game-high four centre clearances and 10 total clearances. 

Damian Mascitti was another stand out, winning a game-high 29 touches including 27 kicks, he took eight marks and drove the ball inside 50 five times, with a game-high seven rebound 50s. 

Hawthorn-listed Jack Saunders gave one of his best performances with Box Hill to date, showing off his speed and transition play. He finished with 24 touches, a game-high 11 marks and a goal. 

Fergus Greene booted five goals from eight marks, sending him to the top of the ‘Frosty’ Miller Medal leader board.

Rounding out the best players was Hawthorn’s Dan Howe who finished with 25 touches, four tackles and three centre clearances. As well as Brady Grey who had 19 touches, three marks, five inside 50s and a crucial goal. 

How have they been going? 

W, L, W, L, L, W, W, W, L, W, W, W, L, W, W, W, W. 

The Swans are also coming off an important win, having defeated Collingwood by three points at the SCG. 

The ruckman in the red and white had a good day, Peter Ladhams finished with 30 disposals, 28 hitouts, 12 marks and seven clearances. 

Angus Sheldrick managed 30 disposals, nine clearances and seven tackles, while Lewis Taylor had 29 disposals, six clearances, six tackles and a goal. Hugo Hall-Kahan impressed with 26 possessions and 14 marks. 

Harry Cunningham had 14 marks and 25 possessions, Will Gould had 23 touches and James Bell finished with 18 touches, four clearances and five tackles. Sam Wicks and Joel Amartey kick two goals each and Hayden McLean booted one. 

Team News 

To take on the Swans we regain a couple of Box Hill boys in that of Jordan Cunico out of the middle and the big man, Dave Brinker-Ritchie to our centre line-up. 

Hawthorn-listed players in Liam Shiels, Jai Serong, Emerson Jeka and Jacob Koschitzke all also make their return to Box Hill’s team after varying stints out of our side. 

As for outs, Hawthorn’s Daniel Howe and Max Lynch re-join the senior side, with young guns Ned Long and Jack Saunders set to make their AFL debut in Tasmania on Sunday. 

Box Hill-listed Vincent Adduci and Charlie Beasley are also removed from the side, having been managed and injured respectively. 

One to Watch

Jordan Cunico is an exciting inclusion for the final home and away game of the season, having been out with an ankle injury since out Round 14 clash with the GWS Giants. 

Cunico is in football terms that of a ball-magnet, he’s one of Box Hill’s leading disposal leaders in the games he’s played this season. On at least five occasions he’s managed upwards of 20 disposals. 

His influence with ball in hand is recognisable, he has the ability to run both ways from the centre and drive the ball forward repeatedly, even managing goals of his own on occasion. 

If you’d like to do some pre-game Cunico research ahead of his return, you can listen to him on the Box Hill Podcast, One Week At A Time – On which he and James Parsons were this week’s guests. 

But to sum it up, Cunico will certainly be one to watch as we take on the Swans at home tomorrow. 

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