Round Seventeen Match Preview

WHERE: Trevor Barker Beach Oval
WHEN: Saturday, 2:10 PM
COVERAGE:  Channel 7; 3WBC radio – 94.1FM

LAST FIVE MEETINGS

Round 5, 2018: Box Hill 18.11 (119) defeated Sandringham 8.7 (55) at Box Hill City Oval
Round 15, 2017: Sandringham 14.11 (95) defeated by Box Hill 22.10 (142) at Trevor Barker Beach Oval
Round 19, 2016: Sandringham 9.15 (69) defeated by Box Hill 13.13 (91) at Trevor Barker Beach Oval
Round 1, 2016: Box Hill 18.10 (118) defeated Sandringham 12.9 (81) at Box Hill City Oval
Preliminary Final, 2015: Box Hill 12.17 (89) defeated Sandringham 12.10 (82) at North Port Oval

SETTING THE SCENE

The Box Hill Hawks will look to turn a pair of back-to-back wins into a hat trick of victories, as they travel to Trevor Barker Beach Oval to face off against the 11th placed Sandringham on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks are out to solidify their position within the eight and push for top four contention, currently just one game shy of the double chance. This week’s clash is crucial in forging their path to September, with a challenging run ahead comprising of formidable foes in Collingwood, Werribee Casey and Geelong.

While a finals berth for the Zebras is unlikely, there remains plenty to prove as the occasion marks the two sides second meeting for season 2018 – with the ledger currently in favour of the Hawks. The early season clash was decided by a margin of 64 points, however the Zebras will be keen to improve and atone for the loss, in what will be their final appearance on their home deck for the year.

The day’s action will kick off at 11.45AM, as the Hawks VFLW side take on the Southern Saints for the second time this year, looking to make it two from two in order to cement their own position within the top four.

HOW TO FOLLOW?

Fans will be able to tune in to all the action, with the first bounce to the final siren televised live on Channel 7 from 2:00PM.

Alternatively, a radio call will available via 3WBC; and our official social channels will continue to report throughout the match. Twitter remains the destination for play by play action, or head to Facebook and Instagram for updates by the quarter.

TEAM NEWS

A spate of senior experience features in the selection mix this week, with Brendan Whitecross, Teia Miles and Taylor Duryea joining developing AFL-listed talent Jonathon O’Rourke, Harry Morrison and Olly Hanrahan amongst Chris Newman’s potential match day squad; and pencilled in the AFL Hawks’ extended interchange for their Sunday afternoon clash in the West.

Irishman Conor Nash is also a chance to make his AFL debut, named on the Hawks’ extended bench after being elevated to the senior list last week; while Mitch Lewis could also return to the senior side, off the back of another three-goal haul in the VFL prior to the bye.

Box Hill will remain without Kaiden Brand, Ryan Schoenmakers and James Worpel, who each retained their positions following strong showings for Hawthorn in their big win against Carlton last week.

In terms of ins, big-man Marc Pittonet will resume ruck duties while the versatile Will Langford is also set to return, as the pair utilised the bye to bounce back from ankle and finger injuries, respectively. 

Another whose inclusion indicates an exciting return to full fitness is 351-game veteran, Shaun Burgoyne, who edges towards return after an extended stint on the sidelines following hamstring injury. Whilst his presence is more than welcomed, it remains to be seen if he’ll don the brown and gold for the senior or reserve side this weekend.

Despite having played his allotted stint of matches as the 23rd man, a string of positive performances sees Nathan Boucher’s name remain amongst the magnets; with the coveted position now handed to Harrison Burt, who will experience his first taste of senior VFL action.

The Zebras will this week be without key midfield duo Nick Coffield and Blake Acres, the pair recalled for senior selection off the back of 29 and 36-disposal hauls respectively, in Sandringham’s last outing.

The in-form Brede Seccull, who hasn’t missed a beat since returning from injury early in the year, and last year’s best and fairest winner Kade Answerth, will be required to step up their already impressive form, alongside highly-rated midfielder Nathan Freeman, to round out the Zebra’s midfield unit.

Sandringham will also be bolstered by the addition of the experienced David Armitage, a prolific ball winner in his own right, elite runner Ed Phillips, and composed backman Bailey Rice.

Tom Lamb and Nick Haidon will provide dangerous targets up forward; while Irish speedster Ray Connellan returns off the back of a best afield performance, including two goals, against the Tigers last week.

Kai Owens has also earned himself a spot in the Sandringham line-up, cementing his place following a spell as 23rd man, a role that will now be filled by Kane Nissenbaum.

HOW HAVE WE BEEN DOING?

Box Hill will come into this week’s clash fresh off the bye, preceded by a strong vein of form which saw them square off against fellow finals aspirants in their last two starts and take the vital four points on both occasions. A gutsy 43-point victory against Footscray under the lights of Etihad Stadium in Round 14 was backed up by an impressive win over Port Melbourne at home, coincidentally by the same margin.

The pair of triumphs kept the Hawks’ hopes of the double chance alive, currently sitting in fifth position on the table with eight wins to their name. With victory, Box Hill could leap Williamstown and take position within the top four, with their current superior rostered the week off, and Box Hill maintaining higher percentage.

HOW HAVE THEY BEEN DOING?

The 11th placed Sandringham last week fell to the top of the table Richmond, with the Tigers kicking the first nine goals of the game to race to a 59-point lead at the first break. While Sandringham moved to win the second and final term, the damage had already been done with the eventual margin standing at 66 points.

Overall, Sandringham’s season has entailed a mixed bag of results, with a strong start comprising of wins over Footscray and Geelong, before diminishing form saw four consecutive losses follow. Their proceeding rollercoaster win-loss run stretching back to Round 7 was broken with last week’s loss to Richmond, after falling to Geelong the second time around in the week prior.

ONES TO WATCH

A narrow Sandringham home deck will require quick ball movement, direct delivery and clean disposal – characteristics that Harrison Jones delivers in spades. The versatile youngster, who has been plying his trade across half back, matches his fast hands and dashing rebound with endeavour at the contest and a ferocity that sees him rarely beaten in a one-on-one battle.

A natural competitor, Jones has continued to improve week to week, praised by senior coach Chris Newman for his fearless attack on the football and ability to play on instinct. Pleasingly, the rookie’s natural talent is met with a coachability and willingness to learn, which is clear in his trajectory in form thus far in season 2018 – now a key component of an outfit looking to push deep into September.

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