The Box Hill Hawks suffered a disappointing 13-point loss to the Werribee Tigers on Sunday at Avalon Airport Oval.
The rain was on and off throughout the day, making conditions tough. The cold and wet weather got the best of Box Hill, giving Werribee control for the entirety of the game.
“We have faced them before in round four and it was a similar scenario where they played a style of football that was conducive to the conditions,” Hawks Coach Marco Bello said.
Werribee put pressure on Box Hill from the first bounce, forcing the Hawks to play a game of catch up.
“We came up against a side that was a lot hunger than us,” Bello said.
Hawks showed their strengths in small patches throughout the game but struggled to connect inside forward 50 and create enough genuine goal scoring opportunities.
“I’m sure the stats will show we’ve had more of the footy, more inside 50s, more of everything but in the end we didn’t make them pay,” Bello said.
The half time address proved effective as the Hawks came out looking more determined and committed to the contest, but unfortunately this didn’t last long and the Hawks lapsed again throughout the third quarter.
“The players came out with more energy which was great, but if you’re waiting for the coach at half time to make those changes then the sides not in good shape,” Bello said.
“When we play our best football it’s because of every player on the team, the commitment and attitude they take onto the field from the first bounce. They shouldn’t have to be reminded of that at half time.”
Although the game was disappointing for the team, they were able to take positives from it. Bello gave credit to the playing standards of Brendan Whitecross, Jed Anderson, Kurt Heatherley and James Sicily. He also spoke highly of the 23rd man Joseph Fisher.
“He had great energy and didn’t look out of place at all.”
“He’s a fighter and it doesn’t matter who he comes up against, whether its development level or senior level, he’s going to have a dig.”
“I’m proud that he showed his true colours today,” Bello said.
The players will review the game, with plenty to work on during the week before facing Richmond at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday.
Box Hill Hawks: 2.1 4.4 6.10 7.11 (53)
Werribee Tigers: 2.0 7.5 8.7 9.12 (66)
GOALS: O’Brien, Simpkin, Howe, Pittonet, Willsmore, Tatupu, Exon
BEST: Anderson, Sicily, Heatherley, O’Donnell, Fisher, Collins