Walking into the three-quarter-time huddle, Box Hill were left reeling.
Trailing by 18-points with a finals spot on the line, the Hawks premiership-defence was fading before the eyes of thousands at City Oval.
Enter Andrew Moore.
The inspirational premiership Skipper stood tall in the final term, backing into a pack and plucking a courageous mark amongst flying bodies. With nerves of steel, he went back and kicked truly.
Then late in the term with only two points separating the teams, Moore again took the game by the scruff of its neck. He bustled his way into another contest, snapped the ball hurriedly on his boot and watched on as the ball evaded a diving opponent for yet another crucial major.
If ever there was a Captain’s goal – it had been these two defining moments.
In typical selfless fashion, Moore highlighted the support from his teammates as the catalyst for victory post-match.
“Obviously you want to have that influence on the game,” Moore said.
“But it all went down to the team support and going back to the basics.”
“We have a system; we know it works when we do it well.
“Credit to the boys who really stuck to the task and got the win today.”
Despite being out played for the majority of the day, Box Hill clicked into gear with its season on the line.
The Hawks stormed home with vengeance. They dominated the Magpies by 16-4 in tackles and 20-7 inside 50s and most importantly 7-1 goals in the final term.
According to Moore, an added defensive mindset from the group was the key in the fightback.
“We had to nullify their uncontested ball a little bit.”
“Their focus was to come through the middle, and in the first half we were letting them do that really easily.
“We had to guard the corridor, and then when we were able to put them under pressure and turn it over, pounce on that and make them pay.
“That’s what it came down to, we needed to get back to our basics.
“It worked really well in that second half.”
Set the imposing challenge of two do-or-die matches to keep its season alive, it has been Box Hill’s chorus of youngsters that has led the club’s revival against the Northern Blues and Collingwood.
According to Moore, youngsters including James Cousins, Nathan Mullenger-McHugh and Mackenzie Doreian will only continue to thrive with the added experience.
“They’re some talented blokes, all of them.”
“There’s been a number of players who have stepped up when needed.”
“Those guys have risen to that challenge.”
“Credit to them, they’ve really put in the work and they’re seeing the results out there at the moment.”
Announced pre-game as a member of the Box Hill All Stars team, Moore has had a profound impact in his three seasons at Box Hill.
And there is no coincidence that the Hawks are now steeling themselves for their third consecutive finals series in that time.
“It feels great to be in another finals campaign.”
“We’ve made it tough for ourselves the last couple of weeks. We were set a challenge, but the guys rose to that challenge.”
“We now feel like we’re in good form.”
“We are really looking forward to next week.”
Box Hill will play Werribee in the first VFL Elimination Final on Sunday September 1, 2.10pm at Adcon Stadium.