VFL – Round 17 Match Preview

WHERE: Windy Hill. Essendon
WHEN: Saturday, 2:10pm
HOW TO FOLLOW: We’ll be live tweeting the match via @boxhillhawks, with television coverage on Channel 7 beginning at 2:00pm. Additionally, 3WBC 94.1FM will be providing radio commentary.


Round 15, 2016: Essendon 15.5 (95) defeated Box Hill Hawks 13.14 (92) at Windy Hill

Round 5, 2015: Essendon 14.11 (95) defeated by Box Hill Hawks 18.10 (118) at Windy Hill

Round 13, 2014: Essendon 14.7 (91) defeated Box Hill Hawks 13.10 (88) at Highgate Recreation Reserve

Round 17, 2013: Box Hill 15.21 (111) defeated Essendon 5.9 (39) at Box Hill City Oval

Round 2, 2013: Essendon 10.13 (73) defeated by Box Hill Hawks 12.12 (84) at Box Hill City Oval


Round 12:
Box Hill lost to Williamstown (H) by 45
Essendon defeated North Ballarat (A) by 54

Round 13:
Box Hill defeated North Ballarat (H) by 52
Essendon defeated Northern Blues (H) by 81

Round 14:
Box Hill defeated Werribee (H) by 45
Essendon lost to Casey (A) by 15

Round 15:
Box Hill defeated Sandringham (A) by 47
Essendon defeated Collingwood (A) by 14

Round 16:
Box Hill defeated Geelong (H) by 52
Essendon BYE


Geelong last week, Essendon this. The Hawks’ rivals tour continues with a trip to Windy Hill this Saturday.

The Brown and Gold have played a month of stunning footy to lock in a top four berth, with attention now turning to securing a home final. Simply, just one win from the remaining three matches will guarantee that Box Hill City Oval hosts September footy.

Chris Newman would be pleased at his side’s offensive production during the month-long winning streak, watching on as they average 127-points, 18 goals and 34 scoring shots per game.

The teams met during the pre-season at the Bombers’ True Value Solar Centre, with the Hawks winning a hotly contested clash by just four points.

Since then the Bombers have run hot and cold, sitting seventh on eight wins, seven losses for the season.

Coming off the bye, Essendon face crunch games against the Hawks and Bulldogs to determine whether or not they’ll figure beyond the end of the home and away season and will require at least one more win to book their spot in this season’s finals series.

Like Box Hill, Essendon posses a wealth of dangerous artillery at both ends of the park, with a mix of experience (Brent Stanton, Craig Bird, Shaun McKernan, Ben Howlett) and youth (Jackson Merrett, Aaron Francis et al) at coach Paul Corrigan’s disposal, so it promises to be an even and compelling encounter.


1. On The Home Straight
Three weeks out from finals; one last lunge at the line.

It’s a long season, but the end – and the prize on offer – is well and truly in sight.

The past month has been precisely what a side tuning up for finals wants: locked in top four spot. Check. Scoring freely. Check. A slew of players in top form. Check. Winning mentality. Check.

With the game style and message of the coaches endorsed, the playing group have every reason to feel confident as the home and away season winds up.

But the job isn’t done just yet, far from in fact. Once the final siren sounds to conclude the round 19 match against the Northern Blues the real stuff begins. The qualifying rounds will be over and the spoils decided over four high stakes, cutthroat weeks of unmissable footy.

Another win maintains the positive vibe.

2. Captain Fantastic
Come 2:10pm this Saturday no man will have captained Box Hill – either the Mustangs or Hawks – more than David Mirra.

As he leads his side out for game number 123, his 74th as skipper, he will pass the mark set by Alex Gardiner, earning his place in Box Hill history.

A fine player, a wonderful leader and an example for all who wear the Brown and Gold, Mirra encapsulates the Hawks’ success in 2017: dependable, team orientated, strong in the contest, unflinching in his resolve and resilient when faced with challenges and obstacles.

Whilst Saturday brings a nice personal accolade, ‘Miz’ won’t let it get in the way of his or the team’s goals: a level of performance that adheres to the standards set by the leadership group and coaching panel, a team-first approach and, of course, the four points.

Still, it’d be remiss of us and the man himself to not take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate a remarkable and history-making achievement.

3. Who Plays?
Have you seen the squad? Good it’s not our responsibility to finalise a 23-man team for Saturday, amirite!

With only one omission named to this point (the unlucky Sam Gibson), Chris Newman may have to find space for as many as eight AFL-listed Hawks, including big names such as Jaeger O’Meara, Paul Puopolo, Taylor Duryea, Brendan Whitecross and Will Langford.

Such is Newman’s embarassment of riches, last week’s four-goal hero Billy Murphy is listed on the bench, joined there by the in form group of Brayden Kilpatrick, Anthony Brolic, Chris Jones and Nelson Lane.

Top of the ladder, just three weeks from finals and, potentially, getting stronger.

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