VFL Round 4 Match Preview

Who: Collingwood
Where: Box Hill City Oval
When: Sunday 16 April
First bounce: 12:00pm
Gates: 10:15am

Recent History

The Hawks and Magpies have enjoyed a remarkably even rivalry of late, with Box Hill claiming three of the past five meetings between the sides and Collingwood edging things nine-to-eight since 2008.

The last clash of brown and gold against black and white was 2022’s season opener, a game which went down to the wire before ultimately being settled by a pair of late goals to Collingwood’s Tom Wilson.

Cal Porter and James Parsons combined for 15 clearances on the day, while Jai Serong and Fergus Greene kicked three apiece.

For the Magpies it was Wilson and Sam Fowler who did the damage on the scoreboard, booting four each, while new Hawk Cal Brown was superb with 32 disposals, five clearances and one goal in his former side’s two-point triumph.

The sides haven’t played at Box Hill City Oval since round 21 of 2019, a match won in rollicking fashion by the team in brown and gold.

Trailing by 19-points at the final change, the Hawks kicked away in the last to win by that same margin. 

If you’re hoping the venue might be an omen, think again. All told the Hawks and Magpies have evenly split the last eight meetings at City Oval. 

The Stories So Far

Box Hill are two-and-zero on the season following wins against Sydney and Geelong, while Collingwood are two-and-one as a result of big wins against Coburg & Port Melbourne and last week’s 67-point loss against the Lions in Brisbane. 

On a tough day for them, the Magpies finished -48 in total disposals, -51 in marks and -28 in inside 50s.

As for Box Hill, the Hawks enjoyed a day out on the MCG against fierce rivals Geelong.

Fresh off the bye and embracing the opportunity the day represented, Zane Littlejohn’s men got their noses ahead early and lead all day to record a 55-point win. 

Selection News

Like all interstate trips, Gather Round has necessitated the Hawks’ AFL program take an expanded squad with them for Sunday’s hit out with the GIANTS.

Coupled with Will Day’s suspension and Henry Hustwaite’s unfortunate head knock, this has opened the door for a handful of  VFL-listed to Hawks.

Joel Trudgeon will make his VFL debut for Box HIll after an excellent stint with Carlton’s state league side in 2022, while Co-Captain Hugh Beasley is well and truly in line to make his first appearance of the 2023 campaign following an interrupted pre-season.

Another boost arrives in the form of the exciting Josh Weddle, who missed last week’s match-up with an ankle complaint. Pacy and prepared to play with plenty of dare, Weddle shapes as an exciting inclusion to a side brimming with talented kids. 

Home Comforts

Sunday marks the Hawks’ first home game of 2023, with the Club no doubt keen to improve on last year’s four-and-four record at the venue.

Box Hill are generally much better value than that at home, returning a 41-18 win-loss record at City Oval since 2015.

Better again, with no big league footy in Victoria this weekend the VFL and VFLW have fixtured a Box Hill vs Collingwood double header, with the VFL sides to kick things off at midday, before the VFLW teams do battle at 3:30pm.

One to Watch

It’s always exciting to see fresh faces for the first time, so keep an eye on new recruit Joel Trudgeon.

‘Trudge’ crossed from Carlton between seasons and has settled into his new surrounds seamlessly. He’s been made to wait for a debut on account of a minor niggle picked up late in pre-season and was squeezed out of contention for selection last weekend by a strong and relatively healthy AFL-contingent.

Hard nosed in the contest and dangerous when he drifts forward, ’Trudge’ is one to watch.

How To Follow

Hawks fans can keep up-to-date with all the action via our official social media channels.

Curated match commentary will be provided on Twitter, while further coverage will be available across Instagram and Facebook.  

Where To Watch

Channel 7 will be carrying the match live into Victoria from midday, with fans in other states or territories able to access a stream via their 7plus service.

Additionally,  all VFL matches can be streamed via the AFL app and can be found in the match hub or via this link.

Further, radio commentary can be found via our community radio partner, 3WBC 94.1FM.

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