VFLW: Round 11 Talking Points

With back-to-back wins in the bag, the VFL Women’s Hawks hit their blockbuster Round 11 clash with Geelong on a roll.

Box Hill and Geelong have long been rivals and that enmity is only stronger in VFL Women’s. Both sides are playing their inaugural season and these clashes will only become more and more anticipated in the years to come.

Geelong currently lead the head-to-heads after their 56-point win in Round 1. For coach Patrick Hill and his players, that humbling defeat is at the top of the list entitled ‘Unfinished Business’. Now, with three months of experience and the invigorating rush of their consecutive wins, it is time to settle the score when the teams take to the Box Hill City Oval field at 11.45 tomorrow.

  1. Moving to the new standard
    Box Hill’s Round 10 win over then-eighth placed Cranbourne was their biggest scalp yet. Geelong sit sixth and their finals pulse is still beating yet several injuries to key players and the Hawks’ recent hot form has the match evenly poised.
    “Their results show that they’ve been really competitive against the top teams without winning one and beaten all the bottom sides,” says Hill. “We go into the game with a good chance of winning but fully understanding that their record is a lot better than ours.”
  2. Backline coming of age
    They’ve spent most of the season under siege but that experience has been telling for the Box Hill backline. Players such as Kristy Stratton, Ellie Macdonald and Jayde Van Dyk had arguably their best games yet in the superb win over Cranbourne.
    “If you look at our backline in isolation and the way they were able to control the areas they needed to control last week, we felt it was a really mature performance,” says Hill. “Last week they were really well organised and from my vantage point I could hear all the conversations going on out there and I could hear all the organisations. They’ve really come on leaps and bounds.”
  3. Defensive Cats
    Geelong’s capability of playing highly defensive game style was on full display in their Round 10 clash against Darebin in which they held the reigning premiers to just two goals. However, Hill says that he expects his charges to play on their terms rather than reacting to the Cats’ style.
    “I’ve watched them quite a few times and I think how they move the ball is pretty consistent,” says Hill. “Whether or not they press up is not going to affect how we go about how footy, we’ll trust the girls to make the right decisions.”
  4. Hill v Hood
    Although each club has only fielded a VFL Women’s side as of 2017, there’s a bit more history between their respective coaches. With Hill formerly the coach of the Frankston Dolphins and Geelong’s Paul Hood previously holding the reins at the Cats’ VFL side, Saturday will add another chapter in their one-on-one battles.
    “There’s that competitive edge because we’re the two new clubs and at the start of the year we both would have seen ourselves as a chance to get in and be the higher team and knock off a few of the other teams. It’s taken us that big longer to find our feet but we’re there now.”
  5. Revenge is a dish…
    Box Hill’s history-making Round 1 clash turned into a game to forget as the Hawks failed to capitalise on their forward entry and came home goalless in the heavy loss. It’s a wrong Box Hill must right in their next major step forward.
    “We thought we would do better,” admits Hill. “Geelong deserved their win but we didn’t feel the scoreboard reflected the state of the game. “[The motivation] hasn’t had to come from me, the girls are still a little bit hurt by Round 1; not kicking a goal and conceding nine… we didn’t feel at the time it was a fair reflection of the game.”

    Box Hill host Geelong from 11.45 on Saturday at Box Hill City Oval.

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