Hawks quick out of blocks

Making the most of its chances continues to be a problem for North Ballarat as Box Hill Hawks comfortably accounted for the winless Roosters in Sunday’s Victorian Football League fixture.

Given the blustery conditions at Box Hill City Oval, there was a clear scoring end and the Hawks took full advantage in the first quarter – kicking 5.3 to three behinds.

Coach Marc Greig has long stressed the importance of starting well. And it was even more important against a quality side on its home deck. A missed shot on goal in the opening minute of the game denied the Roosters their perfect start while when it had its turn with the wind, it kicked 2.7.

“We just haven’t made the most of our opportunities early...we have to make the most of them,” Greig said.

“Into the breeze, away from home, it would’ve just got the ball rolling.

“Particularly early, for a group like ours, we need to start well.

“They chopped us up in the first and the third, we weren’t able to defend the back half.”

Box Hill sit on top of the ladder and flexed its muscle in more ways than one on Sunday, coming with a clear intention to impose themselves physically on the match.

This brand of football provided another challenge for many of the young Roosters against far more experienced players.

The Roosters won the clearance count by 12, but once again it was a lack of targets ahead of the ball that denied them getting full reward for a strong display around the stoppage.

Nick Rippon

Nick Rippon

Greig said the Hawks were the most damaging side it had played when it came to scores from turnover. Box Hill did not hammer the young Roosters at the source or cut through their zone, but once the visitors coughed the ball up, the premiership fancies were swift in transition to make North Ballarat pay for its errors. 

The Roosters camp suffered no injuries, however Hayden Walters was reported. 

The Roosters will now prepare for the Northern Blues and expects to have Andrew Hopper back into the line-up while Tony Lockyer looks unlikely.

“We’ve got a six-day break so we want to move on pretty quickly.”

Box Hill 5.3  8.8  15.11  18.13 (121)

North Ballarat 0.3  2.10  4.13  9.18 (72)

Goal-kickers: H.Walters 2, L.George, L.Kiel, B.Lusby, L.Cassidy, X.Vearing, J.Wheelahan, J.Cooke-Harrison

Best players: L.Cassidy, L.George, L.Kiel, S.Lyle, N.Rippon, K.Mellington