Match result: Werribee 9.7.61 defeated by Box Hill 13.20.98
Venue: City Oval, Box Hill
Conditions: Just about perfect for football, cool with little wind

Story of the game

After Essendon’s heavy loss to Casey on Saturday, Werribee came into Sunday’s clash against Box Hill knowing a win would leave it outside the top eight, with three matches to play, only by percentage.

Werribee kicked 25 goals in its win against the Northern Blues last week and with perfect conditions again, another open, end-to-end game loomed. Both the Tigers and Hawks kicked five goals in the first term, and the quarter time team talk was centred around making sure Box Hill was forced to move the ball slowly going forward.

The game tightened right up in the second quarter, with goals hard to come by.

Robbie Nahas took a contender for mark of the year while Will Fordham kicked Werribee’s only major of the term. Box Hill’s inaccuracy (1.5) meant the Tigers only trailed by six points at the long break.

But there would be no let-off in the third quarter. The home side came out with a couple of goals in quick time and didn’t let up. Six goals to one for the term stretched the lead to 43 points at the final change.

From there the result was beyond doubt and Werribee fell to a 37-point defeat.

It now sits a game and percentage outside the eight with three rounds to play.

The coach said

“It was a good first half and I thought we were in the game. Both teams certainly didn’t make the most of their opportunities but it was an even contest.

“The third quarter really hurt us, they (the Hawks) really got on top, particularly in centre clearances and so we were under pressure straight away from the centre bounce.

“We probably overpossessed a little bit trying to go through the middle a little bit more and they were able to score off turnovers as a result of that.

“It was a disappointing second half after a promising first half.” – Development Manager Ben Dyer

North players in action

- Sam Durdin (9 disposals, 5 marks)
- Will Fordham (25 disposals, 9 marks, 1 goal)
- Lachlan Hansen (11 disposals, 5 marks, 1 goal)
- Mitch Hibberd (20 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles)
- Ben McKay (7 disposals, 5 marks, 1 goal)
- Declan Mountford (9 disposals, 3 tackles)
- Robbie Nahas (18 disposals, 6 marks, 1 goal)
- Daniel Nielson (11 disposals, 4 marks)
- Braydon Preuss (31 hit-outs, 6 tackles, 5 disposals)
- Joel Tippett (14 disposals, 6 marks)
- Ed Vickers-Willis (18 disposals, 7 marks, 6 tackles)
- Corey Wagner (14 disposals, 5 tackles)

Best of the AFL

Robbie Nahas

“Like the team, I thought I had a game of two halves. My first half I thought went well, but in the second half … I’ve just got to take my shots on goal.”

Best of the VFL

Matt Hanson – The Werribee midfielder was again influential both on the inside and outside, tallying tackles, clearances and inside 50’s at will.

Points of interest

1. Ed Vickers-Willis was impressive across half-back , frequently cutting off Box Hill attacks with intercept possessions.

After being close to an AFL debut a few weeks ago, the second-year Roo is pushing back towards the level again.

“He’s just really developed his ability to know when to come off and make that decision,” Dyer explained.

“As long as you’re able to impact when you do that, it makes him a really effective defender because he can win it at ground level and defend well one-on-one.”

2. Lachlan Hansen was deployed in multiple positions during the afternoon, going from back to forward and then back again.

“It worked out quite well, because Box Hill had an extra behind the ball. In the back of our mind it was always going to be good for Lachie to have a bit of time forward.

“When the opportunity presented itself to equalise and not give them the spare, we took the opportunity.

“We were keen for him to spend time at both ends today, so the way the game unfolded allowed us to do that, which was good.”

3. Much like Hansen, Sam Durdin was asked to perform multiple roles for the side, spending some time back as well as forward.

“He looked good when he went behind the ball.

“The pleasing thing is he’s getting hands to the footy, so it’s just a case of making the most of the opportunities and holding some of those marks.

“He’s getting to those areas so it’s a work in progress.”

4. Declan Mountford’s tagging adventures have become a weekly education. On Sunday he was asked to negate Hawk Billy Hartung.

While Mountford didn’t find as much of the ball himself as in previous weeks, he was able to limit Hartung from finding the wide open spaces he excels in.

“He’s (Mountford) working out different ways that he can combat these different opponents that he’s coming up against and it’s been a real good education for him the last few weeks,” said Dyer.

Most likely AFL call-up: Robbie Nahas
Next week: v Casey at Casey Fields, Sunday August 14 at 2:00pm EST