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Ruck competition a good thing, says McEvoy

Nick Duxson  July 22, 2015 3:00 PM

Hawk Ben McEvoy celebrates a goal with teammates during the Round 16 match against Sydney Swans.

Hawk Ben McEvoy celebrates a goal with teammates during the Round 16 match against Sydney Swans.

COMPETITION for ruck berths at Hawthorn can only be beneficial for the club, according to in-form big man Ben McEvoy.

After a month-long stint with VFL affiliate Box Hill Hawks following a three-week injury layoff, McEvoy forced his way into the senior team for the Hawks’ Round 15 win over Fremantle.

The 26-year-old starred in the 72-point win against the Dockers and was equally impressive in the Hawks’ 89-point triumph over Sydney Swans on the weekend.

While he’s been pleased with his performances since returning to the senior side, McEvoy said he knew he needed to continue to deliver.

David Hale – who will play his 100th game for the Hawks on Friday night if selected – has also been in good form, while Ceglar has been named in Box Hill’s best players in the past two weeks and is pushing hard to reclaim a senior berth.

“It was pretty frustrating – I was out for a fair while, but you’ve just got to be patient and I’m enjoying being back in,” McEvoy said.

“It makes it really hard for us (the competition for spots), but it’s really good for the team and the club.

“We know that we’ve got to be on our toes and performing, otherwise there’s someone snapping at your heels to take your spot, so it’s a challenge – but great for the team.

“I imagine the coaches are pretty happy having that dilemma at selection.”

McEvoy’s four-game run in the VFL came on the back of a hamstring injury which kept him sidelined for three weeks, after he had played the first six games of the AFL season.

He came into the senior side with strong form behind him – amassing 92 hit-outs in a fortnight in the VFL – and hasn’t looked back since, compiling a 12-disposal, 24-hitout, two-goal game against the Dockers and a 15-disposal, 27 hit-out, two-goal game against the Swans.

McEvoy said from a team perspective the past two weeks had been extremely pleasing, but the Hawks will need to be fully focused against Carlton on Friday night.

“We just need to keep applying ourselves,” he said.

“We’ve been ruthless in how we’ve applied our game plan really in the last couple of weeks.

“We’ve obviously had two really strong results the past two weeks, which we were really pleased with, but that doesn’t stop there.

“Carlton has been a lot more competitive in the last five or six weeks, so we’ll be switched right on.

“I can’t remember the last time I played on a Friday night, so I’m pretty excited and I think everyone is.”



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