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VFL: How each Hawk performed

VFL GF: Moore on his first year Dylan Moore is grateful for what has been a whirlwind 12 months in the AFL system.

A look at how each of Hawthorn's senior listed players performed in the VFL grand final, as well as a snapshot of their 2018 season...

David Mirra

18 disposals, 8 marks, 7 tackles

Grand Final performance: Mirra was awarded the Norm Goss Medal as the best on ground in his side’s Grand Final win. As he has been all season, the ever-reliable Box Hill stalwart was again solid in defence, especially in a resurgent second half, and now becomes a two-time VFL premiership player. 

The year that has been: It caps off what has been somewhat of a dream 12 months for the 27-year old. Taken with the 23rd pick in last year’s rookie draft after eight years with Box Hill, Mirra has gone on to play seven senior games this year.

James Cousins

16 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles

Grand Final performance: Again, asserting his regular position at the top of the statistics sheet, Cousins was important against a strong Casey midfield. He was again combative in the clinches, highlighted by his four tackles.

The year that has been: Cousins has been a regular contributor at VFL level this year, averaging 25 touches across his 16 games this year. The 20-year old has been impactful in multiple areas of the ground in 2018, averaging five tackles and six inside 50s. 

Dylan Moore

16 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 3 goals

Grand Final performance: One of the stars of the day. Only Mirra had more disposals for the Hawks, while he also proved the most potent Hawk in front of goal with three goals. His third goal clinched the win for the club.

The year that has been: After spending time on the wing throughout stages of this season, Moore seems to have revelled a role that sees him closer to goal. His high work-rate alongside his ball-getting ability and goalkicking nous make him a tricky match-up.

Teia Miles

15 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles 

Grand Final performance: Miles often finds a way to ensure his touches are effective and his game on Sunday was no different. Amongst his 15 disposals, the 21-year old had four inside 50s and five rebound 50s, highlighting his work in all areas of the ground. 

The year that has been: Miles spent the first half of the season exclusively with Box Hill, showing his wares in multiple positions. In Round 16, he was selected for his fifth AFL game and played eight senior games in a row. Miles returned for Box Hill’s finals campaign and is now a VFL premiership player.

Tim O’Brien

14 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles

Grand Final performance: Despite being only able to convert one of his three shots at goal, O’Brien was one of the Hawks best. Hauling down a game-high four contested marks, the 24-year old was clearly the game’s biggest aerial force.

The year that has been: O’Brien split his time between AFL and VFL football this year, playing 12 senior games and 13 with Box Hill. He spent time at either end of the ground at the state-league level and often looked a level above.

Marc Pittonet

14 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 57 hit-outs

Grand Final performance: You could make a case for him being the most influential players on the ground. On the back of Pittonet’s work, the Hawks enjoyed an enormous hit-out differential of 77 taps to Casey’s 24.

The year that has been: His Grand Final performance should have come as no surprise as he is been putting in similar efforts on a consistent basis in 2018. A workman-like ruckman who enjoys following up, the 22-year old will be very pleased with his year.

Olly Hanrahan

13 disposals, 4 tackles, 1 goal 

Grand Final performance: Showed class in the third quarter as his side continued its surge, kicking an important goal. The second-year Hawk has clearly grown in confidence after an outstanding finals campaign.  

The year that has been: An injury-interrupted start to the season, Hanrahan has enjoyed a superb rate of improvement since and is one of the heroes of this premiership win.

Jono O’Rourke

13 disposals, 6 tackles

Grand Final performance: Despite not gathering as much of the ball as we have come to expect from him this year, O’Rourke still found a way to impact the game by laying six tackles. 

The year that has been: Playing 18 games for Box Hill this season, O’Rourke proved one of the Hawks most consistent ball-getters, averaging 22 possessions per game. Unfortunately he dropped away slightly in September, averaging just 14.8 touches throughout the Hawks’ four finals.

Kieran Lovell

12 disposals, 1 mark, 2 tackles, 1 goal 

Grand Final performance: He delivered his side their first lead of the game midway through the final quarter when he roved off Pittonet’s ruckwork before kicking truly for his first and only major of the day.

The year that has been: Despite not earning a senior selection this year, Lovell would have been pleased to get some consistency this year, featuring in 21 VFL games after managing just three last year. Spending time between the midfield and forward line, the 21-year old averaged 19 disposals, four marks and booted eight goals for the year.

Dallas Willsmore

12 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle, 1 goal

Grand Final performance: Willsmore operated at an 80% disposal efficiency, which typifies his value to the side all season. His five inside 50s on the day were also important. 

The year that has been: Playing predominantly on the wing, Willsmore played 22 games for Box Hill this year. He averaged 17 disposals, six marks and two tackles per game. The 23-year old was one of the side’s most reliable performers over the course of the season.

Conor Glass

11 disposals, 4 marks

Grand Final performance: Glass had 11 disposals off the half-back flank on Sunday. Four of his possessions were rebound 50s, highlighting how much the side trusts him with ball in hand. 

The year that has been: The Irishman played 16 games for Box Hill this year, averaging 15 disposals playing predominantly in the backline. He is not a massive accumulator of the ball, but his ability to use it effectively when he has it has proved important. The defensive side of his game has also been noted as an area of great improvement in 2018.

 

Changkuoth Jiath

10 disposals, 3 marks, 1 tackle

Grand Final performance: Jiath became a VFL premiership player in his first season at the club. He worked hard throughout the game. 

The year that has been: In his first year in the AFL system, CJ seems to have got better with every game he has played. The 19-year old has begun to build a reputation around the club with his elite running ability and tackling intent.

 

Brendan Whitecross

10 disposals, 6 marks, 2 tackles

Grand Final performance: Finally got a taste of the premiership glory that he has been so unluckily starved off throughout his career. It wasn’t his most influential game of the year but his leadership again proved important in the high-stakes. 

The year that has been: One of the Hawks most important players across the season. Only managed the six AFL games in 2018, meaning that he will likely feature in the Box Hill best and fairest award.

Read: Whitey gets his medal 

Kaiden Brand

7 disposals, 6 marks, 6 tackles

Grand Final performance: Brand’s disposal count wasn’t as high as previous weeks but he still found a way to impact the game. Six marks and six tackles are strong numbers for a key back.

The year that has been: Brand spent time at both levels this years, playing 14 VFL games and 10 AFL games. At VFL level especially, he showed an ability to gather high disposal numbers as a key defender, averaging 17 touches and seven marks per game. The defensive side of his game also remains a strongpoint.

 

Mitchell Lewis

7 disposals, 1 mark, 17 hit-outs, 1 goal

Grand Final performance: Playing the challenging role of being a forward and pinch-hitting ruckman, Lewis found a way to impact for his side again on Sunday. His aerial presence wasn’t as strong as it has been at other times during the year but still managed to hit the scoreboard in a low-scoring affair. 

The year that has been: An outstanding year in which he finished equal-second in the Frosty Miller Medal for most goals in the competition. Playing out just two goalless games from his 19 outings, Lewis was also a force in the air with his contested marking a feature of his year.

 

Jackson Ross

5 disposals, 3 marks, 1 goal

Grand Final performance: Kicked the Hawks first goal of the game late in the first term to ensure they stayed in touch with the Scorpions. Was quiet from there on. 

The year that has been: Ross can be happy with his debut season at the Hawks. He has developed a knack, especially throughout the second half of the year, of hitting the scoreboard and has also impressed the coaching staff with his marking.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs