Box Hill returned from the bye with a bang, defeating Southport by 39 points at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon. 

Box Hill Coach Zane Littlejohn said the Hawks performed well as a collective. 

“Everyone had passages throughout the game where they contributed and showcased their weapons again, which is really pleasing,” he said.

“We played a really tough game which was really exciting because it’s something we really want to pride ourselves on and brand ourselves on.

“It was a scrappy game because of the conditions but our players adapted and fought it out really well.

“To run away and win by 39 points while keeping last year’s grand finalists to 45 points was a great outcome”

Littlejohn also reviewed each senior-listed Hawk’s performance on the day, as well as who he liked from a VFL perspective. 

Henry Hustwaite (26 disposals, 5 clearances, 5 marks, 6 tackles) 

“We put Henry back on the ball this week so he spent a bit more time in the midfield, which was great for him. We saw some really good footwork and stoppage craft from Henry. He used his hands which we know is his weapon. It was a good game for Henry and probably his best game since he’s come back from being out for a few weeks. He used the ball really well and he was nice and tough inside. There were some nice signs from Henry so now he’s just got to continue this next month of finding continuity and building off it. That’s probably the standard for him now so he’ll keep growing from that.”

Bailey Macdonald (21 disposals, 95 per cent efficiency, 9 marks, 7 score involvements)

“Bailey Macdonald was really exciting. He was one that didn’t let the conditions slow his style of play down. He had seven score involvements for a half-back which is an incredible effort. We should be really excited about what Bailey has shown and has been able to show throughout the year but we understand it’s a long year and he’s got a lot of development to still do. That’s the really exciting thing for Bailey. One thing that’s impressed us as a coaching group about Bailey is his willingness to be bold and not go into his shell even if he makes a mistake. It was really good reward for Bailey.”

Ned Long (19 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 4 clearances)

“Ned had to play a little bit of a different role this weekend and spend a bit of time in the ruck to help ‘Ramma’ (Max Ramsden) out. It actually suits Ned’s game because he can bullock in there and be strong. He battled really hard for us all day inside and as an undersized ruck, he competed really hard.”

Jack Scrimshaw (18 disposals, 7 marks)

“Scrim showed some nice signs and was able to showcase his weapons. He’s just got to continue to be really consistent in that area. It’s just about him getting confidence back and doing what he does well, finding that footy and defending really hard. He’s a great acquisition for us to have at VFL level.”

Josh Morris (15 disposals, 4 marks)

“Josh Morris has had a really good fortnight of footy. He’s solid for us in defence and does his role. He’s just got to continue to work on his match fitness. I’ve got no doubt that if he continues to build on the trajectory he’s on, he’ll start to knock down the door to hopefully another AFL recall. He’s just got to keep being consistent with his performances.”

Jack O’Sullivan (15 disposals, 7 score involvements, 5 marks)

“Jack was lively up forward again. He could’ve had a really nice day out, but his inaccurate goalkicking unfortunately got him. He got to play a little bit around the stoppage this week which is great for him. He reconnects really well with the forwards when he goes there. Jack’s arguably one of the hardest workers on our list at Hawthorn. He’ll get to work this week and he’ll continue to work really hard with myself and Chris Newman and the forwards to make sure that it doesn’t become too much of a habit with him.”

Max Ramsden (22 hit-outs, 14 disposals, 4 marks, 3 clearances)

“Max was our solo ruck and pretty much rucked the whole day. He had some really good contests, some contests that he would’ve loved again but he was a trooper in the ruck. We just need to continue to develop him. He’s working really hard on his game.”

Finn Maginness (13 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles)

“We played him as a defender this week. He actually had a job on one of their forwards and kept that player to three touches, which is a great effort. He’ll keep growing and keep working to add another string to his bow in secondary positions.”

Josh Bennetts (13 disposals, 3 marks)

“It was a reliable solid game from Josh. He had a couple of little errors where he could’ve been a bit stronger in the contest but as a first-year player at this level, you’re going to have ups and downs.”

Jai Serong (2 goals, 12 disposals, 5 marks) 

“Jai made his return after two months out from footy which was great to see. He hit the scoreboard and all the players got to him. We understand the process he’s been through to get back out there. His work rate and energy were fantastic so to hit the scoreboard and kick two goals was a great return for Jai. He’ll be better for the run - he would’ve been sore but he got through the game really strongly. Hopefully, he can get some continuity in his game, his body and his performance.”

Denver Grainger-Barras (11 disposals, 4 marks)

“He was solid again. It wasn’t a real genuine match-up for Denver this week, he rotated through a few different opponents. He was able to impact the game later in quarters. He’s just got to stay switched on the whole time and he knows that. He’s working really hard with the coaches.”

Fionn O’Hara (8 disposals)

“He went back to his normal role on the wing. He’s very reliable in that role now, runs the right patterns, uses his speed and continues to get to the right spots. He’s just got to keep going back to the well and keep trying to be consistent in this space.”

Fergus Greene (1 goal, 8 disposals, 5 marks) 

“Ferg came back and could’ve had a big day as a forward but his kicking leg wasn’t quite on. He provided us with a good target up forward. They dropped some numbers back in front of him during quarters and at times, we didn’t use the ball overly well to Ferg. He’s got to continue to make the most of his opportunities, but we love what Ferg offers, his involvement at the club is unbelievable. He really helps gavalanise both the Box Hill and Hawthorn players together.”

Cooper Stephens (5 disposals, 3 tackles)

“It was a bit of a tough day for Cooper. He started the game well but unfortunately, he just got a little knock and couldn’t see the whole game out. We hope that he’ll be available for us to get back into it this week but we’ll see how he progresses.” 

Some further Box Hill shoutouts...

Hugh Beasley (21 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles) 

“He had a big job on their leading goalkicker. He was able to keep him to one goal and did a fantastic job. He found the footy himself and helped repel a lot of their forward 50 attacks into some offensive drive for us.”

Callum Porter (20 disposals, 9 clearances, 7 inside 50s, 3 tackles, 2 marks) 

“He had a job on their captain around stoppages and did a great job. He was able to get some footy going back the other way as well. He played a pretty solid game for a midfielder that’s playing a role at stoppages.” 

The Hawks now turn their attention to The Hangar where they will face Essendon on Sunday from 1.05pm.