Box Hill extended its record to 7-1 for the season with a 47-point win over Essendon on Sunday at The Hangar.

The Hawks sit in third spot on the ladder and have won three games in a row since suffering their first blemish of the season against reigning premiers Casey in Round 6. 

Box Hill Coach Zane Littlejohn said Sunday’s win was a solid one.

“We had some scrappy moments but we also had some moments where we were able to really control the contest which is what we wanted to do,” he said.

“We really wanted to make sure we finished the weekend really positively for the football club.” 

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

Ned Long (3 goals, 38 disposals, 12 clearances, 12 tackles, 5 marks) 

“It was an exceptional day for Longy. He had a really nice balance of contested and uncontested footy. More importantly, he had some really good moments where he was able to work for his teammates and he got rewarded off the back of that.”

Finn Maginness (36 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles) 

“For Finn to finish with 36 disposals is great reward. As we know with Finn, he works super hard all day. He had a little role on one of their small forwards and was able to get that locked away and then find the footy himself which is really pleasing. It was another step forward for Finn as a defender. He’s just got to keep learning now and keep growing that area of his game.”

Jack Scrimshaw (29 disposals, 6 marks, 5 tackles) 

“It was a better game from Scrim this week. He had a job on (Patrick) Voss , their key forward, and he was able to have enough of his own footy as well. He had a really nice balanced game and the pleasing thing was his intensity and energy all day. He didn’t have those lapses where he doesn’t have that intensity in his game. It’s a good step forward for Scrim.”

Henry Hustwaite (28 disposals, 8 tackles, 3 marks) 

“It was another great game from Hust in regards to finding the footy. He was tough last week and he was tough again this week. His ability to use his hands around congestion and get us into space was really pleasing.”

Cooper Stephens (2 goals, 22 disposals, 8 tackles, 5 marks) 

“This week, he was able to get through the whole game. When he spent some time forward, he was able to hit the scoreboard. He had some really tough moments in the contest. We’re really rapt with what he’s been able to show and the progression he’s showing at the moment.”

Josh Bennetts (2 goals, 17 disposals, 8 score involvements, 5 marks)

“He played a really solid game at ground level but more importantly, he was able to compete at times in the air for us and get the ball to ground, which is not necessarily his go. What Josh is able to do is keep his feet and keep involved in the contest even when the ball hits the ground. We’re really happy with the trajectory JB’s on and how hard he’s working on his game. He’s just got to keep tipping in and progressing nicely. He’s really reliable for us in the role that he plays.”

Denver Grainger-Barras (16 disposals, 8 marks)

“Denver had a bit of a different role this week. He was able to intercept a bit more. He didn’t use the ball overly well at the start but he got better as the game went on. With our whole group, sometimes if it’s not going your way, it’s about how you respond and manage through those circumstances. I thought he was able to find his mental game and his capacity to bounce back from that and give some really good contests after those moments.”

Bailey Macdonald (15 disposals, 2 marks) 

“BMac’s just ever reliable again. He had some nice dashes where he was able to showcase his weapons. This week, he probably got caught a bit deeper than where we’d like him to be at times but he’s just continued to play his role. His defensive work is getting better, his one-on-one work is really good and he’s able to take some decent, solid marks. We’re really excited with how BMac’s tracking.”

Fionn O’Hara (15 disposals, 4 marks) 

“Fionn played on the wing. He had some really good moments where he was able to smash in, press and tackle. He’s putting himself in the right spots, he’s now just got to make sure he’s making every opportunity count and continue to work on his contest work. When you play on that wing, you might not have too many genuine one-on-one contests but when you do, you need to make sure they count.”

Harry Morrison (14 disposals, 93 per cent efficiency, 5 marks)

“Harry uses the ball so well, he was one of the only players on the ground who was able to use the ball like that. I’m really happy with the leadership Harry can provide amongst our group. We’ve just got to continue to work with Harry about building his confidence back up. He made a progression in that space this week, playing in a variety of roles.”

Max Ramsden (12 disposals, 12 hit-outs, 5 score involvements)

“Ramma competed solidly all day. He just had some contests where he got caught out a little bit in regards to just getting the ball to ground or not launching at the footy like we know Ramma can do. He’ll continue to work with our coaches in that contest area but he spent more time forward this week than he has in previous weeks. His ruck craft is definitely getting better. He’s really improving in that space which is really exciting for the footy club. He’s just got to continue working on his one-on-one stuff.”

Josh Morris (9 disposals, 4 tackles)

“Josh Morris had some really good defensive moments. He was able to make sure he halved or won his one-on-ones which is really important as a defender because you’re going to get caught in those moments at times. We’ve just got to continue to work with him on staying in the contest for longer.”

Jai Serong (8 disposals, 4 inside 50s, 2 tackles) 

“They say the second game back is always harder. Sez had some moments where he got caught out in the contest,  especially the marking contest. He just wasn’t able to get the ball to ground. As a forward, him and Ferg had a lot of numbers drop back in front of them and our ball use going into them wasn’t overly great so we sort of didn’t give them the best chance. He still had some really good moments in the game where he got up the ground. To not hit the scoreboard as a forward was probably a little bit disappointing from Sez’s game but second game back, it’s a work in progress and we’re really confident with what he can provide at this level.”

Fergus Greene (1 goal, 8 disposals)

“It was a frustrating day for Ferg, he’ll openly say that himself. He hit the scoreboard which is great but as I mentioned with Sez, Essendon were able to get numbers back. That’s part of Ferg’s development is the ability to continue to crash and bash contests and provide ground-level coverage. One thing you know about Ferg is his energy and attitude towards the group to make others around him better and he was able to do that on the weekend still.”

Some further mention to a Box Hill duo...

Callum Brown (39 disposals, 6 score involvements, 5 clearances, 5 tackles, 3 marks) 

“Cal’s just been an exceptional person to have amongst our group and he just gives players confidence to continue to be themselves. He provides a great drive and ball use for us but also, what we really like about Cal is his ability to help in our defence and be a real leader.”

Ed Phillips (1 goal, 23 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles) 

“His running power and his ability to help link up our play has been really solid. He’s providing us with a lot of drive and helping with the leadership space as well. Although both Cal and Ed aren’t in our official leadership group, they’ve been solid leaders on-field and around our group. They both provide a nice mixture amongst our program in keeping it relaxed. Then, when there’s a time to be serious, they both switch on.”