Box Hill suffered its second loss of the season on Saturday, going down to Williamstown by 15 points at Box Hill City Oval.

Hawks Coach Zane Littlejohn said the team faded out of the game in the end.

“It was a really good contest against Williamstown,” he said.

“We were able to wrestle some momentum back after a slow start.

“I guess we sort of controlled the middle part of the game and our defenders held up really strongly for that part of the game.

“We were under the pump for a little bit from clearance and contest.

“They wore us down in the end and ran over the top of us in the last quarter which was disappointing but a great learning for our group.

“We always knew this month of footy was going to be a great test to see where our program’s at.”

Littlejohn also gave his thoughts on each AFL-listed Hawk on the field, as well as some VFL shout-outs.

Harry Morrison (31 disposals, 13 marks, 4 tackles)

“It was a really fantastic game from Harry. His contest and composure with ball in hand, his ability to change angles and make good decisions was first-class and above the level which was really pleasing for Harry to build some confidence back. Hopefully he can continue to build to having a really successful second half of the year. His leadership and his calmness among the group is really valuable.”

Denver Grainger-Barras (23 disposals, 11 marks) 

“Denver was pretty solid. He was able to take some nice marks and was really strong in the contest. He showed great love to his teammates and his spirit was really strong. He had some slower moments in his defensive game but we’re working really hard with Denver and he’s working really hard on his own game. Part of Denver’s progression is being consistent in his performance and that’s week to week but that’s also during games, quarter to quarter, moment to moment, contest to contest.”

Jai Serong (16 disposals, 4 marks) 

“Jai actually played in defence and he did a really good job. He had some really good moments with his contest and his ability to impact the aerial contest was great. What was really exciting for Jai was his ability to run and overlap and use the ball calmly and with great composure as well. He’ll get another opportunity to play in defence this week and we’ll see where that leads. He should be really proud and really happy with how his performance went as a defender this week.”

Henry Hustwaite (12 disposals, 4 tackles, 3 marks)

“Henry played a bit of inside mid and on the wing. It was a good learning day for Henry in tough, sluggish conditions and playing against some mature bodies on-ball. His ability to work on his midfield craft around stoppage will be a great outcome and learning for Henry. As we know with Henry, he uses the ball really well when he gets it and that was no different this week.”

Josh Ward (21 disposals, 6 tackles, 5 marks, 3 clearances) 

“Josh Ward returned and spent the majority of the day inside (the midfeld), which is great for his development. It was great for him to work on his stoppage craft. We know Wardy can play an outside game on the wing but we really wanted to give him the opportunity to work on his inside craft and his ability around stoppage. He understands his game really well and unfortunately, a bit like Hust as well, had some moments where his stoppage craft wasn’t at the standard he would like it at. But first game back after a few weeks out, his match fitness and his ability to compete, get out and run and use the ball really well will slowly build back. As we know with Wardy, his composure and his ball use is first-class. It’s about him building up consistently now and putting his hand up to play AFL footy again.”

Clay Tucker (16 hit-outs, 6 disposals, 4 tackles) 

“It was Clay’s first game as a Hawthorn player at VFL level. He played against a really experienced opposition ruckman who’s been on AFL list and been around the VFL program for a long time now, so Clay got a good lesson on how you need to be able to compete at this level and be able to compete consistently. He’ll work really closely with all of our coaches and in particular, David Hale and all the other rucks we’ve got on our list to continue to grow and develop his game.”

Max Ramsden (1 goal, 10 disposals, 19 hit-outs, 6 tackles)

“Max played his forward/ ruck role. He didn’t have the influence he would’ve liked as a forward. The continued work for Max is how he can showcase and harness his weapons as a player and not succumb to what the opposition wants him to do. The pleasing thing for Max is he had really solid long down-the-line aerial contests where he was able to really be involved and in the fight for the contest. That’s an area of his game that he’s working really hard on.”

Fionn O’Hara (6 disposals, 3 tackles) 

“Fionn spent his time out on the wing and played a really solid game. Although the numbers weren’t huge for Fionn, he played the role we needed him to play on the day. He kept turning up and being in the right spots for the majority of the day which is really pleasing for Fionn. He’s been pretty reliable in his role at the moment which is great.”

Jack O’Sullivan (1 goal, 16 disposals)

“Jack returned and resumed his normal role as a half-forward. He showed great ability to get up the ground and help transition the ball from our defensive 50. The beauty about Jack is his ability to reconnect inside 50.”

Josh Bennetts (2 goals, 6 disposals, 2 tackles)

“He started the game exceptionally well and kicked two first-half goals. He looked lively and was really involved in the game. He was applying great pressure, using the ball well inside 50, then he just got a little knock and unfortunately faded out of the game.”

Josh Morris (1 goal, 6 disposals, 2 marks)

“Josh Morris actually spent some time forward this week which was great. It was a tough game for forwards because we didn’t have as many inside 50s so our ball use and transition weren’t as good as what we potentially liked it to be. It was a bit of a tougher day but great learning and great versatility for Josh to be able to show us that he can do those roles.”

Cooper Stephens (2 goals, 25 disposals, 8 tackles, 6 clearances, 4 marks)

“It was another tough game from Cooper. He had some nice numbers and played a well-balanced game. He was inside (the midfield) all day and battled really hard in there so full credit to him.”

Finn Maginness (25 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles) 

“He played across half-back again. He had some early blemishes by foot and decision-making but what was really pleasing for him was his ability to not let that bring his game down for the rest of the day. He actually got better as the game went on and defended the ground really well.”

Fergus Greene (1 goal, 3 disposals, 4 tackles)

“It was a quiet day for Fergus. He’s a realist and he understands that he needs to adjust during games when it’s not going the way it needs to go as a forward. He’ll keep going back to the drawing board and keep working hard but we love having Ferg amongst our group. I know Ferg will keep working to make sure he has more of an impact on games.”

A further shoutout to this VFL-listed pair...

Max Hall (10 disposals, 4 tackles) 

“He only had the 10 disposals but Max is probably one who’s always consistent. He’s clean in the contest, not overly quick but for whatever reason, he finds space really well and uses the ball really well going inside 50.”

Damian Mascitti (22 disposals, 6 marks) 

“Damo's ever reliable and uses the ball really well. He just helps repel the ball from our defensive 50 and he’s really calm with the ball in hand, controlling the tempo for the game.”