Mid-season recruit Jasper Scaife was among 12 AFL-listed Hawks who helped guide Box Hill to a 68-point victory over GWS to return to the competition’s top six.

VFL Senior Coach Zane Littlejohn was impressed with his team’s efforts on a drizzly Sunday afternoon at Fenjiu Stadium (Box Hill City Oval).

“It was great to put in a performance like we did,” Littlejohn said.

“I guess the pleasing thing is there’s still room for improvement in our footy but we’re getting the results at the moment and we’re looking forward to a huge challenge against Richmond (on Saturday).”

Littlejohn also reviewed each AFL-listed player who featured in the win over the Giants, while also giving some shout-outs to two VFL-listed players. 

Harry Morrison (31 disposals, 13 marks, 10 score involvements, eight intercept possessions, four tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s)

“It was a great performance from Harry. The most pleasing thing from Harry and Ramma (Max Ramsden) in particular was that they performed well even though their prep was interrupted by getting stuck in Tassie as a couple of AFL emergencies the night before and not arriving back in Melbourne until the morning of the VFL game. How Harry prepared to play the way he did was really pleasing. He used the ball considerably well and really set us up. As I mentioned last week, his ability to get contest to contest and help generate speed in our offence was really pleasing.” 

Finn Maginness (29 disposals, 11 score involvements, nine inside 50s, six tackles, five marks, five intercept possessions)

“Finn found a lot of the football again and was strong around clearance again, which was really pleasing. He had some moments where he would’ve liked to execute better but the fact that he's finding the ball, working really hard and turning up to a lot of contests is really pleasing. He’s continuing to work on his execution.”

Jai Serong (27 disposals, 10 marks)

“Jai made a nice return after his concussion and was solid. He moved the ball really well and was arguably our best defender on the day in regards to contest and winning his own ball back. What we sometimes see from players who miss games is that their execution starts to fall away and I guess that’s the growth for Jai - his execution wasn’t quite where he would want it. He’ll get back to continually focusing on that and will undoubtedly be better in the weeks moving forward. His contest and aerial ability were really pleasing.”

Josh Ward (22 disposals, six marks, five clearances, five score involvements)

“We can never fault Wardy’s effort. He was exceptional in his ability to get contest to contest and get outside the contest. The continual growth for Wardy, and he’s getting great exposure in this, is around the stoppage and clearance stuff. He’s working so hard on his game. Improvement is not linear in that area but we are seeing some signs of improvement. He’s attending a lot more centre bounces, a lot more stoppages, he’s getting put in those contested situations and we’re seeing some great improvement in his game. Ultimately, we’re seeing his work and his ability to run. He’s using the ball really well which is going to make him a really well-rounded balanced player.”

Henry Hustwaite (22 disposals, 10 clearances, nine tackles, five score involvements, four marks)

“It was a solid performance from Henry. He kept finding himself in some really good spots in our offence which is great. Now the next growth for Henry is to be really consistent with what he does with the ball when he wins it. We know he’s got elite hands inside the congestion into outside so now it’s just about him finding the balance of when he needs to use his feet, drive his legs and go forward. But what was really pleasing was that we saw his weapon and craft around clearance and contest on the weekend, which is great.”

Bodie Ryan (22 disposals, four intercept possessions, three marks)

“Bodie started the game pretty slowly but worked his way into it eventually. He had some moments he will undoubtedly like again with the way he used the ball. Even his tackling pressure was just a bit hit and miss but then he had some really good moments. Like any footballer, the best players are consistent regularly so that’s the challenge for Bodie is just to stay really consistent in his performance across the whole game. We’ll continue to work with Bodie but I love his attitude and his toughness.”

Josh Bennetts (Two goals, 20 disposals, six score involvements, four marks, three tackles)

“Josh was on world record pace in the first quarter (with 10 disposals and two goals). I say this every week with Josh and our fans probably get sick of me saying it but his work rate, effort, intensity and energy to continue to turn up and provide options for his teammates further up the field is elite. Yes, he faded out of the game but what didn't happen was his work rate didn't fall away significantly, so he’ll continue to find the balance of how he can work hard and find that footy and be a really valuable asset for our group moving forward.” 

Nick Watson (Four goals, 18 disposals, 10 score involvements, eight marks)

“We know Nick kicked four goals but the pleasing thing was that he started the game slowly and then started to get up around the ball a bit and get more involved. His energy and pressure were really pleasing and as I mentioned with Chad, I just thought he worked really well with the other small forwards. They weren’t all turning up at the same spot, they were really well balanced in getting up the ground and getting guys deeper. He played a really sound game. He brought great energy and pressure and I thought the goals were a reward off the back of that.”

Max Ramsden (Three goals, 26 hit-outs, 14 disposals, eight score involvements, five marks, five tackles, three intercept possessions)

“It was a great game again from Max, especially around the ground. He was able to cover the ground and get forward, take contested marks and kick goals. Probably the area for Ramma where his opposition got on top was just around his ruck contest at times where they were able to win the hit-outs. We’re not saying hit-outs are everything but it’s important for Ramma to continue to develop his craft in that space if he’s going to play in the ruck at the top level and also play as a forward. What we’re seeing with Ramma is he’s really challenging his opposition and playing to his strengths.”

Denver Grainger-Barras (13 disposals, 10 marks, three score involvements)

“Denver was a little inconsistent in his contest again on the weekend, unfortunately. He had some moments where he was a bit ill-disciplined which aren’t the standards that we want to drive. Ultimately, Denver’s owned that which is great. He was able to move the ball which was good but he was just a little bit inconsistent in that space. His energy, effort and urgency were really good on the day so we’re working really hard with Denver to stay in those moments all the time. Unfortunately, his execution at times let him down. He had some really good moments but also some moments that he would like again.”

Jasper Scaife (One goal, 10 disposals, seven score involvements, five marks, three inside 50s)

“It was Jasper’s first game in the brown and gold. I’m sure our fans who were at the game would’ve seen really positive signs. The key message for Jasper in this game was just to go out and play, have no pressure, just continue to turn up at contests and keep the game really simple. I thought he performed really soundly, gave us a great contest in front of the ball and kicked a beautiful goal, so he’ll continue to grow.”

Chad Wingard (Four disposals, four tackles)

“Chad unfortunately came off just before half-time with some calf awareness and ultimately with his history, we just didn't want to push it and we collectively decided that he’d sit out the rest of the game. But what you would’ve noticed in the first half was his energy and effort to bring defensive pressure was great. I actually thought he worked really well with Nick Watson, Ben Cavarra and Josh Bennetts in the forward line.” 

…and a couple of shout-outs for some VFL-listed players 

Cal Porter (21 disposals, five score involvements, five intercept possessions)

“Cal played in a little bit of a different role. We moved him to half-back just to give us a bit of a different look in there. His ability to adapt to that, show great leadership and get his role completed in that space was really sound. To shift the role significantly like that from an inside mid to half-back was really pleasing.”

Andrew Mathieson (One goal, 16 disposals, six marks)

“Andrew kicked his first goal for the footy club against his old club. He played on the wing all day and his running capacity is elite. He plays a really valuable role for the group in regards to just continually turning up and playing an unselfish role up and down the wing. He got rewarded by hitting the scoreboard.”

Box Hill next faces Richmond at the Swinburne Centre at 12.05pm on Saturday afternoon, with the AFL sides set to follow at the MCG from 4.35pm.