Box Hill recorded a 37-point win over Richmond on Saturday afternoon at Punt Road Oval to go into its second bye of the season in good touch. 

VFL Senior Coach Zane Littlejohn said it was important for his team to get the victory, particularly with a week off looming. 

“We had a real focus at VFL level to start off the day really well for the footy club,” Littlejohn said. 

“We knew Richmond would be right up for the fight. 

“They're playing some very good footy end and they're doing an awesome job with the injuries they've had. 

“We knew the fight would be on but it was a really positive day for our VFL program.” 

Littlejohn also reviewed each AFL-listed player who featured on the day and gave shout-outs to two hard workers on the Hawks’ VFL list.  

Harry Morrison (34 disposals, nine marks, six score involvements, three inside 50s, three tackles)  

“As I've said for a number of weeks in a row, Harry was really solid for us. He started on the wing and spent some minutes across there. Then due to a few injuries and personnel, we moved Harry to half-back and didn't get a rotation in the second half, just purely based off injuries and what we had available for us. He used the ball really well and was really calm. The thing that Harry’s doing is he’s putting his hand up and he’s got his foot jarred in the door so if the door does open, he's ready to take that step through to AFL level. That's all he can do at the moment - continue to play really consistent and solid footy, which he's doing. He’s making great decisions with ball in hand and is able to be really tough as well in the contest. If an opportunity arises, I'm sure Harry will walk straight through the door and definitely be ready and that's what we want our players to be.” 

Seamus Mitchell (34 disposals, 14 marks, 11 intercept possessions, five score involvements) 

“We saw Seamus come back and we wanted to make sure he was really positive with how he played the game. We know Seamus can defend the ground really, really well, but we wanted to see him get back to being an offensive threat with his dash and run and carry, and I thought he was really solid in that. Now it's about him just building continuity and continuing to build confidence. Again, when an opportunity arises, we want to ensure that he's ready to step back through the door and perform at AFL level.” 

Josh Ward (One goal, 33 disposals, 11 score involvements, 10 marks, four tackles, four inside 50s, three clearances)  

“It was another really solid game from Wardy. He adjusted his game really well in the second half. I think he only had two kicks in the first half and was just overhandballing the ball. We were able to make some adjustments with that in the second half and he definitely started to use it by foot. We know how well Wardy can kick the ball. He’s hit the scoreboard as well which is really pleasing for a midfielder. He's continually working on that craft around the contest and stoppage and we're seeing, as I’ve mentioned each week, some growth in that area. It's just about him staying really consistent in that area.” 

Henry Hustwaite (32 disposals, nine clearances, seven score involvements, six tackles, five inside 50s) 

“Henry found a lot of the footy, was really solid around clearance and was tough. Again, there were not a lot of rotations for our mids this week purely based on being down to two players on the bench at half-time and nobody on the bench by the end of the game. It’s been a great fortnight from Henry and he'll be looking post-bye to really bounce back and continue to grow what he's starting to produce. We're seeing him turning up in some really positive spots and his stoppage craft is really positive. He’s continually working on finding the balance between when to take territory from stoppage and when he can shape and use his teammates around him. But the thing that we're loving is he's getting his hands on the footy around clearance and ultimately around the ground more as well, which is really pleasing.” 

Finn Maginness (31 disposals, six tackles, seven score involvements, five marks, four inside 50s) 

“We started Finn on the wing this week and he was able to get up and down the ground which we know Finn can do and it was really pleasing. I think that's two weeks or three weeks in a row now where he’s got over 30 disposals or thereabouts. All of his stats are based on his work rate and his ability to get up and turn up. What I liked this week with Finn's game was his ability to use his hands in congestion and help us get out of congestion rather than just trying to use his feet. He found a real balance of that which was really pleasing and we're seeing some great improvement in his game.” 

Josh Bennetts (Two goals, 21 disposals, eight marks, seven score involvements, three inside 50s) 

“He played really positively this week and put in a really solid performance again. I’ve said this a number of times but he's starting to become really consistent and reliable at the level. You sort of know what you're going to get from Josh and it’s ultimately off the back of his work rate. His work rate is at AFL standard. When we talk about players working really hard, he's at the top level now in our team and he's getting rewarded for that and showing some great AFL traits. He just has to continue to stay really consistent now.” 

Bailey Macdonald (17 disposals, 10 marks) 

“Bailey defended the game pretty well for us and used his speed at times, which was great. Ultimately for Baz, he's going to have a breakout game here soon, I'm sure. He's just got to continue to be really consistent with his ball use to make sure he makes every opportunity he gets count. He's working hard to find spots and get used. After missing the week before, to come back in and perform how he did was really positive.” 

Jai Serong (18 disposals, 11 marks, six intercept possessions) 

“Jai was solid as we know, not necessarily a key match-up for him this week but he was still able to float a bit and find the best match-up for him. He played high, played deep and played second tier at times as well. He was also able to get involved with offence and have a real influence on that. It was his second game back from concussion and he gets the week off now. He'll obviously look to build on that and put his hand up for AFL selection post the bye.” 

Bodie Ryan (16 disposals, five marks, three score involvements)  

“Bodie got moved around a little bit on the weekend based on positional needs and the numbers that we had left. He played some minutes on the wing and played minutes as a defender as well. He was solid without being anything outstanding. He was really reliable with his performance. Bodie needs to continue to find ways to defend really hard on different oppositions, so he had to play high as a defender at times and then deep at times as well. But shout-out to the growth he's showing in his first AFL season. I'm sure his body will appreciate a week off and we'll see some more upside and uplift Bodie after the bye.” 

Denver Grainger-Barras (15 disposals, nine marks, four intercept possessions) 

"It was a really quiet first half for Denver but I loved his leadership and how he responded in the second half. He really set himself up after a disappointing performance the week before. He ultimately defended the ground really well and played the whole second half, he didn’t come off the ground. It was really positive for Denver to be able to play that role because at AFL level, there are a lot of defenders who don’t come off the ground. But ultimately, we want to make sure we can continue to burst Denver so he can play his exciting, intercepting type of game, but also defend really solidly when it's his turn.” 

Jasper Scaife (Three goals, 14 disposals, eight score involvements, seven marks, four inside 50s) 

“He started the first half really, really well and was really damaging. Then we lost Mitch Lewis at half-time (managed minutes) and he got the focus of getting the main defender, but he still competed really well. He spent some minutes in the ruck and was quite lively, so it’s something we might look to do with him a little bit more moving forward, giving him some exposure in there. What was really impressive when he went in the ruck was his ability to follow up and give a contest at ground level as well and not just in the air. We saw some real growth for Jasper and we're seeing some really positive signs with him.” 

Clay Tucker (16 hit-outs, 12 disposals, six intercept possessions, four marks, four tackles) 

"Clay returned from his concussion and had to shoulder a fair bit of the ruck in the second half. Max (Ramsden) came out with an ankle injury and Tuck was the sole ruck with a bit of support from Scaife and Daniel Wood but competed really well. It was a really good opportunity for Tuck when he was tired to continue to find a way to push through, which is part of his growth and development at this level because ultimately, you need rucks to be able to play some long minutes at times, which he was required and asked to do. He’s working on what to do when he gets fatigued and making sure he’s really strong in the contest. It was a really positive day for Tuck in regards to taking the number one ruck role.” 

Max Ramsden (11 disposals, eight hit-outs, four score involvements, three marks, three tackles) 

“Unfortunately, he tweaked his ankle just before quarter-time. We were able to get some minutes out of him in the second quarter, but ultimately, we felt at half-time the right thing to do was to wrap him up and just put him on ice. But he started the game really well and he's looking really damaging again. Unfortunately, injuries happen in the game of footy and hopefully, it's nothing too sinister, and we'll see him back post-bye and back in the form we saw from him pre-bye."

Mitch Lewis (One goal, eight disposals, four marks, four score involvements) 

“It was a great return from Mitch Lewis. We were rapt to have him back out there. He's a premiership player at Box Hill and he really values the program. Mitch, CJ (Changkuoth Jiath) and Dylan Moore are the three players who really talk up the Box Hill program for helping start their careers and they're all premiership players in the program. Mitch was great and his leadership was exceptional. He really brought into our program and I didn’t expect anything else from him. It was just really nice for him to hit the scoreboard and to hit bodies again, there was no expectation. He was really disappointed he could only play a half because he was feeling really good but to his credit, he stayed on the bench and helped coach our young forwards after half-time. It’s great for our supporters to hear that he got through the game really positively and hopefully now, he can really bounce after the bye and we can see some really consistent footy.”  

...and some shout-outs for two VFL-listed players  

Cal Porter (Two goals, 20 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s, five score involvements, four tackles) 

“He got thrown around everywhere and literally played all three lines. The only position he didn't play was a ruck. He spent time on a wing, at half-forward, at half-back and spent time in the midfield. He kicked some vital goals for us late in the game to put the game to bed, which was really nice. He was just really tough around the contest. It's not easy getting moved around but what I’ve been really impressed with is his willingness to sacrifice for the team. He just does it because he loves the team and what he’s able to do and provide for the team. He’s a great leader and we're very lucky to have him at our footy club.” 

Daniel Wood (Two goals, 16 disposals, eight marks, four score involvements, three hit-outs) 

“Daniel played the first half down back but when we lost Ramma and Mitch Lewis at half-time, we decided we needed to move him forward. Not only did he play forward, but he also spent some minutes in the ruck. He gave us a burst when we moved him into the ruck in the third quarter. He also provided something different and a different challenge, so shout-out to him.” 

With a bye this week, Littlejohn turned his attention to Box Hill’s next clash with Port Melbourne at Fenjiu Stadium on Saturday 29 June.  

"We’re really looking forward to getting back home and ultimately, we’ve got a six-game stretch now before another bye at VFL level,” Littlejohn said. 

“It’s a really, really important six games. 

“We play some really solid opposition who sit currently in the top four and it's going to be a great test for us to see where we actually sit, so we’re looking forward to that.” 

Littlejohn also took the time to thank all the Hawks fans who have shown their support to Box Hill throughout the start of the season. 

“I just want to say thanks for all the support so far from our Hawthorn fans and our Box Hill fans during the first half of the year and hopefully we're doing you really proud,” he said.