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VFL player by player: PF

VFL: Preliminary Final last two minutes Watch an intense last two minutes of Box Hill's Preliminary Final against Williamstown.

The Box Hill Hawks are into the VFL Grand Final after a stunning one-point win over Williamstown at Stannards Stadium on Sunday.

A tight match all day, the Hawks trailed by five points at the last change before overcoming the Seagulls in an incredible contest.

Read below for coach Chris Newman’s review of each AFL-listed player’s performance. 

Brendan Whitecross

23 disposals, 8 marks, 2 tackles, 1 goal

“As I’ve said all along with Whitecross, he’s able to play in any line. He started as forward, went into the midfield, and then finished as a back and had an impact in all lines. He actually kicked a goal playing half back. The major advantage we get from Whitey is the flexibility he brings. I try to steer clear of just going to him whenever we need something, but he’s just so reliable.” CN

Read: Whitey gunning for VFL premiership

Jonathan O’Rourke

21 disposals, 5 marks, 3 tackles

“He spent more time as an inside mid and had a big impact earlier in the game. Williamstown got on top of us early, and we couldn’t get our hands on the ball. But Jono was one guy that actually did get his hands on it, with 10 touches at quarter time. He went missing a little bit in the next two quarters, but then had a really good last quarter to finish. I think inside mid is the spot he can have the most influence on the game.


Dylan Moore

20 disposals, 8 marks, 3 tackles, 4 goals

“Dylan had a bit of a breakout game. He’s been a pretty consistent performer across all finals. He had to adjust to playing a wing role earlier in the year and having an impact, but we thought with his speed and ability to break parameter in the forward half, he could be a really potent weapon for us forward of the ball. His contested marking we took for granted; he took a couple of contested marks inside 50 which was a bonus. But most important he’s hit the scoreboard. Four goals and 20 disposals is a great game.” CN


James Cousins

18 disposals, 4 marks, 6 tackles, 1 goal

“Cousins impacted throughout the game. It probably wasn’t his greatest game, but his second efforts and his ability to put pressure on the opposition is outstanding. He was high in our clearance numbers and he had an impact.”


Dallas Willsmore

18 disposals, 7 marks, 4 tackles

“Dal played on the wing. I thought he was quite creative with the footy, which is what we want from him. He’s got a big left foot that can really set us up. He had a couple of strong defensive efforts too which was really good.” CN


Conor Glass

17 disposals, 5 marks, 1 tackle

“Glassy played on (Sam) Dunell and did a great job. Dunell didn’t have much of an influence on the game, and Glassy did a bit of offensive stuff too. When he starts to get the ball in his hands from the half back line, you know he can make something out of nothing.” CN


Changkuoth Jiath

17 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles

“CJ had a big defensive job. He played on (Ben) Cavarra for a little bit and (Lachlan) Schultz too. His spoiling is a real feature; he’s a great contested mark but he’s also a real body spoiler and looks like a natural defender.” CN


Marc Pittonet

16 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles, 34 hit-outs

“Pitto had a real battle with (Nick) Meese. Meese is an immovable object when he’s in the ruck, but I think Pittonet got him with his outside spread. He took some really strong contested marks around the ground, and helped with another number in defence. His spread from the contest was outstanding and we got full benefit out of his work around the ground which is what we want from Pitto.” CN


Kaiden Brand

15 disposals, 7 marks

“Brand was really strong defensively. He took quite a few marks from opposition boot, and had 15 disposals. He played on Rodda for most of the game who’s a dangerous forward and kept him to two goals, so it was pretty solid from Brandy. I think all our backs held up well early in the game when we were under siege.” CN


Kieran Lovell

14 disposals, 4 marks, 1 goal

“Lovell had a really quiet first half and just couldn’t impact the game.In the second half he had better impact and was really influential; he moved through the contest really well and used his bigger frame. He kicked a really nice goal. When he takes on the opposition, his step is elite, so he needs to just back himself in and create a bit of instability when he’s got the footy.” CN


Teia Miles

13 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles

“Miles had a pretty low disposal count. He played in the backline and provided some offensive drive for us, but we thought if we got another small forward to be able to crumb to some of our talls would give us a different look. He was probably more lively when he was forward in the second half.” CN


Olly Hanrahan

12 disposals, 2 marks, 6 tackles, 2 goals

“Hanrahan was really dangerous for us early in the game. He’s playing with some real confidence at the moment, and we’re really happy with his defensive efforts, finishing with six tackles. He played a little bit on ball early, but primarily as a forward and kicked 2.1


Mitchell Lewis

12 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles, 1 goal

“Lewis went in the ruck for a little bit and competed well. He was just an inch off taking three or four contested marks in our front end. If he can nail one or two of those marks, there’s another couple of opportunities to have a shot on goal. He missed a gettable shot late which normally you’d pencil him in for, but he looked pretty dangerous around the ground.”


Tim O’Brien

12 disposals, 5 marks, 1 tackle

“I thought O’Brien was influential in the way he was setting up behind the footy. He had some really strong spoils, strong marks, so I thought our two key backs were quite good on the Williamstown key forwards.” CN


Jackson Ross

5 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles

“Rossy had a couple of shots on goal. We’d like him to take those opportunities, but again, at least he’s getting them. He’s quite a smart player and reads the ball really well. There isn’t anything of him, he’s quite skinny, but he can use his body really well and read the flight of the ball as well as anyone.” CN

You can purchase tickets to Sunday's Grand Final double header here.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs