By Briana Kendirian
Boronia Hawks celebrated milestones and wins on Saturday, as the 2018 Premiers leapfrogged Mulgrave into 4th spot on the Division Two ladder, thanks to a hard fought 16-point win over the Lions, 14.10(94) to 11.12(78)
Senior coach, Matt Clark is extremely happy that the Hawks are keeping the belief over a tricky pre bye month and are now seeing improved results show up on the scoreboard.
“With Mulgrave we knew they were above us on the ladder, so these are the games we had to win,
“They’re a good side and they’re in form but to get away with a win in the end of the day I was really pleased with the fitness of the guys,
“They were able to adapt to the tweaked game style this year and when you get results like that it’s sort of giving them stronger belief that what they’re doing is putting them on the right track.”
Clark believes a focus on contested footy and stoppage work in the last term was what got the Hawks over the line.
“We would sort of win three or four (stoppages) then they would win three or four, so the scores were coming from that source, so we really made a focus on that”, said Clark.
“We couldn’t get, and they couldn’t get, two goals in a row all day and that was a part of a challenge so we really spoke about making sure we can win the contest get it forward and then focus on getting two in a row,
“I think once we got that two in a row, we were able to just put a create bit of a gap, which built a lot of belief and momentum for us.”
With equal contribution from all members of the team, there were a few players that stood out to Clarke as well as a young star making a great impression.
“It was a good team effort,
“Taylor Leggate was good with his run and carry,
“I thought our backline defended well and that was led by our captain Harry Burgess,
“A couple of our younger forwards had the best game for the year and that was Sam Collins really feeding off Ben Robertson.
“If there was any spillage or marks dropped, he was in the front and centre, so I thought our small forwards, led by Sam, were good.”
Much like a lot of the teams, the Hawks aren’t immune to a few more improvements to ensure they will be able to stay in the top five for the remainder of the season.
Strong teams like East Burwood, Ringwood and South Belgrave push the Hawks to improve their form and work on being consistent.
“They (South Belgrave, Ringwood, East Burwood) haven’t really put a foot wrong this year and we know that we’ve dropped a couple games where they have been more consistent in games for longer, but we also believe we are getting better, our form is better and we are playing better opposition,
“Our biggest shift this year is that we’re not just focusing on just the defence, we’re trying to attack the game and move the ball,
“We’ve got a lot more pace around the ball and we’re just trying to get more leg speed,
“I just think as far as our results go, we just have to keep putting ourselves in the position to play finals first,
“I don’t think we are fearing anyone or don’t believe we’re not good enough, we just need to be able to make sure we get there.”
“We have a strong belief, we just have to stay strong,
“We know we’ve got no wiggle room where we sit on the ladder, everyone’s coming for us and everyone’s in the same boat where there’s about seven sides that want the spot we’ve got,
“But we ultimately want to win a premiership.”