Published on June 21, 2019 2:19 pm

VFL PREVIEW: Round 12

Sunday’s top-four clash between Port Melbourne and Essendon headlines Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL Round 12, while a four-time Hawthorn premiership hero will appear for the Box Hill Hawks on the comeback trail from injury.

CLICK HERE for the Round 12 TEAMS

 

GEELONG vs FRANKSTON – Saturday 2pm @ GMHBA Stadium

* Watch live via vfl.com.au VIDEO STREAM and listen live on GOFOOTY.LIVE or CASEY RADIO 97.7FM.

 

LAST ENCOUNTER

2018 Rd 14 @ SkyBus Stadium: Geelong 14.15 (99) d Frankston 4.5 (29)

 

FORMLINES

Geelong (10th on ladder, 4-5 record) won games against Collingwood, Coburg and then Footscray before losing to Richmond by 23 points two weeks ago prior to a bye. / Frankston (15th, 1-8) snapped a 20-match losing streak stretching back to Round 6 of the 2018 season with a 50-point triumph over North Melbourne in Round 11.

 

KEY QUESTION

Can the Dolphins ride a wave of momentum from last week? The challenge for an inexperienced Frankston team will be to back up its long-awaited win against the Kangaroos. The Dolphins will need hardened leaders Nathan Freeman (37 disposals last week), Will Fordham (32) and captain Josh Newman (21) to carry their younger teammates through once again.

 

KEY STAT

The Cats have placed a lot of emphasis on winning contests at AFL level this year and they’re no slouches one-on-one in the VFL either, despite the team’s losing record. Geelong ranks fifth in the competition for contested possessions per game (Frankston ranks 14th) and first for contested marks, boasting plenty of tall timber for the Dolphins to worry about.

 

SELECTION NEWS

Lachie Henderson comes into the Cats’ VFL line-up for the first time since Round 6 after overcoming a foot complaint, with Geelong VFL co-captain Aaron Black making his first appearance since Round 5 following a serious hamstring injury. / Frankston 22-year-old Mitch Cox has been named for his first match of 2019.


BOX HILL HAWKS vs SANDRINGHAM – Saturday 2.10pm @ Box Hill City Oval

* Listen live on 3WBC 94.1FM.

 

LAST ENCOUNTER

2019 Rd 2 @ Marvel Stadium: Box Hill Hawks 16.4 (100) d Sandringham 8.11 (59)

 

FORMLINES

Box Hill (9th on ladder, 4-4-1 record) have lost three of their last four games, including a 10-point defeat at the hands of Essendon last week. / Sandringham (7th, 5-4) had won five of six games before falling to Werribee by 24 points in Round 11.

 

KEY QUESTION

How much of an advantage can Marc Pittonet give the Hawks? Concussion issues for Billy Longer and Lewis Pierce have undermined the Zebras’ ability to compete in the ruck in recent weeks. Pittonet had a day out for Box Hill last week with 21 disposals, 49 hitouts and eight clearances against a makeshift Bombers ruck division and may find himself in a similar situation this week.

 

KEY STAT

Both these teams will likely look to establish their preferred method of deliberate ball movement by foot, with each ranked in the VFL’s top four teams for average kicks and marks this season. Sandringham’s potential advantage in winning contested ball (ranked fourth in the competition while the Hawks are 11th) might give the Zebras the first chance at doing so.

 

SELECTION NEWS

There are plenty of key changes at Box Hill, with Jarryd Roughead and Harry Morrison out after receiving call-ups to AFL level, four-time Hawthorn premiership defender Grant Birchall named to play his first VFL match since 2006 and Hawks VFL skipper Andrew Moore in line to appear for the first time since Round 7 following a shoulder complaint. / Sandringham loses Dan Hannebery and Jake Carlisle to St Kilda’s AFL team as well as Max King to an ankle injury, but omitted AFL-listed key defender Nathan Brown could appear for the Zebras and Sandringham Dragons ball-winner Angus Hanrahan will make his VFL debut as a 23rd player.

 


FOOTSCRAY vs COLLINGWOOD – Sunday 11am @ VU Whitten Oval

 

LAST ENCOUNTER

2019 Rd 2 @ Olympic Park Oval: Footscray 17.10 (112) d Collingwood 6.4 (40)

 

FORMLINES

The only loss for Footscray (4th on ladder, 6-2-1 record) in its last four games came at the hands of Geelong by a point in Round 9, the Bulldogs most recently defeating the Northern Blues by 54 points. / Collingwood (12th, 2-7) has won only once since Round 1 and lost last time out in Round 10 to the Casey Demons by 63 points before a bye.

 

KEY QUESTION

Can Anthony Scott continue his promising form? Billy Gowers (2017), Will Hayes (2018) and Ryan Gardner (2019) have all earned spots on the Western Bulldogs’ AFL list in recent years and Scott must surely be in their reckoning now too. The former Richmond VFL player leads Footscray for total inside-50s this season and ranks in the team’s top five for disposals, clearances and tackles.

 

KEY STAT

An inability to turn clearance wins into scores is troubling the Magpies. Despite Alex Woodward (eight clearances per game) leading them to the competition’s top ranking for average clearances, Collingwood ranks second-last for generating inside-50s and goals. Something is breaking down forward of contests and Bulldogs defenders will look to exploit it as they did in Round 2.

 

SELECTION NEWS

Footscray will gain the services of omitted Western Bulldogs players Bailey Dale and Ryan Gardner as well as Hayden Crozier coming back from a toe injury, while it loses captain Josh Prudden with a quad issue and recalled AFL-listed key forward Josh Schache. / Consistent VFL performer Lachie Tardrew is out of the Magpies’ team, while Eastern Ranges ruck Riley Smith will debut as a 23rd player.


COBURG vs CASEY DEMONS – Sunday 12.30pm @ Piranha Park

 

LAST ENCOUNTER

2018 Rd 12 @ Casey Fields: Casey Demons 16.12 (108) d Coburg 4.7 (31)

 

FORMLINES

Coburg (14th on ladder, 1-9 record) has lost seven straight games since defeating Frankston in Round 3, most recently to Richmond by 84 points last week. / The Demons (11th, 3-6) emphatically ended a three-match losing streak with a 63-point victory over Collingwood in Round 10 before a bye.

 

KEY QUESTION

What impact will Casey’s change in coach have? Jade Rawlings has relinquished his role as the Demons’ senior VFL coach mid-season to take up a role as Melbourne’s AFL forwards coach. Casey back line coach Sam Radford steps into Rawlings’ shoes and will aim to continue reviving the 2018 grand finalist’s season after a much-needed win against the Magpies two weeks ago.

 

KEY STAT

The Demons have scored over 61 points only three times in nine matches this year and even the one-win Lions average more goals per game. Poor ball use moving forward has afflicted Melbourne at AFL level in 2019 and, similarly, the club’s VFL outfit is ranked 14th in the competition for disposal efficiency. Coburg will no doubt look to again force Casey into error with ball in hand.

 

SELECTION NEWS

Jesse Corigliano is a key in for the Lions, their top-ranked player for total rebound-50s this season back after a week out with a knee niggle. / Alex Neal-Bullen, Jay Lockhart and Harrison Petty have all been called into Melbourne’s AFL line-up this week, with the VFL Demons welcoming AFL-listers Billy Stretch and Charlie Spargo into the team from their last outing.


WERRIBEE vs WILLIAMSTOWN – Sunday 1pm @ Avalon Airport Oval

* Listen live on CASEY RADIO 97.7FM.

 

LAST ENCOUNTER

2018 Rd 3 @ Avalon Airport Oval: Werribee 16.10 (106) d Williamstown 9.11 (65)

 

FORMLINES

Werribee (6th on ladder, 6-3 record) has defeated Frankston, the Casey Demons and then Sandringham by 24 points in Round 11 across its last three games. / Williamstown (5th, 6-3-1) had prevailed in three of four games before last week’s memorable draw with Port Melbourne.

 

KEY QUESTION

Could this be a statement game for the Tigers? Werribee has certainly benefited from the previous AFL experience of new senior coach Mark ‘Choco’ Williams as well as some key recruits in 2019, but the club hasn’t yet defeated a team placed above it on the ladder (losing to Port Melbourne and Footscray). Claiming the scalp of the Seagulls might make VFL watchers sit up and take notice.

 

KEY STAT

With Tigers trio Matt Hanson, Tom Gribble and Michael Barlow on one side and Williamstown’s Mitch Hibberd, Liam Hunt and Adam Marcon on the other, this contest could become a battle royal at stoppages. The Seagulls rank second in the VFL for average clearances and Werribee third, so whichever team wins first use of the ball will go a long way to securing victory.

 

SELECTION NEWS

Former GWV Rebels player Scott Carlin comes into the Tigers’ team for his first match of 2019 as the 23rd player, with fellow Werribee youngsters Aiden Domic and Louis Pinnuck the only confirmed outs. / Williamstown hearts will be warmed by the potential return of Jack Dorgan following 11 months out with an ACL injury, while Ben Kennedy and Hisham Kerbatieh have also been added to an extended bench.


PORT MELBOURNE vs ESSENDON – Sunday 2.10pm @ Adcon Stadium 

* Watch live on CHANNEL 7.

 

LAST ENCOUNTER

2018 Rd 18 @ Adcon Stadium: Port Melbourne 12.10 (82) d Essendon 11.11 (77)

 

FORMLINES

Port Melbourne (2nd on ladder, 7-2-1 record) hasn’t lost a match since Round 2, with seven straight wins preceding a draw with Williamstown in Round 11. / Essendon (3rd, 7-2) has won consecutive games against the Northern Blues and then the Box Hill Hawks by 10 points last week since narrowly losing to Richmond in Round 8.

 

KEY QUESTION

Will the Borough’s regeneration be on show on a big stage? Port Melbourne has quietly returned to the upper rungs of the ladder after a relatively down season last year following the club’s 2017 premiership. Senior coach Gary Ayres is once again overhauling the Borough’s list demographic, with young players like Harvey Hooper, Callum Searle and Campbell Walker taking their games to another level in 2019.

 

KEY STAT

These teams are the VFL’s top two for generating inside-50s in 2019 (Essendon first and Port Melbourne second), so viewers could be in for a thrilling end-to-end contest. The Bombers are also in the competition’s top two for kicks, marks and uncontested possessions, so the Borough’s defensive pressure will need to be at a high level to disrupt that methodical form of ball movement.

 

SELECTION NEWS

Young ruck Michael Wenn replaces suspended big man Tom Goodwin in Port Melbourne’s most significant change, with promising key forward Ethan Phillips also out of the Borough’s line-up due to a hip complaint. / Essendon lost forward Mitch Brown for the club’s AFL trip to Perth on Thursday night, but the VFL Bombers have named fellow AFL-listers Aaron Francis and Mark Baguley while the prolific Kobe Mutch could make his return from a two-month hamstring injury.

 

 

* ROUND 12 BYE: Northern Blues, North Melbourne and Richmond

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