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VFL preview: Round 19

Cristian Filippo  August 26, 2017 1:32 PM

VFL Highlights | Round 18 Watch the highlights from Carlton listed players in the Northern Blues' Round 18 win against Werribee.

The stakes well and truly couldn’t be higher when the Northern Blues head to Box Hill City Oval on Sunday.

With Collingwood suffering a five-point loss to Port Melbourne today, a win against the Hawks would seal a top-eight finish for the first time in six years.

Needing a Borough win over the Pies to give Northern the best possible chance, the Blues will then have to go out on Sunday against a Box Hill side with a lot to play for in their own right.

With the Blues needing a win to decide their September fate, Box Hill could still need a victory to clinch a home qualifying final.

Northern will have to do it without Dylan Buckley, with the speedster to miss through a knee injury sustained in the win over Werribee last week.

The Blues have found their winning form in recent weeks after a barren six weeks, with wins over Geelong and Werribee seeing them back in contention to keep their season going into September.

If they’re to get a repeat of last week’s result, the forward line will once again have to fire: for the first time since Round 9, the Blues recorded over 100 points last week.

It came off the back of four goals from Andrew Gallucci as well as the Blues’ collective unit spreading the load with nine individual goal-kickers. 

The Blues and Hawks last met in Round 11, where an inaccurate Northern was left to rue its wastefulness in front of goal late.

On that day at Preston City Oval, Box Hill recorded a 22-point win, with the Blues kicking two goals from 10 scoring shots in the final quarter.

Both sides have swung the changes to the side since then, with the Hawks to be without Tyrone Vickery (suspension) but have Jonathan O’Rourke at their disposal.

The last time the Blues tasted success against the Hawks was last year in Round 10, recording a memorable six-goal win at Box Hill City Oval.

Sunday’s VFL game begins at 2pm, with radio coverage available via 3WBC.

MATCH DETAILS
Round 19 VFL
Box Hill Hawks vs. Northern Blues
Box Hill City Oval
Sunday, August 27 — 2pm
Entry: $10 adults, $5 concession, children under-15 free
Northern Blues members enter half-price

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Daniel Gorringe: 
The Carlton tall utility returned from injury last week and continued the solid VFL form he has shown in the last month. In partnership with Matthew Korcheck, the Blues comfortably won the ruck battle last week, while Gorringe was able to pinch-hit up forward to great effect with two goals. Marc Pittonet has been recalled for Box Hill and will provide the opposition in the ruck.

Harrison Macreadie: Macreadie was one of the big shining lights to come from the game against the Hawks in Round 11, with the youngster needing to put in a similar performance this Sunday. While his possession total has been low in the last fortnight, senior coach Josh Fraser commended Macreadie’s defensive aspects in last week’s win over Werribee. He’ll need to play a role in a defensive shut-out next to the likes of Cameron O’Shea and Ciaran Sheehan.

Luke Russell: In his first season as a Blue, Russell has been extremely consistent in what has at times been a revolving door in the Northern Blues midfield. Once again among his side’s best players last weekend, Russell hasn’t dropped below 20 disposals since Round 9 and has averaged over seven clearances a game in the last two months.