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RD 17: VFL Preview v Hawks

Natalie MacGregor  August 11, 2017 2:04 PM

BTV: VFL RD 17 | Preview Mark Corrigan previews our Round 17 VFL match against Box Hill.

Essendon VFL will have to shut down the Hawks dangerous duo, Jaeger O’Meara and Paul Puopolo, on Saturday, according to Performance Coach Mark Corrigan.

The pair has been named in the Hawks extended squad, as they make their return from injury.

“They are extremely dangerous. They are quality AFL players,” Corrigan said.

“No doubt Jaeger will play through the middle, he’s a very good clearance player – in saying that we have some quality through there.

“We will probably look at him for a little bit more accountability but we won’t (necessarily) tag him.

“If Puopolo plays up forward, he is powerful and dynamic so he will be one we will look into closely and try and shut him down.

Fellow Hawks forward Ty Vickery is one goal ahead of Alex Boyse in the Frosty Miller Medal race.

The former Tiger has been dominant in Box Hill’s forward line, booting 27 goals this season. 

Key defender, Michael Hartley, is set to line-up on Vickery.

Hartley returns after playing 13 straight games in the AFL side, averaging five marks and three tackles.

“I think ‘Harts’ (Hartley) will go to him, he is coming back from the AFL so it’s a perfect match-up for him,” Corrigan said.

“Otherwise it could be (Matt) Darby, we have a couple of options back there but I think ‘Harts’ will get first crack.”

The Bombers are in seventh position on the ladder, while the Hawks sit at the top of the ladder after only dropping two games this season.

“They have been really consistent all year. They’re obviously a quality outfit and have an even spread of contributors,” Corrigan said.

“They are going to be tough.

“We know that they are quite direct with the ball – they use the ball really well.

“It’s going to be a really good challenge and one we are up for.”

The Dons have made a number of changes to their line-up, with a host of VFL players getting the call-up.

“There are a few changes to the AFL side, so that gives a few opportunities to a few more VFL boys,” Corrigan said.

“Daniel Younan comes in, Michael Luxford will be back in and a young kid, Lewin Davis, from Bendigo will be playing as the 23rd man.

“We also get our Captain back, Nick O’Brien.

“There are a few changes but those boys have been in good form so it’s great to reward them.”

Davis, a forward with the Bendigo Pioneers, is set to line-up in attack.

“He will play mainly forward for us. I haven’t seen a lot of him but from what I hear, he has a nice set of wheels, he’s quite sharp and has a nice left foot,” Corrigan said.

“We don’t have too greater expectations of him, we just want him to go out and enjoy playing his footy and see what he can offer.”

The Bombers can take confidence from their comeback against the Pies last week.

“The first half of the game didn’t go to plan, we didn’t get it on our terms but in the second half the boys really ‘upped the ante’ with the pressure around the ball and we were able to get some repeat entries and and the game in our half,” Corrigan said.

“We take great confidence, that when we bring that pressure, we are really tough to play against and that’s what we want to be known for.”

The round 17 game will be televised on Channel 7 from 2pm.

You can keep up to date with the game by following @essendonvfl on Twitter