CRASH by KC from Casey
There was a touch of inevitability about the way the Casey Demons’ winning streak was snapped at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday.
They went into the game with top spot on the VFL ladder secured if they could win one of their two remaining games but with a line up barely resembling the combination that got them into that position in the first place.
With the injuries at Melbourne mounting and the need to take two emergencies out west, the cupboard of AFL players available to play for Casey suddenly became almost bare and only ten of them turned up for the game played for the most part in blustery conditions and driving rain. For the Demons, that equation spelled doom and gloom and put paid to their chances of making it to a club VFL record 13 wins in a row.
When the going was bad weather-wise, the Demons kept pace in the hard grind when scoring was tough and the game remained an arm wrestle for most of the opening half. The Hawks managed to slip away to a 13 point lead at the main break and when the weather cleared after half time, they drove home the advantage booting seven goals to three to take a 37-point lead at three quarter time. The final margin was a 45-point car crash despite Casey having a narrow advantage for the game going inside the 50 metre arc.
The essence of winning games in such inclement conditions involves playing hard football, keeping your feet, putting your body on the line and tackling ferociously. With a few exceptions, that element was lacking with the Demons and the rump of their AFL was heavily exposed. Tom Bugg and Josh Wagner were the stand outs as far a Melbourne-listed players were concerned while young defender Harry Petty tried hard to stem the tide. Most of the remainder will struggle to hold their places based on this outing.
The better players for Casey were again their VFL listers headed by Mitch Gent, Jay Lockhart and Corey Wagner while first gamer Tom Freeman showed up many of his more experienced teammates with an impressive debut.
The club’s ruck issues this year have been well-documented and these were compounded with the absence of Sam Weideman and Cam Pedersen to give the inexperienced Demon ruckmen a chop out. As it was, the Hawks no name big men won handsomely in the ruck contests leaving coach Jade Rawlings with a massive headache on the eve of the finals because they were almost completely bereft of the necessary big body strength to win games in tough conditions.
The Casey Demons play Williamstown at Casey Fields in next week’s final round and will be hoping for a win to ensure themselves of a home final. Otherwise, they want the Hawks to repeat their winning form at Box Hill City Oval against the third-placed Cats on Saturday.
Peter Jackson VFL 2018
Casey Demons 1.3.9 2.6.18 5.8.38 6.10.46
Box Hill Hawks 1.3.9 4.7.31 11.9.75 13.13.91
Casey Demons Lockhart 2 Hutchins Lok Stephenson White
Box Hill Hawks Mirra Murphy 3 Brolic Cousins Jiath Maloney Moore O'Rourke Ross
Casey Demons Lockhart J Wagner Keilty Bugg Gent T Freeman
Box Hill Hawks Cousins O'Donnell Mirra Jiath Kilpatrick Duryea
Jaxon Briggs 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 1 tackle 39 dream team points
Tomas Bugg 21 kicks 7 handballs 28 disposals 3 marks 7 tackles 106 dream team points
Lachlan Filipovic 1 kick 1 disposal 2 tackles 9 hit outs 17 dream tea m points
Tom Freeman 12 kicks 4 handballs 16 disposals 7 marks 64 dream team points
Jeffrey Garlett 4 kicks 4 handballs 8 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 35 dream team points
Mitch Gent 2 behinds 13 kicks 13 handballs 26 disposals 5 marks 4 tackles 95 dream team points
Jack Hutchins1 goal 9 kicks 1 handball 10 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 56 dream team points
Dion Johnstone 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 1 mark 3 tackles 45 dream team points
Declan Keilty 5 kicks 4 handballs 9 disposals 2 marks 29 dream team points
Mitch King 4 kicks 3 handballs 7 disposals 1 mark 1 tackle 30 hit outs 49 dream team points
Jay Lockhart 2 goals 17 kicks 5 handballs 22 disposals 5 marks 8 tackles 125 dream team points
Goy Lok 1 goal 1 behind 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 2 marks 4 tackles 65 dream team points
Pat McKenna 7 kicks 4 handballs 11 disposals 3 marks 1 tackles 39 dream team points
Cory Machaya 3 kicks 13 handballs 16 disposals 3 marks 4 tackles 31 dream team points
James Munro 15 kicks 9 handballs 24 disposals 5 marks 3 tackles 82 dream team points
Harry Petty 7 kicks 7 handballs 14 disposals 6 marks 3 tackles 67 dream team points
Angus Scott 7 kicks 9 handballs 16 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 57 dream team points
Tim Smith 4 behinds 10 kicks 3 handballs 13 disposals 7 marks 4 hit outs 63 dream team points
Will Stephenson 1 goal 1 behind 4 kicks 4 disposals 1 mark tackles 34 dream team points
Cory Stockdale 3 kicks 3 handballs 6 disposals 2 marks 3 tackles 27 dream team points
Corey Wagner 19 kicks 9 handballs 28 disposals 8 marks 8 tackles 128 dream team points
Josh Wagner 11 kicks 10 handballs 2 1 disposals 2 marks 11 tackles 1 hit out 104 dream team points
Mitch White 1 goal 8 kicks 2 handballs 1 0 disposals 4 marks 2 tackles 55 dream team points