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VFL Tigers overtaken by Hawks

VFL Practice Match 2: Highlights Watch highlights from Richmond VFL's second pre-season practice match against Box Hill.

Richmond welcomed 2018 premiers, Box Hill to the Swinburne Centre, for the VFL Tigers’ second practice match of 2019, with the Hawks eventually overtaking their hosts, 13.7 (85) to 10.3 (63).

The game couldn’t have started much better for the Tigers, as they pressured, harassed and surged the ball at will, with Callum Moore imperious up forward.

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Moore, in his fourth year at Tigerland, patrolled the forward line with superiority and constantly asserted his dominance in the air.

He finished the quarter with two majors, as the Tigers slammed on the first four majors of the game, in a commanding 10-minute patch, which left Box Hill breathless.

Brandon Ellis looked confident in his new midfield role, with his running prowess and strength over the ball standing out, which was a shining example for his younger lieutenants.

Ellis worked tirelessly across the four quarters and was one of the Tigers’ best on the day.

Another who stood out in the first quarter, was dashing defender, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith.

Eggmolesse-Smith plays the game with a steady head, a piercing left boot, and constantly finds himself in the right spot at the right time to thwart opposition attacks.

He’s also confident and assured, be it in the air or at ground level, and looks set for a sparkling season in 2019.

The dynamic half-back sat out the second half courtesy of a planned rotation.

The second quarter started much like the first, with the Tigers stripping the Hawks of the ball, and marching it forward.

Young bull Charlie Thompson’s set-shot from an acute angle drifted across the face of goal and Callum Coleman-Jones rose above the pack to take the mark in characteristic fashion.

Coleman-Jones coolly slotted his set-shot and Richmond scooted to a four-goal lead.

The goal seemed to spring the Hawks into action, as they went on a three-goal run, and closed in on the Tigers.

Box Hill enjoyed this patch of dominance, trapping the hosts in their defensive half and cashing in on Tiger turnovers.

The Hawks cut the margin to 10 points, before the Tigers steadied the ship.

Shai Bolton went on a slicing run through the corridor, shooting off the handball to Shaun Mannagh at centre half-forward, who speared the ball on to the chest of Mabior Chol.

The stand-in skipper sent his side into half-time with a 15-point via the set-shot goal.

The Tigers were brimming with youthful exuberance in the first half and were potent and efficient in attack, however Box Hill came out after the main break with a point to prove.

The Hawks climbed to the top of the mountain last year and they were intent on showcasing the reasons why.

They’re midfield took over the ascendency in the third quarter, led by premiership captain, Andrew Moore.

Led by Marc Pittonet’s rucking nous, the Hawks slammed on six goals in the third term, as the Tigers went scoreless.

Sydney Stack showcased his courage and dare on numerous occasions during the term, repeatedly put himself in harm’s way.

Stack is unflinching in his approach to the ball and man, with his defensive tenacity shining under the glary Autumn sun.

The Hawks turned a 15-point half-time deficit into a 22-point lead by three-quarter-time and caught the Tigers on the hop.

Richmond started the final term the better.

Tiger youngster Luke English swooped on a loose ball on attacking 50, weaved his way through traffic, shot out a handball, which deflected Shaun Mannagh’s way, who snapped truly.

The Hawks responded once more, slamming on three goals in quick succession to thwart any idea of a Tiger fightback.

However, this Richmond side kept pressing, fighting and scrapping until the final siren.

Riley Collier-Dawkins gave the Richmond faithful a glimpse at the future and highlighted why the Tigers swooped on him with pick 20 in the 2018 National Draft.

Standing 193cm, Collier-Dawkins used his size and power on several occasions, whether that be inside the contest or out in open space.

At one stage in the final term, he burst clear of congestion and scorched a ball to fellow 2018 draftee Jake Aarts on the lead inside 50, who slotted his second major.

Aarts’ first goal moments earlier was possibly the play of the day.

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Patrick Naish found himself hemmed in on the boundary line, surrounded by Hawks, and instead of panicking, he calmly spread a squaring ball to Aarts, and the tenacious Tiger finished superbly.

Shai Bolton was another who stood-out in the final term, deployed as a midfielder, Bolton was quick and agile in both facets of the game and used the ball with class.

The Hawks may have prevailed by 22 points, but there was much to like about the Tiger cubs on display.

RICHMOND    4.1       7.2       7.2       10.3 (63)

BOX HILL       1.2       4.5       10.6     13.7 (85)