Hawks title defence is a matter of defence

Posted on: June 20th, 2019 by
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Captain coach and five-eighth: Dave McGrady led the Warriors to a maiden year minor premiership and will now try to create history when he leads his side out in the Group 19 grand final at Inverell. Photo: Rachel Holmes
Nanjing Night Net

Inverell might be heading into their third straight Group 19 grand final, althoughit will be their first at home in 16 years when they host minor premiers Boggabilla on Sunday.

In 2000the Hawks took out all three grades at home, and some of that side will form part of a huge crowd at Varley Oval on Sunday as the Hawks look for two more premierships with thejuniors meeting Ashfordin the second game.

While the Warriors finished on top it is the reigning premiers that might have the slight advantage afterpipping Macintyrein the major semifinal,although president and coach Garry Lavender believes there is nothing between the two sides.

“Every time we have played them it has taken until the final minute for me to be able to take a breath,” Lavender said.

“Finals are a different game and a different competition.”

“Whoever turns up with the rightattitude on theday will take the chocolates.”

The semi-final ended up being 33-20, although was a lot closer than that, and the Hawks learnt plenty from keeping the minor premiers scoreless in the second half, after trailing into the break.

“We have been working on our defensive pattern for the last few weeks,” Lavender said.

“We need to control the ball, complete sets and do the simple things that win football games.”

“In the second half ofthe semi they had more possesion and we kept them scoreless after they out-enthused us in the first half.”

The Hawks have had to make one change to the side that won the major final, high school winger Brad Hickman picked up an injury in an Inverell High side that recorded a big PSSA win during the week.

Hickmanwill be replaced by reserve grade flyer Leroy Davis, who will have a big job to do keeping up with the Warriors outside speedsters.

“They probably have us out wide so we have to contain them in the middle and control it,” Lavender said.“You can’t relax against them.”

Skipper Guy Mepham is an old hand at controlling big games, and his goal kicking andkicking in play from dummy half is equally as important to the Hawks chances as his leadership and direction is tothe young side, whose average playing age this season is just 22.

Nick Hodges and Alex McCosker have both also been there and done it before and will also be looked to on the field on Sunday.

“For a young side they have done so well this season,” Lavender said.“You are under the pump every week when you try and go back to back but we have just gone about our business and now we get a shot at it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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