Preview – NZ Hawks vs China

13 Aug, 2014

The New Zealand Hawks are set to take on China, in their 2nd match of the AFL International Cup.

The match will take place on Wednesday the 13th of August, at St Kilda’s Linen House base, Seaford, at 1.30pm.

It will be the 2nd visit New Zealand have made to St Kilda since the beginning of the tour, with an earlier visit focused around training and football development with St Kilda Assistant Coach Paul Hudson.

China are regarded as a very fast team, and it is likely they will test the fitness of the New Zealand Hawks. They are currently ranked 17th in the world by World Footy News.

The Chinese national team is supported by the Port Adelaide Football Club, who have funded the team’s journey to the 2014 International Cup.

The New Zealand Hawks are coming off a big 162-0 win over Sweden, which was especially heartening given the defensive performance shown by New Zealand. A goal for the team against China will be for the midfielders and backline to repeat that effort.

Team Manager Tim Stevens outlined the goals for the game:

“Our focus will be on keeping our standards up. The backline will be trying to use the ball better, and the forwards will be focussed on improving their conversion rate.”

China’s first match was a loss against Canada, and they will be looking to improve on that performance.

In team news, a mutual agreement between the two sides will see an extended bench. Kyle Smith is out due to a minor shoulder concern, and Brendan Clark will be rested for the match. Joe Baker-Thomas is set to wear New Zealand colours in front of his home St Kilda crowd.

The match will also be the first competition game for Tim Morton, Michael Gregson, Justin Clark and Nick Fisher.

New Zealand Hawks Playing Team:

1 Shane Leat
3 Matthew Van Wijk
4 Michael Boyce
5 Dan Benny
6 Samuel McKenzie
7 Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas
8 Jay Johnson
9 Andrew Christensen
10 Andrew Howison
11 James Roughan
12 Tim Morton
13 Benjamin Miller
14 Nicholas Fisher
15 David Rattenbury
16 Joseph Baker-Thomas
17 Christopher Mundell
18 Adam Simpson
19 Justin Clark
20 Levi Inglis
21 Logan Toomer
22 William Gregson
23 Aaron Harris
25 Ty Smith
27 Cameron Lubransky
33 Michael Gregson
34 Jared Court


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