Hawks know a win will put them in the box seat

WANGARATTA Rovers star Sean O’Keeffe says while winning tomorrow’s derby is crucial to the Hawks’ finals chances, victory won’t assure them a spot in September.

The Hawks and Pies are locked in a battle for the fifth and final spot in the top five this season, with just six premiership points separating the cross town rivals with five rounds to play.

The Hawks can shoot 2½-wins clear of the Pies with a win tomorrow, however, O’Keeffe said the job wouldn’t be done until a spot was mathematically assured.

“Not by any stretch,” he said.

“There’s still a lot of games to go.

“It’s definitely a big game, though, and winning it would play a big part in letting us determine our own destiny.

“We just need to play four consistently good quarters.”

The Hawks ran out 22-point winners when the sides last met and the Hawks’ assistant coach said he was expecting another tough battle.

“There always seems to be a lot of contested footy and stoppages in these games,” O’Keeffe said.

“There’s never much free space — it’s always a game you want to win.”