Gawn sets VFL record 87 hit outs

Max Gawn1A record-breaking 87 hit-outs for Casey in the VFL on Saturday has Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn pushing for a senior recall.

Gawn responded in strong fashion to his omission from the senior team for the game against Geelong, teaming with Jack Fitzpatrick to dominate the hit-outs (114-23) against Bendigo Gold on Saturday afternoon.

Despite Gawn and Fitzpatrick’s ruck dominance, the Scorpions only just scraped over the line by two points.
Gawn’s 87 hit-outs is the most recorded in the VFL since Champion Data began taking statistics in 2012.

The giant Demon relegated Northern Blues ruckman Cameron Wood to second place on the leaderboard. The Carlton-listed rookie achieved his personal best of 77 hit-outs in round six against the Scorpions.

Gawn has two efforts in the top 10 of the VFL hit-out record book. The 22-year-old big man totalled 63 against North Ballarat in round 10.

Richmond rookie Orren Stephenson is also part of the top 10, having tallied 62 hit-outs twice this season.

Gawn’s efforts to help drag Casey over the line could be rewarded with a senior call-up for Sunday’s clash against Port Adelaide.

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney nominated Gawn, Sam Blease, Mitch Clisby, Jay Kennedy-Harris and Viv Michie as the names likely to be considered for the trip to Adelaide Oval.

Blease, who hasn’t featured in the AFL so far this year, played what was his best VFL game of the year on Saturday, picking up 26 disposals to go along with two goals and six tackles.

Last week, Melbourne coach Paul Roos said Blease, who has played 31

games in his career, was around the mark to return to the side.

“‘Bleasey’s’ one we really want to look at but we don’t want to hand him games. To his credit, he’s been working really hard,” Roos said.

“I suspect if he keeps that form up he’ll be in the team pretty quickly.”