Hawks, Pies brace for Ginnivan’s box office show

Steve Larkin |

Jack Ginnivan will face his former club Collingwood for the first time as a Hawk in Gather Round.
Jack Ginnivan will face his former club Collingwood for the first time as a Hawk in Gather Round.

Collingwood rough-nut Brayden Maynard against ex-teammate and polarising Hawthorn forward Jack Ginninvan is AFL box office.

And Sunday’s twilight show has Ginnivan’s new Hawks teammate on high alert.

“You have got to be ready for anything really if there is some push and shove – which there maybe with Maynard given the way he likes to play, physical and combative,” Hawthorn captain James Sicily told reporters on Saturday.

“But we’ll see.”

Ginnivan will play against his Collingwood premiership teammates for the first time in Sunday’s finale to Gather Round at Adelaide Oval.

And the 21-year-old’s reunion, and likely duel against the Pies’ overt aggressor Maynard, follows a recent tit-for-tat with former coach Craig McRae.

Ginnivan said he was disappointed at feeling unwanted after winning the premiership at Collingwood last year, McRae said that wasn’t true.

And the goalsneak also enters the fixture after the AFL admitted errors in not awarding him high contact free kicks in last week’s loss to Geelong.

Zach Guthrie and Jack Ginnivan.
Geelong’s Zach Guthrie lands a tackle on Hawk Jack Ginnivan above the shoulder. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

The same controversy shadowed Ginnivan’s time at the Magpies.

“He played for our club for three years,” Collingwood captain Darcy Moore told reporters.

“So we’re very well acquainted with his strategies around, particularly in tight, around tackling.

“You could say we’re as well prepared as anyone for it but he’s clearly highly skilled at it and he’s really effective at doing it.

“We’ve got experience with it, we’ll be ready for it, but it’s only a very small fraction of the game for us.”

Ginnivan is averaging a career-high 15 disposals a game and has kicked three goals for the Hawks while impressing his captain.

“To be honest, I was quite surprised with how hard working he was,” Sicily said.

“And I didn’t expect that, just obviously didn’t know the guy.

“But he’s someone that has really surprised me with how hard he works and he really enjoys footy.

“And he’s actually got some real high level IQ when it comes to the game, he’s definitely bought some IP from Collingwood.”

The winless Hawks meet a reigning premier buoyed by their first victory of the season, away against the Brisbane Lions, last-start.

“It’s as tough a task in footy as any, playing against the Lions at the Gabba, so we took a lot out of that,” Moore said.

“But we’re still moving forward. We have got parts of our game that we’re working really hard on and we want to improve, the group is really hungry to do that.”