North-Hawks clash will be civil: Pratt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

North-Hawks clash will be civil: Pratt

By Leonard Siragusa 18/06/2008 03:58:50 PM Comments (0)

While North Melbourne are prepared for a fiery clash with Hawthorn on Saturday, defender Daniel Pratt said heavy penalties will prevent him from getting even with the Hawks.

Pratt was labelled "extremely soft" and "pathetic" by opponent Campbell Brown after the Kangaroo fell to the ground when Hawk Jordan Lewis jabbed him in the midriff the last time the two sides met in round three.

While Lewis was handed a one-match suspension for the strike, Pratt responded to Brown's derogatory comments by saying he would "save" them in the memory bank and use them as ammunition in the return duel on Saturday.

But the Kangaroo defender said on Wednesday he would have to ignore the temptation of fighting back because of the AFL's tough stance on behind the play incidents.

"Last time we played them there was spice. After what happened last game, I don't think it will be any different," Pratt said.

"I expect blokes to be running around bumping and shoving but the safest place in the world is the footy ground because you can't do anything or else you miss weeks.

"The boys will go about their own business, I can look after myself.

"Campbell (Brown) said those things and I guess we play similar sort of footy. I don't know if that's reflecting on his footy as well."

Pratt said his team had a long-standing reputation for winning the hard ball.

"I don't think they (Hawthorn) think we're soft," Pratt said.

"I think we're one of the sides that put our bodies on the line.

"The last couple of weeks we're gone away from that, you lose respect very quickly in football and we're looking to get that back."

While Pratt believed his side should not focus exclusively on curbing the influence of exciting forward Lance Franklin, he acknowledged he would have to assist fellow defender Josh Gibson.

"(Gibson and fullback Michael Firrito) need a lot of support at the minute, they're under the pump," Pratt said.

"They're probably two of our best competitors at the club and they've not really been given a chance to play that style of football."

After holding Franklin to 12 possessions and three goals in last year's semi-final, Gibson was soundly beaten by the Hawks spearhead earlier this year.

Gibson said he would not do anything special to prepare for Franklin but he was determined to break even in the 50-50 contests.

"He definitely got the better of me last time," Gibson said.

"I've just got to get back to what I did in that final and just halve the 50-50s.

"He's a great player but I've just got to take the challenge like it is anyone else I'm playing on in the AFL."

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