Petrie wary of undermanned Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petrie wary of undermanned Hawks

By Sam Lienert 10/04/2009 06:23:37 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne big man Drew Petrie predicts his side's strong ruck contingent will not find life as easy as most expect against undermanned Hawthorn.

The Hawks will again go into Sunday's AFL match at Etihad Stadium with youngster Brent Renouf as their lone recognised ruckman, still missing the injured Robert Campbell and suspended Simon Taylor.

It was a major weakness for Hawthorn in last weekend's upset loss to Sydney, as Swans pair Darren Jolly and Jesse White thrashed Renouf to set up the Swans' win.

It should only get tougher for Renouf on Sunday, given the depth and talent of the Kangaroos' ruck stocks.

Hamish McIntosh has started the season in fine form, while both Petrie and David Hale are legitimate rucking options for the `Roos, who left emerging ruckman Todd Goldstein out of their side.

But Petrie tipped Renouf and the Hawks would be desperate to hit back strongly.

"He's a developing ruckman and the challenge against us will be good for him and I'm sure he'll take it head-on," Petrie said.

"I'm sure they'd love to have Taylor playing and (Campbell).

"Darren Jolly did a great job up in Sydney with Jesse White on the weekend, so no doubt Hawthorn have identified that themselves and will look to fix it up themselves and not let that happen again.

"So we don't think it will be as easy as what everyone else thinks."

But Petrie said the North talls still needed to make use of their depth to give their midfielders an edge.

"It's pretty crucial against the midfield we come up against this week," he said.

The Roos have built a solid record against the Hawks, winning three of their last four clashes, including their most recent meeting in round 13 last year.

While Petrie said they would take some confidence from that record, he noted the Bulldogs broke a five-game losing streak against them last round.

They were expecting the Hawks to hit them with a fierce physical approach, given the scrutiny they have received for the winless start to their premiership defence.

"(The physical approach) is a style we like and a style Hawthorn are really good at too," he said.

"I reckon Hawthorn will be top four again this year and be a damaging side, it's just a matter of when they're going to kickstart.

"Hopefully it's not this week, but they'll be a ripper side again this year, no doubt about that."

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