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Kangaroos keen to avoid Hawks in Tassie

Guy Hand 06/08/2011 09:59:21 AM Comments (0)

North Melbourne are keen to ensure the "Tasmanian derby" they will play against Hawthorn in Launceston on Sunday doesn't become a regular event.

North, who will play two AFL matches a year in Hobart from 2012, don't want to play any further games against the Hawks in Tasmania after their Aurora Stadium showdown.

The Hawks have been playing games in Launceston for 10 years and have entrenched themselves solidly in the state's north.

But the Kangaroos say they are keen to avoid any north-south footy divide in the state as they battle to win hearts and minds in Hobart.

It is a similar sentiment to that expressed by Hawks president Jeff Kennett, who said in June he wouldn't want to see the north-south divide exploited in matches between the clubs in Tasmania.

"I don't want to see nor do I want Hawthorn to be involved in a game that promotes north against south," Kennett said.

"That is terribly self-destructive."

As well as the importance of the match in terms of finals, North coach Brad Scott admitted Sunday was a good opportunity for the Kangaroos to showcase what they had to offer to Tasmanians.

"It's good to get down there, and the really important thing for the people of the south of Tasmania is we're not just coming down there to play our two games and fly back to Melbourne as quickly as possible," Scott said.

"We're looking to embrace the people of Hobart. We think North Melbourne should be their club and we hope they embrace us too."

It is a high-stakes match for both clubs, with North needing a win to keep their finals push alive and the Hawks victory to maintain their top four push.

Hawthorn have received a huge boost with skipper Luke Hodge named to return from a nagging knee injury which kept him out of last weekend's win over Fremantle.

The Kangaroos have recalled forward Lindsay Thomas, hoping he has overcome his goalkicking yips following a nine-goal reserves haul last weekend.

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