Kangaroos, Tigers expect big AFL finish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kangaroos, Tigers expect big AFL finish

Sam Lienert 03/09/2011 10:39:28 AM Comments (0)

North Melbourne have every excuse for a flat performance, and Richmond can gain by losing, but Tigers coach Damien Hardwick expects the AFL home and away season to finish with a bang, not a whimper, at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Kangaroos face the emotional toll of having their finals hopes emphatically punctured by St Kilda last weekend.

The mood was not helped at selection, with Jack Ziebell and Levi Greenwood out suspended and Daniel Wells and Lachie Hansen out injured, among six changes.

The Tigers are better off, with Jake King (suspension) their only forced omission and wins in their past three matches.

But they could also be excused for being at less than fever-pitch, given a win could lift them to ninth and cost them six spots in the order for Novembers national draft.

But Hardwick said building a winning culture remained the club's priority and there was no hint of lagging enthusiasm from his players, despite their finals hopes being long gone.

"Funnily enough no, our guys are really keen to play this game and finish off on a winning note," Hardwick said.

"The enthusiasm of our group has been very, very good throughout the course of the year.

"Were really looking forward to the challenge of North Melbourne."

Despite the Kangaroos selection woes and last weekends disappointment, Hardwick said it would be foolish to expect a club famed for their fighting spirit to bow out meekly.

"Theyre a competitive football club," he said.

"Over the course of the time that I've been coaching and playing theyre a side that you never underestimate.

"They're a proud footy club, they're a great footy club, and Brad (Scott's) got them playing some really exciting footy. I think its going to be a game that people will thoroughly enjoy."

If the Kangaroos need inspiration, farewelling much-respected three-time best and fairest winner Brady Rawlings should help.

"We've got our superstars in Brent Harvey and these types of players who are revered around the place, but Brady is revered because he largely reflects how we want to be seen as a footy club," Scott said.

"He's extremely capable, but extremely humble at the same time.

"The players will be desperate to get the right result for Brady."

Kangaroos ruckman Hamish McIntosh will play his only game of the season, after having most of his year wrecked by injury, while key forward Aaron Black will make his AFL debut.

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