Hawks to enter the unknown in Hobart

·2-min read

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell has warned his players not to get caught in the trap of overthinking the conditions when the Hawks make their AFL debut at Blundstone Arena on Saturday.

The Hawks have never played for premiership points at the Hobart venue also known as Bellerive Oval, and they will take on a rejuvenated North Melbourne outfit which dispatched Richmond last week.

Hawthorn's one and only previous appearance for premiership points in Hobart came in 1991 when they beat Fitzroy by 157 points at North Hobart.

The unpredictable wind at Blundstone Arena can make life tricky for AFL players but Mitchell says only minor tweaks are needed.

"I know there's been a little bit of wind there. It's also got the cricket pitch in the middle," Mitchell said.

'It's an interesting ground. When you watch it on TV, quite often it's a beautiful day down there but it tends to be scoring at one end a little bit more.

"So we've got to learn about how to play the ground, but not play it too much.

"We've had a couple of games this year where we've probably over-done the conditions so we just need to still continue to play our way."

The Kangaroos have extensive experience at the venue, having played there 30 times in the past 10 years.

Seventeen of those matches were wins but North's record of late has made for ugly reading, with the Kangaroos losing their past four matches there.

Last-placed North have won just two matches this season but their performances over the past fortnight have lifted hope they can avoid the wooden spoon.

The Kangaroos went down to Collingwood by seven points two weeks ago before snapping a 14-match losing run in a thrilling four-point win over the Tigers under caretaker coach Leigh Adams last Saturday.

North now sit just 3.1 per cent behind West Coast as the race to avoid the wooden spoon goes down to the wire.

Mitchell is hoping to regain star forward Jack Gunston, who has missed the past two weeks following the death of his father.

"I'm very open minded about it," Mitchell said.

"He hasn t done a lot physically over the last couple of weeks.

"I'll talk to him after training today and if he thinks he's ready to go, then he'll come into the side."

Hawthorn (6-11) are aiming for three wins on the trot following victories over Adelaide and West Coast.

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