Hawthorn vs North Melbourne

It’s already season over for both the Hawthorn Hawks and North Melbourne Kangaroos, but there’s still pride to play for when the two sides meet in Launceston on Sunday.

After slipping up last week against Richmond, Hawthorn are officially out of the finals race – mathematically they could make it, but it’s just not going to happen.

Instead now they’ll want to focus on finishing the year in as good a form as possible and hopefully give Luke Hodge, and maybe some other veterans, a happy send-off.

Their record since the bye is a very solid effort of four wins, two losses, and one draw.

With North Melbourne, Carlton and the Western Bulldogs to close out the year, they’ve got every chance of finish on a high note.

As for North, their second half of the year has been pretty desolate in terms of looking for wins, managing only one victory since Round 10.

That came two weeks ago, a four-point win over Melbourne. Last week, they were soundly beaten by Collingwood.

After the Hawks they’ve got St Kilda and Brisbane to finish the year off – so there’s still the chance to get another win before the year is out.

Either way, they’ll likely avoid the wooden spoon, but have no hope of exiting the bottom four.

The Hawks regain Hodge from suspension this week, Brendan Whitecross is the player who makes way, and it is their only change.

North have dropped the likes of Nick Larkey and Josh Williams and called in two small forwards in Jy Simpkin and Kayne Turner.

Hawthorn have won seven of the last eight between these two sides. North haven’t defeated the Hawks in Launceston since 2010, or played them here since 2012.

Expect the Hawks to win this one, and it could easily get ugly. $2.88 for them to win by 40+ is likely the best value available.

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