Clarkson keen to avoid another spiteful clash

IN DOUBT: Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos is battling to be fit to face the Hawks.
IN DOUBT: Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos is battling to be fit to face the Hawks. DEAN LEWINS

TO SAY recent clashes between Hawthorn and North have been spiteful would be an understatement.

Think Brian Lake’s “choking” of Drew Petrie in 2014, Luke Hodge’s “stray” elbow that struck Andrew Swallow or Jordan Lewis’ coathanger hit on Todd Goldstein, both in 2015. All resulted in bans.

There will be plenty of spice in tomorrow night’s heavyweight bout at Docklands too, but Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson hopes his players stay within the rules.

“If we think we’re going to win the game of footy against the Kangaroos tomorrow night playing that way ... those two incidents (last year) were in isolation and certainly not the way we want to play our footy,” he said.

The ladder-leading Kangaroos (10-2), coming off two losses in three weeks, are sweating on the fitness of a host of key players including skipper Swallow (concussion), while the Hawks (9-3) will regain veteran midfielder Sam Mitchell.

Hodge (knee) is expected to return after the Hawks’ bye next week.

Topics:  afl alastair clarkson hawthorn hawks north melbourne kangaroos

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