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North hope Hobart helps against Eagles
Guy Hand
15:30 AEST Mon Jul 2 2012

Taking red-hot West Coast out of their comfort zone could be the key to keeping North Melbourne out of theirs.

The Kangaroos, flying after two big AFL wins in successive weeks, believe playing the Eagles in the unfamiliar environment of Hobart on Saturday could work in their favour.

North have moved two of their home matches to Hobart's Blundstone Arena each year for the next three seasons, attempting to further build their supporter base in the region.

"Blundstone (Arena) - we've been down there once before and had a good win down here against GWS, and I don't think West Coast have been down there before," Kangaroos midfielder Jack Ziebell said.

"In a way, you could say it's going to be a little bit of an advantage.

"Last time we were down there, the crowd - capacity I think is 13,000 - there were 11,000 North Melbourne supporters there.

"It was a sea of blue and white so hopefully this week it will be the same, and hopefully we can get an advantage in that way as well."

North have spent the past two weeks stepping outside their comfort zone - which has generally involved beating teams below them but failing against the competition's elite.

Their win over Geelong in round three was the Kangaroos' first big scalp under coach Brad Scott.

Now other impressive wins are following, and other clubs are taking notice.

The Kangaroos have beaten top-four side Adelaide and perennial finalists St Kilda in successive weeks to question the theory they struggle against the top echelon, and creep into the top eight.

How North perform against West Coast will be another test of where they sit in a tight, hard-to-gauge pecking order.

Ziebell said the Kangaroos players understood they needed to improve drastically after their 115-point round 10 belting by Hawthorn.

Since the round 11 bye, the Kangaroos are unbeaten.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for us to come up against a top-four side down in Hobart and really see what we're up against and see where we're at," Ziebell said.

"The boys are really confident in what we can do ... but we've got to focus six days ahead and bring what we need to bring to get the result."


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