Hawthorn and North Melbourne’s first Tasmanian games for 2019 premiership points have been announced overnight, with two of the competition’s biggest clubs set to venture to the Apple Isle.
The Hawks will lock horns with Carlton in a Sunday afternoon round 6 clash at UTAS Stadium, while North Melbourne will host the Sydney Swans in a Saturday night blockbuster at Blundstone Arena in round nine.
Both Hawthorn and North Melbourne will host four games each in the state next season, following an announcement earlier this month that the Kangaroos will play four games for premiership points – up on the three played in previous seasons.
Carlton are no strangers to Tasmania, with Brendon Bolton’s Blues playing in the state on two occasions in 2018 – against Hawthorn in a JLT Community Series match and then against North Melbourne in a Saturday night encounter in round four.
This will be the first time Carlton has played Hawthorn for premiership points at UTAS Stadium since 2016.
With the additions of Mitch McGovern, Alex Fasolo, Nic Newman and Will Setterfield and the continued development of stars Patrick Cripps and Charlie Curnow, the Blues will be looking to take it up to the Hawks, fresh from a top-four finish in 2018.
Sydney has played twice at Blundstone Arena previously, tackling the ‘Roos in 2013 and then again in round 22, 2016.
While the ‘Roos hold an imposing win-loss record at the venue (14-4), Blundstone Arena has proven to be a happy hunting ground for the Swans, with two victories from as many games.
With All Australian captain Lance Franklin as well as Josh Kennedy and Isaac Heeney among others, the Swans will likely draw a big crowd – like the 16,495 that saw the Swans meet the ‘Roos in 2016 (the third highest AFL crowd at Blundstone Arena).
This clash will be the second consecutive year that Blundstone Arena’s first AFL game for the season will be staged on a Saturday night.
This announcement comes after confirmation that Richmond will travel to Launceston to face Hawthorn for a JLT Community Series match in 2019.
The AFL will release the full 2019 Toyota Premiership Season fixture tomorrow (Thursday November 1). Stay tuned for all the details as they are released.
TASMANIAN FIXTURES – 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season:
Round 6 – Hawthorn v Carlton, Sunday April 28 at 3.20 AEST at UTAS Stadium
Round 9 – North Melbourne v Sydney Swans, Saturday May 18 at 7.25pm AEST at Blundstone Arena