Big Hawks to go hard

MANUNDA will not shy away from their physical approach in today's AFL Cairns grand final against Cairns Saints.

Coach Clinton Gribble, sidelined with a knee injury, pledged his team would continue to impose themselves on the contest.

And he said if they could set the tone with some big hits in the midfield, it could be the key to an against-the-odds victory.

"We pride ourselves on our physical style of play and we’ll be making sure we have that hard-nosed approach on the weekend," Gribble said.

"We’ve got a big, strong squad and we’ll need to use that."

Gribble’s approach comes after Norths player-coach Kane Richter also validated the Hawks’ big

He told The Cairns Post on Thursday that they had the side to unsettle Saints, but it was whether they could keep up that intensity for the entire contest.

Saints will go into the grand final red-hot favourites, having swept through the season’s competition with just one loss.

That came against Manunda when Saints were missing their Queensland Country representatives.

Since then Saints have clicked it up a gear – their most recent outing was an annihilation of North Cairns in the semi final and perhaps their best performance of the

Despite their dominance, Saints are aware of the threat Manunda pose.

And so they should, having been upset by them in the decider last

"We know they are a good team at this time of year and there is certainly a lot of respect for them," Saints co-coach Brenton Powell said.

"Our strength this year has been having the depth there to make sure people were competing for spots each week, and there will be a few guys missing out on a game in either seniors or reserves because of that."

"Hopefully, we can win two flags and have something to show for all the hard work."

Both sides copped a grand final-eve setback when their Thursday night training sessions were cut short by a black out.

The lights at Cazalys and Griffiths Park were cut, forcing teams to end their field sessions early.


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