DEVONPORT coach Mitch Thorp says he will not be doing his mate and Launceston coach Sam Lonergan any favours when the two sides clash on Saturday.
The fifth-placed Blues must win at Devonport Oval to lock in a finals position with Hobart City hot on their heals.
The Demons are underdogs against Lauderdale this weekend but are favourites to topple Tigers in round 20. If they do and Launceston do not defeat the Magpies, the Blues will have to overcome in-form ladder-leaders North Launceston at Windsor Park in the final home and away match.
The two teams are tied on eight wins and eight losses each, however, the Blues have a significant percentage advantage.
“We played fantastically well on the weekend [losing to Glenorchy by six points], we really found our feet again,” Lonergan said.
“The last two games are must wins. This is certainly an achievable win for us… but I think the last game against North is also winnable.
“Devonport is a really quick side with some fantastic players in Sherrin (Egger), (Giacomo) Millucci gave us a headache last time in Launceston, their forward line is fast and Mitch kicked six on the weekend, which will giveSimon Vandervelde a big job to do this weekend.”
Launceston has defeated the Pies twice already this season by about five goals on both occasions.
The Blues have made three changes with Jack Donnellan, Nathan O’Donoghue and Cameron Downie all coming into their line-up for Tim Auckland, Casey Brown and Jake Smith.
Devonport will go in unchanged and Thorp is hoping to make it back-to-back victories.
“We need to shut down a couple of their A-grade mids. Brodie Palyfreyman’s had a terrific year and we need to put some work into him and make sure he doesn’t get 30 or 40 touches like he has against us this season,” Thorp said.
“We know they are a strong side, they’re coached well but they’ve got a lot of pressure on them this week – they need to win and we’re going to try and get in their way.
“It is good for our guys to be involved in something on the line.”
Thorp said Devonport Oval was in a muddy state, which he said may assist his charges in stopping Launceston’s run off half back.
The match starts at 1pm.
LAUDERDALE and Hobart City will go head-to-head in the only other match this weekend.
The Demons have swung five changes as they look to kept their season alive, while the in-form third-placed Southern Bombers have regained important duo Ryan Wiggins and Phillip Bellchambers.
NORTH LAUNCESTON , Clarence, Tigers, Burnie and Glenorchy all have a bye.