Reality is that a six-game losing streak is a horrid sight for touted State League contenders Launceston.
However, Sam Lonergan’s men can find come comfort out of last week’s gallant effort against North Launceston and in knowing it has easily had North Hobart’s measure this season.
The fifth-placed Blues have waltzed past the Demons on two occasions this season by a combined 238 points heading into Sunday’s round 16 clash at Windsor Park.
Mitch Thorp has been a leading force with 12 goals against this week’s opponents, leading 11 individual goalkickers last time Launceston tasted victory.
Mariners captain and under-18 All-Australian Chayce Jones has replaced Jake Nunn, while Lonergan will miss another week.
“A few weeks back we pencilled Chayce into replace the void of Jay Blackberry on the wing-half forward but he has had an outstanding under-18 championships on ball so we will play him as a midfielder,” Lonergan said.
“I had a soft tissue niggle last week and I didn’t think I could hide it out there… [and] I right to go this week but I don’t warrant a spot in the team.
“I asked them to give up a lot and implement a lot of different stuff and I felt on Friday night that they 100 per cent did and I want to reward them with an opportunity to play again.
Jones’ All-Australian teammate Mitch O'Neill returns for North Hobart along with Mack Evans.
NORTH LAUNCESTON is winning without playing to its full potential, pleasing coach Taylor Whitford.
The reigning premiers are eight-points clear on top with five rounds remaining and the first stop on the run home are Tigers at Twin Ovals on Saturday.
The Northern Bombers welcome back ruckman Alex Lee and Allies star Rhyan Mansell, while his cousin Tarryn Thomas is a “couple of weeks away” with at thumb injury. Tom Foon and Lachlan Young are North’s two omissions for captain Brad Cox-Goodyer’s 150th match.
“Al had some tightness in his hip flexor… so rather than take a risk we left him out and he has trained all week and is fresh,” Whitford said.
“Rhyan will play most of the game back for us. The two games we’ve had him this year we tried him onball because of what I saw in the Mariners… but as soon as we sent him back in the second half against Clarence he just looked more settled.”
Both outfits are coming off wins with Matthew Coad to strengthen Tigers.
High-flying LAUDERDALE will go into Saturday’s blockbuster against third-placed Glenorchy with an unchanged 22.
Following a poor start for the second straight year, the Southern Bombers can draw level with the Magpies at Lauderdale Oval following a standout six weeks.
The Pies have made two alterations with Zac Webster and Jack Stevenson coming in.