Norths coach Dave Willott said the Blues would be "better for the run" when they meet Souths in Newcastle on Sunday and players prepare for what shapes as a crammed Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League (HCPHL) schedule over the next two months.
Perennial grand finalists Norths were narrowly beaten 2-1 by three-time defending premiers Gosford last weekend but Willott said there were "plenty of positives" to take out of their first hit out for 2020.
"There's not much between us again," Willott said. "They scored a couple of good penalty corners and we created enough chances but didn't put enough away."
In terms of taking on the Lions the experienced mentor said "it's always a tough game against Souths and we'll have to be at our best."
Norths welcome back Quentin Percy, who missed last start with work commitments.
University will be sidelined for another weekend with their round-three clash against Gosford postponed after the Students raised concerns about the Magpies' Sydney-based players. Uni's previous match up with Wests, who now have the bye, was also put off because of the coronavirus crisis.
It comes as HCPHL officials released the full 15-round draw, which now features several Thursday night fixtures. Semis are still top four, but change to one-off games. The decider is set for October 18.
In the Newcastle District Women's Hockey Association premier league at Broadmeadow on Saturday and Regals host Gosford, Central tackle University, Tigers meet Oxfords. Souths have the bye.
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