Hawthorn are confident key defender Josh Gibson will be fit for the start of the AFL season despite his injury in Saturday's scratch match.

The sight of Gibson needing help as he left the field at halftime and David Hale's report were the only downsides for the Hawks as they walloped North Melbourne at Craigieburn by 81 points.

The 19.8 (122) to 5.11 (41) win in windy, wet conditions was their first of the pre-season, which has featured three one-point defeats for the Hawks.

Last week, they lost fellow defender Matt Suckling for the season with a knee construction.

Gibson hit a point post heavily close to halftime and then was hit in the midriff in a marking contest.

But coach Alastair Clarkson said the key backman would be ready for the Easter Monday blockbuster against arch-rivals Geelong.

"I think he's going to be okay - we were going to take him out at halftime anyway," Clarkson said.

"He just got a bit of a knock in a marking contest ... he's a pretty tough competitor."

Hale, who kicked four goals, was booked for front-on contact with Leigh Adams.

The North player was laid out by the contact, but it looked accidental.

If anything, Hale's head was lower to the ground when they collided.

Youngster Taylor Hine, who joined the Kangaroos late last year from Gold Coast, appears in bigger trouble for his report.

He was also charged with front-on contact after a clash with Jack Gunston in the third term.

Not much should be read into the scores - the Hawks were close to full strength, while North left out more than half their best team.

Midfielder Sam Mitchell starred for the Hawks and North key defender Nathan Grima also impressed in his first game this year.

Their last pre-season game was a true scratch match, with the game abandoned midway through the last term.

There was nothing more to be gained and the heavy rain only increased the chance of a needless injury.

North coach Brad Scott was pleased with what the Kangaroos gained from the match.

"For us, the scoreboard is irrelevant today," he said.

"We're just trying to get certain things out of the game.

"We achieved some of them - others we were disappointed about - because we gave players opportunities and they didn't quite take them."

North ruckmen Todd Goldstein and Daniel Currie played together, which is unlikely to happen much this season.

"Who does it in the AFL these days? ... It would be very unlikely we'd go that way," Scott said.

"But it's a good problem to have, that they're so close at the moment."

 

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