Collingwood are backing marquee star Moana Hope to bounce back after a quiet start to the AFL Women’s competition.
Hope, who shot to fame after booting six goals in last year’s all star game, was well held in the Magpies’ season-opening loss to Carlton, managing a solitary behind from her four touches.
Like each of the losing sides in the first round – including Melbourne, who they will face on Saturday night at Princes Park – the Magpies put just one goal on the scoreboard.
Magpies coach Wayne Siekman said Hope needed more support after being double-teamed by the Blues, who frequently employed a spare defender to curb her influence.
“Obviously, Carlton played that really well,” he said on Thursday.
“They were well-structured and, at times, our forward line didn’t man up their spare and make it a two-on-one.
“We know how dangerous Mo is and, especially one-on-one, she very rarely gets beaten.
“We’ve practised our ball movement and making sure that if the opposition team wants to put a plus-one there, we hit (them) up and make them accountable for it.”
The Demons have plenty to work on themselves after losing their first game at home to Brisbane in dreadful wet conditions.
Coach Mick Stinear is hoping for a more-composed performance from his inexperienced charges now they have a game under their belts.
“(We need) composure to get our balance right around stoppages so we don’t all collapse around the ball,” he said.
“We’ve been training to be able to play that way, but the reality is it was such an emotional game and a lot of firsts for all of our players. We just need more time and we need more on-field leadership to play under that sort of pressure.”