The Brisbane Lions are stepping up their AFLW Season 7 preparations, participating in a session of match simulation against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon on Thursday night.
With just three weeks until Round 1, the friendly interclub match saw most of the Lions list pull on the maroon, blue and gold for the first time this season, including new recruits Ella Smith, Charlie Mullins and Kiara Hillier.
W-medallist Emily Bates looked comfortable in the contest after another solid pre-season from the reigning Best & Fairest, while Belle Dawes, Cathy Svarc and Courtney Hodder provided plenty of physicality and pressure throughout the evening.
Captain Bre Koenen lived up to her reputation as a reliable defender with several key intercepts and marks alongside teammates Nat Grider and Shannon Campbell.
Greta Bodey, Taylor Smith and Dakota Davidson all found their opportunity in front of goal, with the Lions’ forward line looking ready to fire in Season 7.
Head Coach Craig Starcevich said that the match simulation was a good opportunity to test the side ahead of next week’s practice match.
“We haven’t had the opportunity in previous years to have a match simulation as well as our practice match,” Starcevich said.
“So that is beneficial because it gives everyone the chance to get some decent minutes but also gave us the opportunity to trial a few things that we have been working on across the pre-season.
“Last night’s focus was very much getting a lot of minutes into a lot of people but next week against St Kilda will be much more about a dress rehearsal for Round 1.”
The Brisbane Lions will face St Kilda in their official practice match next Friday afternoon at RSEA Park in Melbourne.
It will be the first time the two sides have met since their Round 6 clash, where the Lions held on for a nail-biting six-point win.
Details are still to come on the match Livestream and ticketing for next Friday’s practice match.