Defence looks like it will once again be a strength of the Lions’ AFLW side but they showed they may have found new avenues to goal in their pre-season match against the Suns at the weekend.

The Lions were in control for the entire game to run out comfortable winners 6.7 (43) to 4.2 (26) on the Gold Coast.

A heavy shower swept across the ground from the opening bounce which added to the expected scrappiness of the side’s first competitive hit-out against opposition for the season.

But the endeavor and work ethic across the board impressed coach Craig Starcevich.

With only one scratch match scheduled before the season opener against Richmond on January 31, the Lions’ coaching panel took the opportunity to experiment, especially with midfield combinations.

That constant shuffling allowed Starcevich to see what the likes of Nat Grider and Breanna Koenen could do in the midfield.

However, he said it may have had an impact on the connectivity with the forwards.

“The competitive part of it was strong,’’ he said.

“We fought hard across the ground and were able to restrict the opposition, which was very pleasing, but we were also able to get a few chains of possessions going without setting the world on fire.

“We continually pushed players through the midfield, and I don’t think that made things easy for our forwards, but scoring has historically been a concern for us and we were able to generate 13 scoring shots which is encouraging.’’

Second-year player Greta Bodey picked up where she left off after an impressive debut season, kicking two goals, while Irish import Orla O’Dwyer was a constant menace.

Newcomer Courtney Hodder’s pressure was first class as she showed she is set to have an impact in her return to Australian football after a stint in rugby.

The defence led by All Australian Kate Lutkins was typically sound.