MELBOURNE defender Harriet Cordner remains confident ahead of the AFLW season, despite her side going down to North Melbourne in a practice match on Saturday morning.
The Demons suffered a 22-point loss to the Kangaroos – one the competition’s expansion teams in 2019 – in near perfect conditions at Casey Fields.
But 26-year-old Cordner said the result doesn’t knock any belief out of the group.
“That’s the point of a practice match – to go and learn something,” she told Melbourne Media.
“We wouldn’t have wanted to come and do everything right, and then hit round one with nothing else to change.
“I think we just need to go back to trusting the process and knowing where we’re at.”
After a goalless opening term, Melbourne found some rhythm in the second quarter, putting two majors on the board through Kate Hore and Jordann Hickey.
But its seven-point lead heading into the second half was short lived, as North Melbourne piled on six unanswered third-quarter goals.
“Fatigue set in a little bit and we just went away from doing the fundamental things that we’re really after in our game style,” Cordner said.
“That is a big learning to come out of it – when we play our game style, we make it easier for each other, we’re predictable and things flow on from each other.
“When those things go out the window, it makes it pretty hard, and good teams are going to capitalise on that.”
Melbourne was able to regain some composure in the final term, with a second goal from Hore and another from co-captain Shelley Scott.
But Cordner said the strong display from the Kangaroos was just a glimpse of what to expect from the other teams of the competition this season.
“We definitely saw today that the game has gone up a level,” she said.
“The skills have definitely improved – we know that our skills have improved, but it is pretty clear that they’ve improved across the board, so it’s showing that the standard is going to be pretty high.
“The thing that we can take out of it is to learn a lot – don’t get our heads down too much, but just focus on what we can change.”
MELBOURNE: 0.0 2.3 2.5 4.10 (34)
NORTH MELBOURNE: 1.1 1.2 7.2 9.2 (56)
Hore 2, Hickey, Scott