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Refocus needed for Lions AFLW clash - Cooper

AFLW: Freo oval smoking ceremony The AFLW playing group held a smoking ceremony at their home ground Fremantle Oval.

Fremantle coach Trent Cooper says refocusing his players for Sunday's clash with Brisbane will be critical after an emotion-charged round one NAB AFL Women's victory over Melbourne.

Cooper led Freo to a stirring comeback win over the Demons on debut as coach, and was relieved seeing his high-octane gameplan stack up.

"They've probably been up there with Brisbane as the two most consistent teams, so to beat them was a big thing. We'd never won away, so that gives a lot of belief to the group," Cooper told

Fremantle stormed home to clinch a four-point upset and equaled their highest score of 59 points after Cooper urged his troops to get the job done for returning star Kiara Bowers.

There was an outpouring of emotion at the final siren, and now the Dockers are determined to avoid a letdown against the Lions in their first home game of the season, at Fremantle Oval.

"It's one of those things if a coach knew how to do that (avoid a letdown), they could sell it for a million dollars," Cooper said.  

"We don’t want to be a side that relies on emotion.

"There was a bit made about my speech at three-quarter time – that's not my style at all – but 'Turbo' (Bowers) was there and such a huge part of the day.

"We want to be an even side that goes through the year (consistently) and the successful sides in AFLW have had that."

The Lions snuck home by two points over Greater Western Sydney in their season-opener, with Jess Wuetschner booting three goals.

Sabrina Frederick-Traub (1.1 and 16 disposals) was also imposing and her presence could force Cooper to send star Ebony Antonio back to defence.

"There aren’t too many players in the competition who can cover (Frederick-Traub)," Cooper said.

"The good thing was we had some forwards step up, so if Ebony's not (playing forward) we can still have the confidence to go to Gemma Houghton … Ash Sharp and Kellie Gibson can play that role as well."

Fremantle have lost both previous meetings with Brisbane, by 13 points at home in 2017 and by seven on the road last year.

"They're going to be a challenge because they play a very defensive style, so I expect them to really stifle us," Cooper said.

"It won't be free flowing and we have to wear that and take our chances."

The competition’s heat policy was enacted for the Dockers' clash with the Demons in Melbourne last Sunday and could be needed for Sunday's 3.05pm WST start, with the temperature forecast to reach 36 degrees in Fremantle.

"(Backing up) won't be a problem," Cooper said.

"We probably won't have the advantage over Brisbane that we had over Melbourne … but our girls are prepared to take it on again without any excuses."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs