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Lions coach tips Hodder to fire in AFLW

Brisbane Lions livewire Courtney Hodder is showing signs she’s ready once again to fire in the back end of an AFLW season.

The cross-code star was a grand final hero for the Lions in last year’s premiership win and Lions coach Craig Starcevich believes the forward is priming herself for another big finish in 2022.

Hodder was best on ground in Brisbane’s 69-point demolition of Gold Coast in Thursday’s QClash at Metricon Stadium, scoring two goals, picking up 17 disposals and making four tackles in an all-action display.

The win was the greatest in Brisbane’s AFLW history and also their biggest score with their final tally of 12.13 (85) just two points shy of Carlton’s all-time record of 87.

Despite ending the match off the field after smashing her face into Suns’ defender Vivien Saad’s back, Hodder did enough to convince Starcevich she’s hitting her best form just at the right time in the campaign.

“She’s been good for about a month with her pressure and frenetic pace around the forward line,” Starcevich said.

“You’re sort of just waiting for a night like this to open up for her.

“I’m sure it was a little bit like that last year, actually. Her first four rounds were really serviceable, but she didn’t really explode to the back end of the year.

“Hopefully there’s more to come.”

The resounding victory over their Queensland rivals was Brisbane’s fifth in a row and sets up a mouth-watering clash with third-placed Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Monday.

Hodder kicked a long-range goal at pace last year against the Demons that would eventually win her the 2021 Goal of the Year Award in her debut campaign and Starcevich expects his team to lift their game to new heights against a finals rival.

“They like the challenge … the big clubs that are around us on the ladder, that seems to bring out the best in them,” he said.

“We really look forward to Monday night.”

Despite her late incident, Hodder is expected to be fine to face the Demons but the Lions will still be without Dakota Davidson due to concussion protocols.

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