Collingwood Magpies coach Rob Wright is determined to keep his squad moving in a positive direction as they adjust to life without co-captain Madi Browne.
After an impressive opening-round victory against two-time defending champions Sunshine Coast Lightning, the Magpies followed up a tough draw against the Firebirds in Brisbane with a disappointing loss to the Giants.
But Collingwood played with more conviction as they swept aside the struggling Adelaide Thunderbirds by 18 goals at Melbourne Arena, displaying the impressive speed and slick ball movement that saw them installed as legitimate championship contenders.
While Wright praised his squad for the manner in which they bounced back from last week's disappointment, he feels they are still coming to terms with the loss of Browne after the experienced midcourter suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the pre-season.
Wright described Brown's injury as a massive loss for the club.
"I think it just changed our plans quite a bit so we're still trying to tinker with that," Wright said after Friday's 65-47 victory over Adelaide.
"(Tonight was) a step forward...still not quite where I think we need to be but we're getting there."
Wright noted that Jamaican goaler Shimona Nelson continues to improve every week, adding 52 goals against Adelaide despite the close attention of countrywoman Shamera Sterling.
The Thunderbirds' highly-rated defender picked up eight intercepts in her matchup with Nelson, showing why she is among the competition leaders for intercepts, deflections and defensive rebounds.
Wright wasted little time in shifting his focus towards next Saturday's home clash against West Coast Fever to be played at the recently-renovated Bendigo Stadium.
"We probably need to continue to improve I reckon, we still threw too much ball away for my liking," he said.
With the prospect of skipper Courtney Bruce returning for the Fever after injuring her elbow in round one, Wright is on high alert despite West Coast's underwhelming start to the season.
"It's going to be a challenge, especially if Courtney is back - they are obviously missing her at the moment, she's a massive figure in their defence end," Wright said.
"But they've obviously got Jhaniele Fowler at the other end who is not easy to stop at the best of times.
"So we have to continue to value the ball a little bit more because they score so many goals, if we give them too many opportunities they are going to be tough."
Australian Associated Press