Essendon Co-Captain Steph Cain believes if her side can lean into its kicking strengths, they’ll be well placed to bounce back after a tough 20-point loss to the Pies.

Collingwood’s pressure forced the Bombers into a handball-heavy game and limited them to just 23 inside 50’s, down from their season average of 31.

For Cain, the loss will identify areas for improvement in the Bombers’ ball movement going forward.


"It was a really tough game and a hot contest, Collingwood brought the heat,” Cain said.

“It was a frustrating game for us. We look better when we get the ball in our kicking game and we fed too much into their pressure game by overusing the hands, so we’ll review that.”

Cain’s co-skipper Bonnie Toogood provided a constant threat on the day, continuing her terrific season with a three-goal effort.

A shining light from the season to date, Cain is aware of the gun forward’s importance to the side as they look to attack the second half of the season.

“(Bonnie) is unreal. Obviously from a leadership perspective, I get to see so much of the behind-the-scenes stuff that she does, but on-field you know what you can expect from her,” Cain said.

“We ask a lot of her to roll back through the guts when we need a different look (but to also) take clunks in the forward line, so we’re really proud of her effort.


Despite lapses throughout the middle of the contest, the Bombers will take confidence from their early competitiveness, proof that their best still stacks up.

Ahead of an important trip to Warrnambool to face the Cats, Cain is keen to see a strong red and black turnout for the Country Game.

“The start to the game was good, and that was probably where we were using the ball better and looking for options on short leads and hitting up our forwards, trusting numbers in the contest. We’ll see how we can get more of that through four quarters,” Cain said.

“We’re really excited to get back to Warrnambool, it’s a great place to play footy and it’s where ‘Woody’ (Senior Coach Natalie Wood) is from as well, so it’ll be good to get some local Essendon fans down there.”