EXPLOSIVE Geelong midfielder Richelle Cranston will play her first game for the season this weekend and has been working on her tackling technique while serving her suspension.
Cranston was banned for two matches after being charged with rough conduct for a sling tackle on Carlton's Sarah Hosking in a practice match in January.
It's not the first time the Cat has been suspended. In round one of the inaugural AFLW season in 2017 she copped a one-match ban for front-on contact while playing for Melbourne.
"I know from the first year, I definitely altered the way I played and eased off a bit," Cranston said.
"I've worked with 'Hoody' (coach Paul Hood) on some tackling techniques and not using so much momentum, because I'm a bit stronger than some of the other girls. I've worked on and it will probably be something I'll have to tweak and work on [still].
"It's probably something I'm quite proud of, how strong I've gotten, but sometimes it doesn't work in my favour, so I'm just working on it."
Cranston said her initial reaction to the two-week suspension in a seven-round season was that the penalty was "pretty harsh".
"I went through a lot of emotions with that and I thought, 'yeah, it's pretty harsh', but I guess we want to be safe with the head especially and it could have been really bad. Luckily Sarah (Hosking) got up and she was right to play round one. It could have been a lot worse, so I get it and I accept it.
"It's a tough one. I don't really have my head around how they adjudicate it, [as well as] what's happened on the weekend with a few of the other suspensions.
"I didn't realise I'd done it in the game, but then watching back at the footage, it didn't look great, so I get it."
The 29-year-old leadership group member is expected to play much more midfield time than she did at Melbourne, where she was primarily a forward who was able to pinch-hit in the middle.
"I think the midfield have gone quite well, considering they're quite a small bunch. (Eighteen-year-old) Liv Purcell has led the way and she's our youngest midfielder. 'Julz' (Crockett-Grills) played really well, Renee (Garing)'s just tackling everybody, so I'm really looking forward to contributing to the midfield and helping them out.
"Maybe taking a bit of [heat] off Liv, because she's been copping the brunt of it for two weeks, so hopefully I can help them out."
It was a tough two weeks on the sidelines for Cranston, with Geelong recording a one-point win over Collingwood in round one and an 18-point loss to the Western Bulldogs last week.
"I was always hoping to play round one, then when I got that news, I was pretty flat. When you're injured you get a bit of support, when you get suspended it's a bit different," she said.
"It's like [because] you've done something wrong, you don't deserve to be out there, so that was something hard to deal with, but I'm ready to go for round three."
Geelong plays Adelaide at Norwood Oval on Sunday, with captain Melissa Hickey needing to get through training this week to be selected for her first game since rupturing her right ACL in round six last year. Ruck Aasta O'Connor (right knee) is also a test.