New 6-6-6 rule creates big JLT Series questions
Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield has questioned whether clubs will show their hand with the new 6-6-6 starting positions in the JLT Series.
Dangerfield backed the contentious new rule to make teams start six players inside the 50m arcs at every centre bounce, likely resulting in a sharp spike in scores from out of the middle in 2019.
It has prompted some clubs to trial their wingers in slightly more defensive positions for extra back line cover and inject more speed into the centre square in match simulation.
Ten days out from the JLT opener between Carlton and Essendon, Dangerfield said some clubs may be tempted to keep their preferred tactics secret in the JLT Series to maintain some surprise factor in Round 1.
"I think it is a great rule. Obviously you can no longer flood your defence from a centre bounce," Dangerfield said on Triple M.
"So I think they (centre clearances) will be more crucial than ever, and it will create more scoring opportunities.
"We will have to wait to see how teams play it … and it will be interesting to see if teams keep their powder dry in the JLT Series, or give their game plan away early."
Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn said he suspected strong onball teams would be able to 'dominate' if they could hold sway in the middle and capitalise on the one-on-one contests in the forward half.
One theory is coaches will want players with lightning speed at the centre clearance to burst through the middle and run into the increased amount of space at either end of the square.
"I feel like the back of the square might be a bit more open," Gawn said.
"So therefore getting a player on the run, running forward, might be more of a target if we have got momentum.
Watch every match of every round of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. SIGN UP NOW >