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Conservative coaches behind low AFL scores

The AFL's new rule changes have inadvertently led to lower scores in the opening rounds with risk-averse coaches adopting conservative tactics.

Conservative coaches behind low AFL scores

The AFL's new rule changes have inadvertently led to lower scores in the opening rounds with risk-averse coaches adopting conservative tactics.

BRAD SCOTT, Senior Coach of the Kangaroos looks on during the North Melbourne Kangaroos training session at Arden St in Melbourne, Australia.
BRAD SCOTT, Senior Coach of the Kangaroos looks on during the North Melbourne Kangaroos training session at Arden St in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott isn't expecting the AFL's scoring drought to last long, suggesting games will open up as the season progresses.

New measures such as the 6-6-6 rule were supposed to free up scoring, but only two teams kicked more than 100 points in round four.


The number of goals and overall scores are both lower than at the corresponding point in any of the previous three seasons.

And players are taking the most uncontested marks in a decade, reflecting the adoption of a defensive "keepings-off" style across the league.

Scott, who sat on the AFL competition committee that brought in this year's rule changes, believes coaches will eventually shift to more aggressive tactics.

"It'll just change to whatever is winning at the time," Scott told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"We had 144 points kicked against us (by Fremantle) in round one That is just not acceptable and not sustainable.

"We were going to put mechanisms in place to change that and we've done that reasonably successfully. Adelaide kicked 59 points on the weekend.

"We'll play other teams that don't necessarily pose as attacking a threat as Josh Jenkins, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts and Tom Lynch, so we might play a little differently. But four games of footy is not a big enough sample size."

One of the game's most respected figures and a man renowned for staying ahead of the game's trends, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson admitted he was still getting a feel for the new landscape after his side's loss to St Kilda.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley suggested the evenness of the competition was inspiring conservative tactics in the opening rounds.

"We're probably a little bit nervous about what we're trying to open up," Hinkley said.

"From our own point of view, we're a little bit more prepared to try and open it up and that's causing some concern. Other sides are maybe having a different focus."

AAP


AAP




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