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How Tigers adjusted to the new rules in JLT

JLT2: Match highlights Watch the match highlights from Richmond's JLT win over Hawthorn.

The JLT Community Series gave players, coaches and fans their first look at the new rule changes for 2019, including the mandatory 6-6-6 setup for centre bounces.

AFL Media's Sarah Black gives her verdict on what she saw from the Tigers ahead of the season opener against Carlton on Thursday, March 21.  

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Midfield: Richmond's wingers (including Brandon Ellis and Kamdyn McIntosh) spent time in "traditional" positions at centre bounces but weren't afraid to leave their opponent and start more towards the corner of the square. Richmond has traditionally struggled in clearances, but dynamic players Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin look well suited to the 6-6-6 rule, with the skipper instrumental out of the middle in the dying minutes of the match against Hawthorn. 

Rucks: Still appears to be a work in progress. Usual No.1 Toby Nankervis spent quite a bit of time at full-forward, leaving ruck duties to Ivan Soldo and new kid on the block Noah Balta. The Tigers looked stronger with Nankervis in the middle, but Balta more than held his own around the ground, particularly in the first match. His versatility means he may get the nod over Soldo. 

Back six at the bounce: Alex Rance and Nick Vlastuin are strong intercept marks, but like most teams the Tigers did look vulnerable to a quick breakaway from the middle. Oleg Markov is much more composed and dangerous than his last AFL appearance in 2017.

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Forwards at the bounce: Still without star recruit Tom Lynch (knee), the Tigers generally rotated Jack Riewoldt and ruckman Toby Nankervis as the deepest forward. They were also without Josh Caddy (ankle), who has performed the role in the past, with rookie recruit Mav Weller playing as the bigger-bodied small forward. Daniel Rioli and Jack Higgins also spent time in the middle. 

Kick-ins: The new kick-in rule seems tailor-made for superboot Jayden Short, who in 2018 was comfortably clearing 50 even without having the extra space he will be afforded this year. 

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Other observations: Without injured duo Lynch and Caddy, the Tigers are still a marking target short to take full advantage of quick centre clearances; the class of their mosquito fleet is wasted if the ball is intercepted rather than brought to ground.