Matthew Lloyd was an interested onlooker at the recent scratch match between Carlton and Essendon at Ikon Park.
One thing Lloyd noticed was how Blues recruit Adam Saad exploited the AFL’s new ‘stand’ rule where the player manning the mark cannot move from his position.
Saad looked to use his speed to his advantage while the player on the mark is stuck in a stationary position and unable to move laterally.
“One thing I found fascinating was Adam Saad playing for his new club Carlton and it was Devon Smith on the mark,” Lloyd told Sportsday.
“Devon was told to stand and Adam Saad with his pace and explosiveness, he pretty much charged, did his swerve that he does, Smith couldn’t move and do anything but put his hand out, and suddenly Saad was away.
“He would have gained an extra 30-40 metres.”
The rule received plenty of backlash over the weekend when Fremantle defender Brennan Cox was penalised for moving slightly backwards off his mark in a scratch match against West Coast.
AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking ticked off the controversial 50-metre penalty decision and is happy with how the rule was enforced during the practice matches.
This 50m penalty 😳 pic.twitter.com/48YSlCCGsw— 7AFL (@7AFL) February 28, 2021
Lloyd spoke to some players about the rule as they continue to adapt ahead of the new season.
“Suddenly you’re thinking about Jason Johannisen and all these players that could take on players who are asked to stand,” the Essendon great said.
“Speaking to some players today (Monday), they said the corridor was hit up much, much more.”
SEN’s Chief Sports Broadcaster Sam Edmund understands the AFL will wait until after the AAMI Community Series before deciding whether to dial down the strictness of the man on the mark rule.