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Coburg's kick-in focus for latest rules trial

VFL rules trial's monster goalsquare Watch the first kick in from the longer goalsquare in rules trial

USING the ball more effectively from kick-ins rather than going for the all or nothing kick down the middle consistently is a key focus for Coburg as it gets set for a second-straight week of being part of the AFL's new rules trials.

After playing in the first historic rules trial against Werribee at Piranha Park last week, the Lions will face off against the Northern Blues at Preston City Oval on Saturday with the new rules again in place.

The first rule sees both teams having set starting positions from a centre bounce (in a 6-6-6 formation), while the goalsquare is double in size at 18m. 

Coburg coach Leigh Adams said last week's game – a 47-point loss to Werribee – was not impacted too heavily by the rules trials, but admitted the team learned a lot from the game against the Tigers. 

"We've just played around with a couple of things with our zone and our kick-ins," Adams told AFL.com.au. 

"With the bigger goalsquare everyone probably thinks you should just go long and down the middle, but we'll look to open up our defensive 50 a bit and allow for our guys to run and carry a bit more.

"We think using the pockets a little more and spreading the opposition's zone will be advantageous for us." 

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Last Saturday's game against Werribee was impacted by the wind that blew strongly to one end of the ground and Adams said if his side was faced with similar conditions against the Blues they would be ready.

Heavy showers and light wind is predicted in Melbourne on Saturday and Adams said his players would be aware of the importance of adjusting the defensive zone to prevent coast-to-coast scores. 

There were 19 kick-ins between the sides in last week's game, with just one of those leading to a score according to Champion Data.

"We changed our zone up a little bit last week, just to help with defending that 60-70m kick because otherwise you can be opened right up," Adams said. 

Adams said his team was too worried about getting the ball out of the area rather than using the footy smartly last weekend. Left-footer Jesse Corigliano took the majority of the team's kick-ins. 

"Hopefully tomorrow (Saturday) we can be more attacking and precise from our kick-ins and that leads to a few of our scores," Adams said. 

Both teams decided to mostly keep their structure from centre bounces last week under the 6-6-6 formation and Adams doesn't think that will change much against Carlton's VFL affiliate. 

"I'm a big believer of giving the midfielders as much room to operate as possible," Adams said. 

"If there's a quick kick forward I'm a believer in not being outnumbered so you can defend the footy coming in as well as you can."

Coburg will face off against the Northern Blues at Preston City Oval at 2pm AEST on Saturday. 

The AFL's game analysis team, which includes football operations manager Steve Hocking, James Podsiadly and David Rather, will again keep a close eye on proceedings.