RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick says it is set to be "a different game" in 2021 after a high-possession AAMI Community Series win over Collingwood.
The Tigers amassed 421 disposals, 64 inside-50s and 121 uncontested marks as they held on to beat the Magpies by six points on Friday night.
The AFL has implemented a series of rule changes to help increase scoring this season, including the new standing on the mark interpretation, pushing the player at the top of the goalsquare back to 15 metres out after kick-ins and reducing interchange rotations from 90 to 75.
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Quarters have also returned to their 20-minute lengths after last year being wound back to 16 minutes.
After a goal-fest to open the pre-season competition on Thursday night between Carlton and St Kilda (when 34 majors were booted), the Tigers and Pies combined for 22 goals and the reigning back-to-back premiership coach said he had already noticed a different speed at which the game was being played.
"It's a different game. We took 120 uncontested marks and that’s normally a two-game total for us, so it's a different look and we'll do a little bit of work on that and see if it's something we have to work our way through," he said post game.
After a round of practice matches last week and two games to kick-off the AAMI Community Series, the Tigers coach said he wasn't sure if the sample size was yet enough to be certain of a changed approach from clubs.
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"It's just different. The ball moves a lot freer, sides are trying to use that 45-kick (into the corridor) which has opened up with the man on the mark so we'll see how the rest of the games go and we'll assess over the weekend," he said.
"I think sides are probably a little bit more offensive-based at the start of the year anyway. The running capacity of players is certainly improved. Whether they can sustain it for 22 weeks, plus finals, will be something we'll have to wait and see."
The Tigers got through the match unscathed, resting stars Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin for the final term. They will welcome back flag stars Dion Prestia (hamstring) and Tom Lynch (toe) for round one against Carlton.
Collingwood wasn't so fortunate, with Will Kelly to miss an extended period with a broken collarbone and star midfielder Steele Sidebottom to face tests on a tight calf that ruled him out after quarter-time.
Coach Nathan Buckley has predicted a more offensive game pattern around the competition this season and said it would take teams to adjust to the significant shifts.
"The pressure numbers were right down and Richmond would see themselves as one of the better pressure sides in the comp and our numbers are generally pretty good in that area but they were as low as anything you would have seen," he said.
"It was a very open game. It's going to take a good five or six weeks before we know exactly where the game is going to settle.
"We're all talking about the man on the mark but 75 rotations with an extra 20 minutes of footy is going to be the biggest test given that all of us haven't played a normal length game for nearly 18 months."