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 reporter Marc McGowan has given his observations of what he saw from the Hawks throughout the pre-season series.
Midfield: Jaeger O'Meara and James Worpel are establishing a great bond with Ben McEvoy. Liam Shiels, James Cousins, Shaun Burgoyne and even Paul Puopolo rotated through the centre. Isaac Smith, Ricky Henderson and Harry Morrison are typically the wingmen and set up traditionally, even when the Tigers placed one of theirs in a defensive position.
Rucks: McEvoy and Jon Ceglar are working well together. McEvoy tended to push into defence early against Richmond, whereas Ceglar more commonly went forward. But they both also played as the deepest forward.
Back six at the bounce: Jarman Impey's speed, strength and ability to break tackles make him a weapon. He regularly charged off the back of the square against the Tigers, who were forced to make stopping him a priority. James Frawley usually played on the deepest Richmond forward out of the goalsquare, with Ben Stratton, Kaiden Brand, Blake Hardwick, Jack Scrimshaw, David Mirra and Tim O'Brien also used down back.
Forwards at the bounce: Shaun Burgoyne started in the goalsquare on Tigers great Alex Rance, with Jarryd Roughead, McEvoy and Ceglar also filling this role. Conor Nash also played quite deep and kicked two goals in JLT1 against Brisbane.
Kick-ins: James Sicily is still the top choice to kick the ball in. The Hawks make a habit of getting the ball in his hands, even away from kick-ins. Hardwick and Frawley also take some kick-ins, although the latter tends to take the shortest option.
Other observations: Frawley was one of the culprits who gave up back-to-back 50m penalties. Hawthorn experimented defending kick-ins. At one stage they had three players in a row – one in line with the goalsquare and two in the pockets – while on another occasion they used two players, forcing the Tigers to go long or kick to the undefended pocket.