AFL’s 6-6-6 rule the number of the beast in the forward line

Campbell said the big key forwards, like the Giants’ Jeremy Cameron and Harry Himmelberg, would benefit the most from the change.

It could see a return to the days when power forwards like Jason Dunstall, Tony Lockett and Gary Ablett snr regularly kicked bags of 10 goals in a game.

“It’s probably more the tall players [that will benefit] because they get in the one-on-one marking contests,” Campbell said.

“That’s certainly the thought behind it is to open the game up and give the forwards more or a chance.

“On a sample size of nine games it looks like it’s able to do that, but we’re very, very early days at this stage.”


But Campbell warned the senior coaches of all 18 clubs would be working on ways to stop that from happening.

He said another side effect of the rule change could be that better teams would win by bigger margins.

Campbell said being able to win the ball at the centre bounce would become more important, especially for teams with a strong midfield and strong forward lines.

They’d be able to get the ball into their attack faster and give their forwards a better chance to capitalise on the extra space.

“It’s two-pronged. If you’ve got a dominant midfield kicking it into a dominant forward line that’s a win-win,” Campbell said.

“The teams that are good might win by more, given the opposition can’t put an extra number back to negate that.”

The Giants will host a strong team against the Crows in what will be their final competitive hit-out before their round-one clash against Essendon at the Sydney Showgrounds.

While they will have an intra-club match on Saturday week, it’s not the same.

Campbell expected Toby Greene (ankle) and Adam Tomlinson (calf) to come into the side that beat the Sydney Swans on Saturday.


That side already contained Phil Davis, Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward, Cameron and Heath Shaw.

“We’ll certainly field probably the team that played the other day and then Toby Greene and Adam Tomlinson should play as well,” Campbell said.

“It’ll be a pretty strong team … this one’s a really important game for us.”

Another Campbell expected to play is Jackson Hately, who was born in Canberra but grew up in Adelaide.

The Giants drafted him from SANFL side Central Districts, where he played 12 senior games in 2018.

It’s a chance for the Canberra-born midfielder to stake a claim to take on the Bombers.

“A good young fella and he acquitted himself well [against the Swans],” Campbell said.

“He played some senior footy last year, so came into our system with a bigger body than some of them do, but still got plenty of development in him.

“Certainly looked at home … I think he’ll be a good player and will certainly play this weekend.”


Friday: GWS Giants v Adelaide Crows at Manuka Oval, 7.10pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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