Blues take a liking to new AFL mark rule

Carlton plan to exploit the AFL's new 'scarecrow' rule by implementing a fast-paced, attacking style of game as they chase a drought-breaking finals appearance this season.

The new rule prohibits a player on the mark from moving in any direction after being told by an umpire to "stand".

He is released once "play on" is called.

Boom recruit Adam Saad was one of many Carlton players to take advantage during their 21-point win over Essendon in a practice match at Ikon Park on Thursday, playing on quickly to take extra ground and set up forward thrusts.

Assistant coach Dale Amos said the Blues have been buoyed by the offensive opportunities the rule affords to teams in possession.

"It's fast, we like it, it suits us, it's really exciting and our players have really embraced it," Amos said.

"The fact that it is a rule that's in, (let's) make the most of it and be excited by it."

The new rule has sparked fears yet another change in an ongoing series of tweaks could be hard for players, umpires and fans to adapt to this season.

But there was just one 50m penalty for infringements in each of the first two serious practice matches between AFL clubs during the pre-season.

"Players are really adaptable," Amos said.

"We've seen in the past when rules have been changed that there's a transition period for both umpires and players.

"But overall players adjust really quickly and everybody just gets on with it."

In his first outing for the Blues, Saad gave Essendon an early reminder of what they lost over the off-season with an eye-catching display against his former club.

The dashing defender provided his trademark run-and-carry off half-back in Carlton's 14.11 (95) to 11.8 (74) win.

Fellow recruit Zac Williams started in the centre square and pushed forward at times in an indication of how the Blues will use the former Greater Western Sydney defender this season, which will be played with a reduced interchange rotation cap.

Emerging midfielder Paddy Dow was best afield for Carlton, while former West Coast forward Alec Waterman put his hand up for a spot on Essendon's list with four goals.

Waterman is on trial with the Bombers after winning WAFL club Claremont's best-and-fairest award last year.

Carlton's Harry McKay and Essendon's Aaron Francis both suffered minor ankle injuries but are expected to be fit to play in their respective clubs' second practice matches next week.