AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking has praised the way Carlton and Greater Western Sydney implemented his new directives, as the Blues beat GWS in the AFLW by 21 points in hostile conditions.
Carlton won 3.12 (30) to 1.3 (9) at Sydney's Drummoyne Oval in a game which was suspended for almost half an hour after the first quarter, when a storm lashed the ground.
The wet field and close score for most of game didn't make it easy to evaluate whether the changes aimed at easing congestion around the ball were fully effective, but Hocking was happy.
"I thought tonight ... was exceptional, what the two clubs delivered," Hocking said.
"If you have a look at that game tonight and those conditions, it was very clear the game was far more open and there was some great transfers of play.
"We didn't see a situation whereby the ball was only travelling 20 or 30 metres from one stoppage back to a congested area, it was actually getting out beyond those areas."
Stand-in Carlton coach Nick Rutley felt his team adjusted well to the directives.
"Obviously the goals and points column was a little bit skewiff, but I thought the way we moved the ball and set up behind the play had a bit more free-flowing style to the way we played our footy."
Both teams suffered an injury, with Carlton defender Brianna Davey stretchered off with a leg problem in the final quarter, while GWS lost Britt Tully in the first term with an AC joint issue.
Blues coach Damien Keeping missed the match after being hospitalised earlier in the week.
"The good news is he's in good health, he's out of hospital and he was discharged last night," Rutley said.
"We wait for further information in terms of what his recovery looks like."
The Giants were leading at the time of the stoppage, with Phoebe McWillams kicking her team's only goal.
"I thought they were a bit better structured than us," Giants coach Alan McConnell said.
"They managed to get one spare behind the ball too often which we enadeavoured to try and address but never quite got right."