Veteran Hurley acknowledged that there had been a few teething issues, but said that the boards were easy enough to read.
“The bigger issue is you’ve got to be looking. I looked over a couple of times, my number was up at one point and I had to come off,” Hurley told The Age.
“I think it’s a work in progress. It’s obviously not the biggest board. It’s sort of [the size of] an A4 piece of paper.
«But I think once the players adapt to it and know that’s where we’re looking … it’s on the players to own that.
“It can be a good tool if we learn to use that properly.”
It was, overall, a night of learning for the Dons, who despite a strong finish couldn’t overcome last year’s wooden spooners.
Positively, however, star forward Joe Daniher played three quarters having missed most of last year with osteitis pubis, kicking an early goal before fading out of the game in the face of centre clearance dominance from the Blues.
Hurley was glad to see Daniher get through.
“Pleasing to see he got a fair chunk of the game. I think the build that he’s gone through has been really smart,” Hurley said.
“The fact he’s been able to play is a credit to the medical staff and the work he’s put in.
«I think if you asked people late last year it might have been looking like he was in strife early on in the year but I think he’s put himself in a really strong position now.”
Hurley said the new 6-6-6 starting position rule made it harder to defend when being well beaten on the inside.
“It does feel like it is quite free in that forward 50 and you can’t put numbers back if the pressure’s on. It felt like they smacked us around centre bounce,” he said.
“It’s sort of a momentum game. If you can get out the front of a stoppage, especially from centre bounce, no one’s coming in off the back of the square, so it sort of opens it up, you can get the ball in deeper to one-on-ones in the goal square.”
Leading midfielders Dyson Heppell, Devon Smith and Zach Merrett were all restricted to a half each as the Dons tried a younger midfield setup for much of the game.
Recruit Dylan Shiel was sidelined in the last quarter with a corked knee, while rookie Tom Jok was concussed late in the game.
David Myers, Orazio Fantasia, Cale Hooker and Tom Bellchambers all missed the game but are expected to take on Geelong next Thursday night as the Dons ramp up preparations for round one.
Defender Martin Gleeson is a bit further away as he makes his way back from injury.
There was plenty to like from a Carlton perspective, in particular the three-goal showing of mature-age recruit Michael Gibbons and the classy 28-disposal performance of No. 1 draft pick Sam Walsh.
«He’s got a real desperation to be a really good player, which is a great thing to have at the footy club,» Carlton assistant coach Dale Amos said of Walsh.
The Blues escaped unscathed other than cramp suffered by Charlie Curnow, which led to him being sidelined early as a precaution.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter.