Advertisement

Taggers the big worry as Harley Reid faces AFL ban

Harley Reid has been hit with the first suspension of his AFL career, but it's how best to help the emerging star deal with future taggers that is front of mind for West Coast coach Adam Simpson.

Reid has been offered a two-match ban for slinging Saints youngster Darcy Wilson to the ground in the third quarter of Saturday's 14-point loss to St Kilda.

The force and slinging nature of the tackle resulted in the back of Wilson's head hitting the turf, but he was cleared of concussion and returned to the field.

The league's match review officer on Sunday graded the incident as careless contact, high impact and high contact.

Unless Reid can overturn the suspension, the 19-year-old will be out of the running for the AFL's Rising Star award.

But of bigger importance to Simpson is helping give Reid the tools he needs to deal with taggers, and also how his teammates can help him.

Reid tore St Kilda to shreds in the second quarter with 13 disposals and six clearances, meaning he entered the halftime break with 17 possessions and seven clearances to his name.

Such was his dominance, Saints coach Ross Lyon ordered Marcus Windhager to run a tight tag on Reid in the second half.

Reid tallied just three more disposals for the match as St Kilda stormed to victory.

The tight attention seemed to get under the skin of Reid, who gave away four frees in the second half, including a late down-the-ground free kick that gifted the visitors the sealing goal.

Reid also looked upset that he didn't receive free kicks for several tackles that appeared high.

Saturday's match marked the first time that Reid has copped an out-and-out hard tag, and Simpson said it was a good learning experience.

"He was sensational in the first half, so understandably he's going to get some attention," the coach said.

"We've got his back, he's got to deal with it as we go. I hope we're not too critical of his second half.

"The learning for him is going to be good.

"We spoke about a few weeks ago that, 'you're going to get some attention, mate, so how are we going to deal with it together?'

"There were parts where he dealt with it really well, and then there's parts we can learn from. We all knew it was coming.

"He'll be fine. When you win your own ball, it's OK. It's when you're an outside player that relies on you receiving the ball, it's a bit harder."

Reid stands to miss next Saturday's home clash with North Melbourne and a meeting with Essendon after the Eagles' mid-season bye.

He was also handed two $1875 fines for careless contact with an umpire.

Western Bulldogs ruckman Sam Darcy was second favourite to win the Rising Star award, but he is set to become ineligible as well after copping a two-week ban for his late hit on Collingwood's Brayden Maynard.

Sam Darcy.
Collingwood players make their feelings known after Sam Darcy's indiscretion. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Darcy's only hope of staying in the running is if the Bulldogs successfully overturn the charge.

Hawthorn defender Changkuoth Jiath escaped with a $1250 fine for headbutting Mitch Hinge in Saturday's 27-point win over Adelaide.

Jiath took exception to having Hinge's hand around his throat, and retaliated by coming forward and clashing heads.

St Kilda ruckman Rowan Marshall (tripping, $2500), West Coast's Harry Edwards (rough conduct, $2500) and Richmond's Rhyan Mansell (striking, $2500) also received fines for misdemeanours in Saturday's matches.