West Coast rising star Harley Reid failed to overturn his two-match suspension at the tribunal. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Reid’s two-game ban upheld, out of Rising Star running

Anna Harrington June 4, 2024

West Coast wunderkind Harley Reid won’t play again until the end of the month after failing to downgrade his two-game dangerous tackle suspension at the AFL tribunal.

Reid is now ineligible for the AFL’s Rising Star award, which he was one of the hottest favourites to win, due to his suspension for rough conduct on St Kilda youngster Darcy Wilson.

But due to the timing of West Coast’s bye, which falls between Saturday’s home clash with North Melbourne and their round-15 away clash against Essendon, it will be a long break between games for Reid.

He can next feature against Hawthorn at Optus Stadium on June 30 – 29 days after his most recent appearance.

Last year’s No.1 draft pick, Reid has dazzled in his debut campaign, averaging 17.8 disposals and 4.9 clearances per game, plus kicking eight goals to help West Coast to three wins.

Reid was cited for slinging Wilson to the ground in the Eagles’ 14-point loss at Optus Stadium on Saturday.

The back of Wilson’s head hit the turf as a result of the forceful tackle but he was cleared of concussion and returned to the field.

The league’s match review officer charged Reid with rough conduct and graded the incident as careless contact, high impact and high contact, drawing a two-match ban.

West Coast argued the tackle should be deemed medium impact, in a bid to downgrade the suspension to one game.

 Harley Reid is no longer eligible for the AFL’s Rising Star gong following his two-match ban. Image by Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS 

Reid did not give evidence on Tuesday night, with counsel David Grace KC speaking as the teenager watched on via video conference.

AFL counsel Sally Flynn asserted Reid’s rough-conduct charge was a clear example of an inherently dangerous tackle.

The tribunal, including chair Renee Enbom KC and panel members Darren Gaspar and Paul Williams, deliberated for 53 minutes and believed there was “considerable” potential for injury from the “poorly executed” tackle.

The AFL’s assertion the nature of the tackle – to lift, rotate and sling Wilson backwards onto the ground – had the potential to cause a serious head or neck injury was accepted, with the panel agreeing Wilson was “lucky” he landed the way he did.

St Kilda’s medical report said Wilson did not require treatment after the incident.

West Coast cited four examples of previous tackles in Reid’s defence.

Will Day’s tackle on Brad Close, where the Hawk pinned the Cats’ arms and slammed his head into the ground, was shown as an example of high impact.

Jaeger O’Meara’s tackle on Charlie Spargo, Charlie Cameron’s slinging of Jake Lever and Tom Barrass’s tackle on Michael Walters, were all used as examples of medium impact.

But Flynn successfully countered all the examples, bar Day, were less dangerous than Reid’s slinging tackle which gave Wilson no opportunity to brace for contact.

Earlier on Tuesday night, Western Bulldogs forward Rhylee West had his rough-conduct charge, and a week’s suspension, thrown out.

West successfully argued he hadn’t intended to bump Collingwood’s Jeremy Howe, but braced for contact and caught Howe as he went to tackle Maynard.