Home » Palm Sunday: Harley Reid brushes Petracca, Oliver aside in stunning performance

Palm Sunday: Harley Reid brushes Petracca, Oliver aside in stunning performance

WAALITJ MARAWAR 16.9 (105) d NAARM 10.10 (70)

Harley Reid and the Eagles celebrate a goal.Credit: Getty Images

The Eagles have something to look forward to now
All of a sudden Waalitj Marawar are on the rebound and it’s not just down to Harley Reid. This was a team victory, although Reid’s best on ground performance helped.

Waterman kicked five goals, Tim Kelly was outstanding while Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass reprised their 2018 form. Jack Darling is providing forward pressure and Liam Duggan leadership. But there are other players emerging with Reuben Ginbey and Campbell Chesser showing why they were first round selections and Jack Williams tough.

Bailey Williams did an excellent job to restrict Max Gawn’s influence with his team helping out by buffeting him at every opportunity. They also rediscovered some of that ball control that defined the team in 2018 taking more than 100 uncontested marks. And they did so without Elliot Yeo who had been their best player in the first nine rounds.

The Eagles have won three games but are on the up which is more than you can say for St Kilda or Richmond.

Harley Reid is a generational talent
The goal Harley Reid kicked with 10 minutes of the first quarter remaining on the clock will be the first footage shown when he enters the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 20 years.

Yes, that’s hyperbole but it doesn’t take much imagination to think that is where this is all headed. He grabbed the centre clearance at the back of the centre circle and all of a sudden found himself a few metres clear of his opponent, Norm Smith medallist Christian Petracca.

Harley Reid.

Harley Reid.Credit: Getty

Against his natural instincts, Petracca knuckled down to chase while Reid galloped through the centre taking one bounce, then a second, then he took a third as he ran through the 50 metre arc and kicked a goal. It was an exhilarating piece of football from the 19-year-old in just his ninth game.

Every player on the ground would have thought wow whether they showed their disbelief or not while the football lifer Adam Simpson sat in the coach’s box and grinned widely.

In the third quarter he added to the highlight reel with a goal when left one out against the Demons’ Blake Howes and a centre clearance where he gave both Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca the ‘don’t argue’ within 30 seconds.

Melbourne were off their game
Naarm’s only method of scoring was from centre clearance but they did so at will. They finished the match with 56 points from stoppages and it kept them in touch with Waalitj Marawar.

Bayley Fritsch was their only effective forward with Christian Petracca and Kysaiah Pickett giving good support. But they could not get control of the game as they turned the ball over too often in the forward half and could not defend kick ins. It meant the football was in the Waalitj Marawar hands for large parts of the game with Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney well below their usual standard.

Eagles forward Jake Waterman was outstanding, kicking five goals to join the Coleman Medal lead, although Jake Lever’s absence after he was concussed trying to smother early in the game was a big factor in the result. The Eagles scored 70 points from turnover to Melbourne’s 14.