Eagles Midfielder Reuben Ginbey is taking his tagging role on Bomber Zach Merrett as a learning experience. 

Ginbey followed the star midfielder for the game, looking to quell his influence on the match through a hard tag.

However, the tag was no match for Merrett as he broke away from it and had a significant impact in his side’s 30-point win over West Coast. 

While he admits it wasn’t his best work, Ginbey told Sports Breakfast he would take it as a learning opportunity to understand how one of the best midfielders in the game operates.

“I’ve had references of players but it was the first time following them wherever they went for most of the game,” he said.

“I didn’t quite do it as good as I would like to, but I think that’s a learning opportunity, a learning experience, especially with a lot of those players. 

“I was good at around clearance when I was by him (Merrett) and close in contests, but it was just his smarts where he positioned in his workout for other contests. 

“He started manning the mark on our kick-ins and getting really wide and then using speed. He was quite a hard man to follow around and he definitely knew how to break or work around the tag.” 

Ginbey’s tag didn’t quite have the desired effect, with Merrett still influencing the game and finishing with 28 disposals, 13 score involvements and a goal. 

However, Merrett was kept below his season average for tackles and clearances, finishing with two of each.

Ginbey said the most challenging part of tagging Merrett was his contest work and skill level.

“The main thing with Merrett is his more contested work,” he said.

“His links up, his handball receives, his metres gained and obviously he’s got awesome skills so he’s really damaging in that sense. 

“It was great to see the way he worked. It was one time in the first quarter he wasn’t doing anything, he was waiting, I slipped so he just ran off and got a handball off and he set up a goal after that. 

“He’s just waiting and looking into every opportunity when he can go, he goes. So that was really cool to watch and follow.” 

This weekend West Coast will be presented with the challenge of an in-form Hawthorn side at Optus Stadium. 

The Hawks have managed to find some form and have won four of their last five matches before having their bye last weekend. 

Ginbey says he hasn’t planned to tag again but will do it again if the coaching staff asks. 

“I haven’t put my hand up this week to tag, but if that’s the role I get, I’ll do it. 

“(There’s) a lot of good younger players that are hitting their prime in their midfield. They’re a super exciting team to watch. 

“I don’t know what role I’ll be playing this week, but super excited for whatever matchup that must be.”