West Coast forward Jamie Cripps admits his side could have done more to help young gun Harley Reid through the tag during the St Kilda game. 

St Kilda Coach Ross Lyon sent tagger Marcus Windhager to clamp down on the 19-year-old after an electric second quarter, which saw Reid rack up 13 possessions and four tackles,

Throughout the second half, it appeared there were few efforts to help Reid shrug the hard tag, and at points was sent forward to break the tag. 

In just his 11th game, Reid who is inexperienced with being tagged at AFL level, grew frustrated and finished with three disposals in the second half. 

Cripps admitted on Sports Breakfast most of the team was unaware of the tag and concedes Reid needs more support working through it in the future. 

“I don’t think most of us knew he was getting tagged there for a bit,” he said.

“I think as a whole, as coaches and players, we could get better at working that out and helping him out. 

“No doubt it’s going to happen most weeks because he’s a very good player for his first year. We’ll all get better from that game and I think it won’t happen again.” 

West Coast will be without Reid for the next two matches after his two-match suspension for a dangerous tackle on Saints player Darcy Wilson was upheld in the tribunal on Tuesday evening. 

Tim Kelly has also been ruled out of this weekend’s clash against North Melbourne with a hip injury, while Jake Waterman is a chance to return after being a late out last weekend. 

Both players were sorely missed as West Coast were defeated by St Kilda 68-82. 

“They’ve both been our best players this year,” said Cripps.

“It would have been nice to have TK running through that middle. He’s a fit fella, so that would have helped out.” 

“If Jakey was playing, he would have kicked a couple of snags as well, no doubt. I think Jakey will put his hand up to play this weekend, so it’ll be nice to have him back in.”

Second-year Reuben Ginbey has continued to build in the middle, playing some of his career-best footy in the last few rounds.

Over the weekend, Ginbey had 20 possessions – 12 contested, eight tackles and five marks.

With Kelly and Reid set to miss this weekend’s North Melbourne clash Ginbey can expect to play a larger role in the midfield, which Cripps is backing him in to do.

“Reubs is just getting better and better each game,” he said. 

“With TK not being in there, he was in the midfield a bit more and you need big frames. 

“He’s the fittest bloke at the club and probably the strongest as well. Hopefully he can have a good back half of the year.” 

IMAGE: The West Australian