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Carlton AFLW star Tayla Harris labelled 'useless' by opponent Stacey Livingstone

Carlton AFLW star Tayla Harris labelled 'useless' by opponent Stacey Livingstone

Carlton AFLW coach Daniel Harford has emphatically dismissed Collingwood defender Stacey Livingstone’s description of star Blues forward Tayla Harris as “useless”.

Livingstone was one of the Magpies’ best during their 15-point win over Carlton at Ikon Park on Sunday, restricting Harris to one goal while helping herself to 15 disposals.

When asked about her match-up with Harris after the game by host broadcaster Channel Seven, Livingstone remarked: “You’ve just got to stop her in the air. That’s her game and if you can do that, she’s useless.”

But a bemused Harford was having none of that and put Livingstone’s brutal assessment down to an adrenaline rush following her great individual performance.

You’ve just got to stop her in the air... if you can do that, she’s useless.

“God love her (Livingstone),” laughed Harford, who used to be a senior assistant with the Magpies women’s team. “Anyone who’s watched Tayla play would know that that’s not the case - that’s borderline garbage.

“To suggest that there’s only one element to Tayla’s game is fodder.”

Harris, who is also a boxer, is no stranger to a public spotfire, but Harford expected his charge to handle the latest one in her customary way.

“She moves forward pretty quick, Tay,” Harford said.

“She gets punched in the nose a lot in her other job and once that happens, you can’t just sit there and let yourself get punched in the nose again.”

In the media conference afterwards, Livingstone backpedalled slightly, admitting it was “a bit of smack talk” but she didn’t waiver too much from her initial comments.

“She’s a really good player,” Livingstone said of Harris.

“You’ve just got to stop her run to the ball and if you can stop her aerially, she doesn’t do all that much.

“This is my fourth year playing on her, so I kind of know how to play on her which is really satisfying.”

Forward Sarah D’Arcy was also pivotal in Collingwood’s first ever AFL Women’s win against Carlton, with 13 touches, three marks and 1.2.

If she wasn’t kicking goals, D’Arcy was setting them up in what was an incredibly influential performance.

Collingwood forwards Jordan Membrey (two goals, 11 disposals), Aishling Sheridan (one goal, 14 disposals) and Jordyn Allen were also key performers.

The Blues were best served by Grace Egan, who had 18 touches and a game-high 10 tackles, Madison Prespakis (17 disposals), Chloe Dalton (13) and Jess Hosking (11 disposals, five tackles).

Carlton’s endeavour couldn’t be questioned as they finished with more tackles (66-44) and clearances (23-18), but their inaccuracy in front of goal and lack of polish cost them with the final score reading 6.3 (39) to 3.6 (24) in favour of the Magpies.

Collingwood were more efficient than the Blues and they capitalised on their dominance of disposals (246-188) and contested possessions (116-101).