AFL star Tayla Harris’s team is through to the Grand Final after winning their semi by 36 points despite a week of social media trolling over THAT picture
- Tayla Harris has taken Carlton through to the AFLW grand final game
- Harris delivered a breathtaking performance at semi-final despite controversy
- This is the first time the Blue’s have ever made it to the AFLW grand final
Tayla Harris made a triumphant comeback on Saturday night, taking Carlton through to the AFLW grand final for the first time ever.
Harris led her team through a defiant performance at the preliminary final at Ikon Park in Melbourne – with the Blues defeating the Dockers 9.10 (64) to 4.4 (28).
Harris hasn’t let the online vitriol and controversy surrounding a now infamous photograph of her kicking a goal get in the way of taking the Blues into their first ever AFLW grand final.
Tayla Harris made a triumphant comeback on Saturday night, taking Carlton through to the AFLW grand final for the first time ever
The 21-year-old star had a tough week after she was viciously trolled online over a photo of her kicking a goal that has since gone viral around the world (Pictured: Harris in the semi-final at Ikon Park on Saturday)
The 21-year-old star’s support from the AFL and AFLW may have contributed to her stellar game – with the athlete saying she was able to find inspiration in the harrassment.
‘If anything it’s helped me, it’s stuff I use as motivation,’ Harris said of the online abuse.
Other stands out from the game were Lauren Brazzale and Maddy Prespakis, while Kiara Bowers outshone an otherwise disappointing Dockers performance.
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But it was Harris’ series of spectacular goals and tackles throughout the game that truly captivated the crowd.
The 21-year-old star’s support from the AFL and AFLW may have contributed to her stellar game – saying it has helped fuel her determination (Pictured: Harris in the semi-final at Ikon Park on Saturday)
Harris stormed the field, as she marked and goalled at around 13 minutes and broke the pack for a big mark inside 50 early in the second term – leading Carlton with six goals by the end of the third quarter.
The Freemantle team were plagued with bad luck from the get-go, with captain Kara Donnellan withdrawing from the game half way through due to a problem with her knee.
Ashlee Atkins off-field holding her right shoulder after a crunching tackle from Brianna Davey and defender and Evey Gooch was sent off the field with a sore right arm.
The standout performance comes after Harris became the unwilling target of online trolls who made a number of sexist and derogatory comments about an athletic image of her which has since gone global.
Harris stormed the field on Saturday- leading Carlton with six goals by the end of the third quarter (Pictured: Harris celebrating with Carlton team mates Charlotte Wilson and Katie Loynes after their sem-final win)
Her stellar performance comes after the now infamous photograph (pictured) of her was viciously trolled on social media
Harris felt some of the vile comments ‘bordered on sexual abuse via social media’ and was told not to walk the streets alone by her boxing coach Gerry Murphy.
‘These people need to be called out by the AFL, but something needs to go further. It is something maybe Victoria Police have to look at,’ she said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison even weighed into the drama on Thursday, calling the trolls ‘cowardly grubs’.
Harris also has a supporter in AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, who labelled the image ‘a remarkable photo — it shows a great athlete at her most powerful.’
The star kept relatively quiet following the scandal, but did say the bullies needed to be ‘called out by the AFL’ and suggested she was considering involving police
McLachlan added the online trolling this week of Harris is a societal issue which needs to be urgently addressed.
‘It’s more a challenge with the platform, social media, because this is not an isolated incident,’ he told reporters in Sydney.
‘But when it is unacceptable commentary, more and more people are calling that out and that is what has happened here.’
Among the online hate came spurts of patriotism and support – with one die-hard fan going as a far as getting the now iconic image tattooed onto his arm.
Blake Griffiths, an Adelaide supporter who now also has Crows coach Don Pyke inked on his other forearm following a radio ‘dare’, told listeners on Mix 102.3 Adelaide he ‘couldn’t be happier’ with both designs.
‘I’ve already got a few tattoos, so I thought why not,’ he said.
Amongst the online hate however, came spurts of patriotism and support – one die hard AFL fan even went as far as getting the now iconic image tattooed on his arm (pictured)