THE Western Bulldogs’ biggest problem in dealing with the fallout of Lachie Hunter’s car crash last week would have been the involvement on the night of young gun Bailey Smith, according to 305-game coach Ross Lyon.

In this week’s edition The Coach with Damian Barrett, Lyon said the issue of Smith – who drove Hunter from the Middle Park scene of his crash into four cars to the home of another teammate, Billy Gowers – amid the Hunter story made it incredibly complex for the club.


“It is compounded by two teammates being involved, and a young player in particular who comes from a great background, private school boy, highly educated, first round pick, going well,” Lyon said on The Coach.

“If you’re his parents, you’d be saying, ‘How has this happened’? and ‘How has my son got caught up in this’?

“I think the club would be feeling that, more than anything.”

Damian Barrett and Mitch Cleary break down the latest surrounding Western Bulldogs vice-captain Lachie Hunter’s drink-driving incident on Thursday night

Published on 5 days

Hunter was suspended for four AFL matches, fined $5000 and relinquished his vice-captaincy on Tuesday.

“There would be concern as a leader, that is the first point,” Lyon said. “The second point is that as a young player (Smith) would feel the pressure to support a teammate and leader.

“But he (Smith) has done that from a point of care, I don’t have an issue with that.

“The problem is we go to penalties and sanctions. You have to look at history and life is just full of moments. Good ones, great ones, and sometimes there’s bad moments.

“You’re only as good as your next moment, all of us. As a vice-captain and a premiership player, he (Hunter) has clearly done a lot right.

“What’s his overall? I don’t think this is a consistent theme. He’s made a mistake. Rather than start with sanction, how can we start at leant and help everyone … I don’t like the execution.

“… I used to say to my players that we will support you until we can’t. There are laws of the land, and he has brought the law into it, clearly, with the alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident.

“I don’t know the legalities. It might be that he stands down. The leaders will come to the right decision.”

Ross Lyon on crisis management, Lachie Hunter, and the time he had to apologise to a champ

Published on 7 hrs