Lachie Hunter could lose the Bulldogs’ vice-captancy. Picture: AAP
Lachie Hunter could lose the Bulldogs’ vice-captancy. Picture: AAP

Great urges Bulldogs not to strip title off Hunter

Western Bulldogs great Doug Hawkins says Lachie Hunter should retain the vice-captaincy and has called for Hunter's peers to be spared the uncomfortable task of sanctioning one of their mates.

New captain Marcus Bontempelli, 24, is expected to have a strong say in Hunter's punishment although Hawkins said the responsibility should sit squarely with football boss Chris Grant, president Peter Gordon and new board member Luke Darcy.

Former vice-captain Jordan Roughead, who is now at Collingwood, has vowed to never sit in judgement of a teammate again after his time at Whitten Oval.

Hunter, 25, has not been charged by Victoria Police for drink-driving.

The club said on Saturday its investigation would likely take several days to complete because of the complexities.

Hunter crashed into four parked cars on Thursday and then failed a breath test later in the night when police found him drinking with Billy Gowers.

Hunter was also fined $1652 for breaching social distancing rules, and police slapped teenager Bailey Smith with the same fine for driving Hunter from Middle Park to Gowers' house in South Yarra.

Gowers escaped with a warning from police. All three players are being spoken to by the Bulldogs.

 

Hunter was fined $1652 for breaking social distancing rules after crashing his car. Picture: Michael Klein
Hunter was fined $1652 for breaking social distancing rules after crashing his car. Picture: Michael Klein

 

Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton said the Dogs should immediately strip Hunter of the vice-captaincy.

"You have to be seen to your sponsors to show that socially in these circumstances you are doing the hard thing and he shouldn't stand above society and the law," Brereton said.

But Hawkins - who doubts the merit of all leadership groups - argued it was important for teammates to stick together.

Hawkins called for a lengthy suspension and a fine instead.

"It was a silly decision to drive. No one was injured or killed. I would fine him and (suspend) him for 4-6 games," Hawkins said.

"Let Peter Gordon, Chris Grant, Luke Darcy and co make that decision, take it away from the leadership group.

"Call it old school, but there's no way I would burn a teammate."

 

Lachie Hunter crashed into four parked cars on Thursday night. Picture: Supplied
Lachie Hunter crashed into four parked cars on Thursday night. Picture: Supplied

 

The maximum fine the Bulldogs can hand down is $5000. A lengthy suspension would probably leave Hunter with little to look forward to until August.

There is a level of sympathy for the premiership star from some quarters, given the headspace he was in and the fact the 2018 best-and-fairest winner had blossomed into a leader in recent seasons.

Hawkins and Hunter's father, Mark, were Bulldog teammates for eight seasons and, like Hawkins, Lachie wears No.7 and plays on the wing.

Hunter's older sister Lauren, a nurse at the Alfred Hospital who is on the frontline against COVID-19, faced a media pack when she visited Hunter's home on Saturday.

"He'll be OK," she said.

 

 

 

Originally published as Great urges Dogs not to strip VC off Hunter


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