'Traumatic week': Western Bulldogs rocked by devastating tragedy

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The Western Bulldogs, pictured here in action against the Adelaide Crows.
The Western Bulldogs were playing with heavy hearts against the Adelaide Crows. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs were playing with heavy hearts on Saturday, with coach Luke Beveridge opening up on two personal tragedies that rocked the club this week.

Speaking in his press conference after the Bulldogs' one-point loss to the Adelaide Crows, Beveridge revealed that Mitch Wallis’ mother-in-law had died on Thursday after being struck by a car last weekend.

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Wallis' wife Emily is pregnant with their second child and due to give birth any day now.

Beveridge also revealed that development coach and former Geelong Cats player Travis Varcoe was mourning the death of his mother last week.

"It has been a challenging week for the group, for the club," Beveridge said.

"It has been a really traumatic week for the families, and obviously your football club is like a second home, a second family, and everyone feels that and is really emotional around what is happening with Mitch and Emily and their families.

"We are just hoping everything goes smoothly over the next week or so with Emily and the imminent birth of their child."

The devastating news comes after former captain Lachie Hunter stepped away from the club indefinitely last week due to personal reasons.

"I don't have that concern," Beveridge said on Wednesday when asked if he was worried about Hunter not returning to the club.

"I believe Lachie is going to be OK and we'll have him back before the end of the year.

"Over the journey Lachie's had a challenge here and there.

"The thing about 'Hunts' is every time he turns up to play he gives his absolute all, and in recent times it's got on top of him a little bit.

"He's OK but he knows in the immediate future he's got to work through a few things.

"Whether it's a month, two months or whatever it may be, we'll have him back and hopefully he's able to play some footy before the end of the year."

Lachie Hunter, pictured here in action for the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne Demons in Round 1.
Lachie Hunter in action for the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne Demons in Round 1. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs go down in one-point thriller

The Crows stunned the Bulldogs in a one-point thriller in Ballarat on Saturday for one of the finest victories of coach Matthew Nicks' tenure.

Taylor Walker's late goal proved the difference after the Crows fought through multiple Bulldogs surges and their own inaccuracy to prevail 8.15 (63) to 9.8 (62).

In claiming back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds three and four last season, having accounted for Richmond last week, Adelaide evened their win-loss ledger at 3-3 while condemning the Dogs to 2-4.

"It'd be up there," Nicks said.

"The last couple of weeks have been really enjoyable, that feeling of pride in a young group that have now shown some consistency, and it's over a couple of weeks, but against some really high quality opposition.

"To come and play the way we want to play two weeks in a row and show resilience like we did today, really, really pleasing.

"You enjoy watching a group be challenged and then step up.

"This is invaluable for our group, being able to perform in these moments."

with AAP

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