Bailey Smith headbutt, video, Zach Tuohy, reaction, Western Bulldogs vs Geelong Cats, updates, fight

Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith could find himself in hot water after being placed on report for what appeared to be a headbutt as tempers flared on Friday night.

The Bulldogs had stormed back into the contest after falling behind early against the Geelong Cats, trailing 56-45 as the siren sounded at the end of the third quarter.

But the drama was far from over as tensions boiled over with a number of players coming together, although the clash between Smith and Geelong’s Zach Tuohy was the most noticeable.

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Smith and Tuohy grabbed hold of each other’s jumper in a fiery exchange before the Bulldogs star appeared to launch his head forward and make contact with his rival.

Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown called it an “absolute brain snap” while Melbourne great Garry Lyon was in shock at what had just unfolded.

“We’re just shaking our heads at the moment, we can’t believe what we’ve seen,” Lyon said on Fox Footy.

“It’s just so out of a character for a young man who’s almost the highest profile player in the competition.”

“[An] absolute brain snap, wasn’t it?” Brown added.

“The old Liverpool kiss. We don’t see it very often, I can’t think of any teammates that have done it. But costly because he was fantastic in that quarter Bailey Smith with his work rate. “What’s the AFL going to say about that? They called Buddy Franklin’s act cowardly, that’s worse.”

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Bailey Smith and Zach Tuohy clashed.Source: Supplied

Tuohy played down the incident while speaking to Fox Footy post-game, saying it was “just handbags”.

“Emotions were obviously getting the better of both of us,” he said.

“I was pulling and dragging at him as much as he was me so there was not much in it. When the game gets so close and given we had such a big lead cut back to a small margin, emotions get high so there was all love at the end.”

While Smith appeared to be the only one reported, Tuohy will no doubt also come under examination for his role in the drama.

Speaking to Fox Footy post-game The Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph gave his verdict on how he thinks the AFL will respond to the incident.

“It’s probably intentional, probably low-impact and to the head — that spits out a week,” Ralph said.

“There is also a second clause, a list of offences that would normally go directly go to the tribunal. They are things like eye-gouging, spitting, stomping and striking an umpire. Here is where I think there the remedy could lie.

“There is an AFL subset that basically says Chrisso [AFL match review officer Michael Christian] or Brad Scott have absolute discretion to send anything straight to the tribunal. They are pretty weird clauses. Circumstances of the offence, unusual features of the report, suspected mitigating factors there.

“I think the Dogs would appeal any sentence anyway. I think it is going to get to a Tuesday night tribunal. For Chrisso, you send it to the Tribunal, get Zach Tuohy on video link, get Bailey Smith and find whether he was retaliating to a little nudge there.

“Whether it spits out two or three weeks, I just think that is a better penalty than one week where the AFL community would be outraged by a single week for a deliberate headbutt.”

The Fox Footy panel was in agreement that should the MRO have the chance to send the incident straight to the tribunal, they will pull that trigger.

Bulldog Bailey Smith gets reported for an alleged headbutt on Zach Tuohy. Photo by Michael KleinSource: News Corp Australia

“If the MRO have the opportunity to send it straight to the tribunal, that’s exactly what they are going to do. Let someone else handle it,” Nick Riewoldt said.

“I tend to agree,” Brown added.

“Gut feel it is not a great look for the game. They didn’t like it from Buddy last week, this is worse from an optics point of view.”

Lyon, meanwhile, said that should it be proven to be a headbutt it was “at the very low end”.

When asked about the incident post-game, Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said he was “not aware” Smith had been reported and had not spoken to him about it.

“If something has happened, I’ll be briefed on it,” Beveridge added.

“Hopefully there’s nothing in it… whatever it was.”

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