“We will, we will, roar you!”
A jungle-inspired twist on a Queen classic is one of the chants that will ring out across Richmond on Saturday, from a rolling sea of yellow and black.
Tigers Army members will bear streamers, flags, painted faces and their loudest roars as they march to the MCG ahead of the preliminary final between Richmond and Greater Western Sydney.
The football-clad fans will congregate at the Spread Eagle Hotel on Bridge Road and enjoy a sausage sizzle and drink tab from 2pm before the 3:15pm departure for their pre-match pilgrimage to the ‘G. The first bounce is due at 4.45.
The march’s route will pass the London Tavern, where more fans will join the march and make some noise for their team.
“There will most definitely be chanting,” said Tiger Army member and march organiser Donald Gloves.
Mr Gloves was overwhelmed with the support that his Facebook event for the march attracted.
“Initially me and a few Tiger fans thought it would be good to have lunch and head down to the game from there. Then one of the members of the Richmond fan group got on board and now we have a few hundred people interested,” he said.
“It’s just such a big day, it’s huge for our club and I want to embrace every moment of it and be with like-minded Tiger fans through it all.”
For Mr Gloves, the march is a chance for all Richmond supporters to come together, regardless of whether they managed to score tickets to the game.
“There are a lot of members who have missed out on tickets.
“We want them to feel like they’re involved as much as those who are at the match. We want them to march with us and come to the ground, maybe sing the song a few times and then they can go back to the Spread Eagle.”
Saturday in Melbourne should be partly cloudy, with a minimum of 16 degrees and a top of 25 degrees.
Football fans should pack their ponchos as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a 60 per cent chance of showers and the risk of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.
In the morning, wind will be blowing from the north at 40-60 km/h before shifting to a cooler west to northwesterly at 25 to 40 km/h during the afternoon.
Where to watch the Tigers
The AFL is not planning to publicly screen the match, directing fans to the live broadcast on Channel Seven.
And Richmond is not screening the match at Punt Road, because the home ground will be used for training by their VFL team which is playing their grand final on Sunday.
So Tigers fans who missed out on tickets will be meeting at their tribe’s favourite watering holes.
Spread Eagle Hotel, 372 Bridge Road, Richmond
The Spread Eagle will support the Tiger Army on their journey to the ‘G, hosting a sausage sizzle from 2pm.
Richmond fans should don their yellow and black to enjoy a $300 bar tab including house wines and beers between 2pm and 4pm for anyone in Richmond colours. Celebrations are already planned for a potential Richmond victory, with two free kegs on offer if the team are successful.
All Nations Hotel, 64 Lennox Street, Richmond
With a yellow stripe painted across the building’s facade, at the All Nations Hotel it will not just be supporters who are dressed up on Saturday.
The staff will wear footy attire and will sport the football jumpers of 1967 Richmond premiership player Mike Perry.
For those who did score tickets to the game, the All Nations will be running buses to and from the MCG, pre and post-match.
Staff member Bob says the hotel will be a home base for those watching the game on TV.
“There’s lots of people who wanted to go to the game but couldn’t get tickets but they’ll be still soaking up the atmosphere in Richmond. It’s ground zero really.”
The London Tavern, 238 Lennox Street, Richmond
The London Tavern are expecting a crowd. They have cleared furniture to make sure they can fit the fans who will flock here to watch the match.
Burgers and chips and other pub staples will be the flavour of the day, while Richmond posters and ribbons will paint the scene black and yellow.
Corner Hotel, 57 Swan Street, Richmond
The Corner Hotel will make the most of their large outdoor TV screen, installed this football season, in the courtyard. Those who prefer to be inside can take their pick from seven screens showing the game. There will be a BBQ at midday to cater for both those who are and are not attending the game, while a DJ from 6pm will welcome those (hopefully) happy supporters coming back from the ground.
Uitgang Bar, 406 Bridge Road, Richmond
Like the All Nations, there’s a yellow sash painted on the black door of the Uitgang Bar.
The bar will welcome fans before and after the match. There will be drink specials for Richmond members and for residents carrying ID with postcode 3121.
Staff member Fraser says the venue will cater for a range of footy and beer enthusiasts.
“The atmosphere will be relaxed but energetic and enthusiastic, craft beer fans mixing with locals mixing with people watching the game.”
Precint Hotel, 60 Swan St, Richmond
The Precint Hotel will be all decked out in Richmond colours: think balloons, streamers and bunting in yellow and black.
The match will be shown inside and out in the courtyard for those keen to hear the commentary.
Others pubs screening the game in Richmond
Where to watch the Giants
282 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Coopers Inn has turned orange for the occasion in support of GWS.
Inspired by three of their staff members from Western Sydney, Coopers Inn will host happy hour from midday until the game starts.
They will offer free food for GWS fans who plan to march into the game together in support of the Giants.