Crowd may backfire on Richmond: Bomber

A rabid 90,000-strong Tiger Army may prove too daunting for even Richmond in Saturday’s AFL preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney, Mark Thompson warns.

But the two-time premiership winning Geelong coach was confident the Tigers had finally “grown up” and would not suffer stage fright in the MCG grand final qualifier.

The Giants have played loud music at training this week in preparation for the roar to come from the MCG’s overwhelming black and yellow majority on Saturday.

Thompson admitted nothing would quite prepare the Giants for what was to come.

However, Thompson said the huge crowd could also backfire on Richmond in their first preliminary final since 2001.

“I have seen it work both ways with Richmond,” Thompson told Fox Sports’ AFL 360.

“I have seen it bring them home and I have seen it scare the players to the point where they don’t feel like playing.”

Thompson said the Giants by rights should be confident heading down to their second straight preliminary final.

However, Thompson warned GWS they were about to encounter a crowd he believed they would never witness again.

“It’s a weird one. You’ve got the Giants, a team that is playing their second preliminary final in a row, at the MCG, in front of a crowd the likes they will never see again,” he said.

“And they are against Richmond who haven’t been in a preliminary final for years but have that confidence with their support at their homeground.

“But if they (Giants) win, it will be one of the best wins ever (in front of that crowd).”

Still, Thompson believes Richmond are finally ready to handle the occasion and book their first grand final berth since 1982.

“I think the Tigers have grown up this year, finally,” he said.

“I have heard they just keep everything simple and doing all things right, so good on them.”

Giants co-captain Phil Davis reckoned it would be “pretty cool” to have a packed MCG baying for their blood.

“I’m looking at it as a huge positive,” he told AFL 360.

“We’ve laughed at it a few times, that there’ll be 90,000 people booing us.

“That’s a pretty cool little atmosphere.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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