Richmond star Alex Rance feels Collingwood fans gave as good as they received during Saturday’s 91-point AFL win for the Tigers.
His teammate Dustin Martin was referred to the AFL’s football operations department for making a two-fingered salute to the Magpies faithful during the match.
Some of them unloaded on Richmond players and Rance paused when asked if they had come close to crossing the line with their behaviour.
“The definitely approached it but like I said, it’s an emotional, physical game and if they feel like they’re helping their side, then they’re well within their rights,” Rance said.
Rance was also quick to admit plenty of Tigers fans are equally passionate.
“The supporters are definitely colourful and make the game what they are,” he said.
“There’s definitely a line but I love the passion that all supporters show.
“There is definitely a line there that supporters and players don’t necessarily need to cross.
“I know Richmond have some beautiful, passionate supporters too.”
Richmond’s massacre of Collingwood left the Tigers only a game outside the top four with two rounds left.
But Rance said they must keep their momentum going on Saturday night against Essendon, now coached by Matthew Egan.
“Essendon with the new coach and potentially a new game plan and things like that, they might have released the shackles,” he said.
“So 100 per cent, we can’t take anything for granted.
“You saw St Kilda versus Geelong on the weekend, St Kilda really came to play and ended up getting a draw.
“You never know what could happen.”
It is two months since Rance ended strong speculation about his playing future by signing a four-year deal.
There was even talk he could walk away from the game.
“It was never really about winning or losing or being successful because I always had great confidence this club was going in the right direction,” he said.
“It was more of a personal decision for me as to what I valued and whether I could fit all the things I really value and love in at the same time.
“So yeah – I’m happy, I’m enjoying it.”
Rance made last year’s All-Australian team and said he is reaping the benefits of playing in a solid backline.
“I’ve found that I can adapt a lot quicker,” he said.
“It doesn’t take me a whole game or two or three weeks to correct a mistake that I might be making.
“It probably shows the strength of the group that I have around me as well, that can support and really identify the strengths and weaknesses of how we’re playing.
“It also helps that we have a good, solid group together – it’s not just one player who has to play out of his skin.”
Rance is clearly a man who likes to be comfortable, turning up to his media conference in a pair of ugg boots.
“Tuesdays are comfy footwear day,” he explained.