Tiger Army heads up the highway in full cry | PICTURES

David Ward and his Tiger cheersquad mates who travelled to the Norm Minns Oval for the match against Collingwood. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
David Ward and his Tiger cheersquad mates who travelled to the Norm Minns Oval for the match against Collingwood. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

THE Tiger Army came to Wangaratta in full force on Saturday.

Richmond’s official cheersquad was up and about with plenty of gusto, with 150 members lapping up the club’s win against traditional enemy Collingwood.

They queued early and set up camp at the city end.

The rewards came as the Tigers piled on seven goals at their end of the ground in the final quarter to crank up the expectation meter a couple notches ahead of a round 1 clash against Gold Coast in less than a month.

Among them was 35-year cheersquad veteran David Ward, who returned after watching the Tigers beat Essendon last year.

“We go anywhere to watch Richmond play,” he said.

“Some are staying overnight and some are going back.

“But the ones who are staying are putting money into the local area.”

Ward is typically bullish about the Tigers’ prospects after seeing September action last year.

“We are going to go one step further than last year and win a final,” he said.

“It was disappointing at the end, but it was still a good year.

“The experience of last year and the loss of that final will drive us on.

“The players were greatly affected by it and I think they will be a hell of a lot better for it.”

Ward also supported Tiger cult hero Jake King, who came under fire from AFL boss Andrew Demetriou for his ongoing friendship with bikie Toby Mitchell.

“Let him play footy,” he said.

“He is not doing anything wrong and it is not a crime to catch up with a friend.

“He is not doing anything he shouldn’t be doing as far as we are concerned.”

One Richmond supporter flies the flag for Tyrone Vickery at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

One Richmond supporter flies the flag for Tyrone Vickery at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Maggie, 3, Alysa and Jack Forbes, 5, of Melbourne, were cheering for the Tigers.

Maggie, 3, Alysa and Jack Forbes, 5, of Melbourne, were cheering for the Tigers.

Hannah Snowdon, 9, Millie Carson, 9, and Ruby Snowdon, 6, of Wangaratta, supporting the Magpies.

Hannah Snowdon, 9, Millie Carson, 9, and Ruby Snowdon, 6, of Wangaratta, supporting the Magpies.

A sell-out crowd showed up at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

A sell-out crowd showed up at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

The crowd laps up the action as the Magpies' Heritier Lumumba takes the ball.

The crowd laps up the action as the Magpies' Heritier Lumumba takes the ball.

The crowd laps up the action at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

The crowd laps up the action at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

The crowd in the grandstand is fixated on the action at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

The crowd in the grandstand is fixated on the action at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

These lads found a high vantage point on the cricket nets to see the action.

These lads found a high vantage point on the cricket nets to see the action.

Maggie, 3, Alysa and Jack Forbes, 5, of Melbourne, were cheering for the Tigers.

Maggie, 3, Alysa and Jack Forbes, 5, of Melbourne, were cheering for the Tigers.

Richmond supporters behind the goals react at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Richmond supporters behind the goals react at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Annie Marquison, 11, of Rutherglen, flying the Tigers flag at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Annie Marquison, 11, of Rutherglen, flying the Tigers flag at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Emma Redden, 8, of Bright, and Annie Marquison, 11, of Rutherglen, flying the Tigers flag at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Emma Redden, 8, of Bright, and Annie Marquison, 11, of Rutherglen, flying the Tigers flag at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Emma Redden, 8, of Bright, and Annie Marquison, 11, of Rutherglen, flying the Tigers flag at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Emma Redden, 8, of Bright, and Annie Marquison, 11, of Rutherglen, flying the Tigers flag at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Russell Deppeler, of Morwell, showed his dedication to the Tigers by showing off his tattoo at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Russell Deppeler, of Morwell, showed his dedication to the Tigers by showing off his tattoo at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Dedicated Magpies followers Damian Monteleone and his daughter Zoe, 7, with siblings Jai, 10, and Sienna, 8, and their father Sam Pulvirenti, all of Shepparton, at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Dedicated Magpies followers Damian Monteleone and his daughter Zoe, 7, with siblings Jai, 10, and Sienna, 8, and their father Sam Pulvirenti, all of Shepparton, at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Richmond supporters Luke Kenny, Ian Kennedy, Glen Wiedermann, holding Kian Richardson, 3, Sherynn Jarret, and Tamara Richardson, of Melbourne. Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Richmond supporters Luke Kenny, Ian Kennedy, Glen Wiedermann, holding Kian Richardson, 3, Sherynn Jarret, and Tamara Richardson, of Melbourne. Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

A sell-out crowd showed up at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

A sell-out crowd showed up at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Luke Bailey (centre) and his children Bronte, 7, and Callum, 4, of Wangaratta, at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Luke Bailey (centre) and his children Bronte, 7, and Callum, 4, of Wangaratta, at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jack McKinley, 10, and Chelsey Allan, 18, of Wangaratta, Tigers fans at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jack McKinley, 10, and Chelsey Allan, 18, of Wangaratta, Tigers fans at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jack McKinley, 10, and Chelsey Allan, 18, of Wangaratta, Tigers fans at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jack McKinley, 10, and Chelsey Allan, 18, of Wangaratta, Tigers fans at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Kim Trickey and Karyn Wright, flying the flag for the Magpies behind the goals at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Kim Trickey and Karyn Wright, flying the flag for the Magpies behind the goals at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jesse Kelly, 12, of Drouin, made up a sign to support the Tigers at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jesse Kelly, 12, of Drouin, made up a sign to support the Tigers at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta.

Jesse Kelly, 12, of Drouin, made up a sign to support the Tigers at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

Jesse Kelly, 12, of Drouin, made up a sign to support the Tigers at the Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta