Joy at last for Tigers fan

The Tatura Guardian - - News - Mrs McCracken tipped Rich­mond by 21 points. She need not have worried, the Tigers de­feated the Cats by a whop­ping 51 points and will play the winner of this week­end’s clash be­tween Greater Western Syd­ney and West Coast on Septem­ber 23 in the pre­lim­i­nary f

morn­ing at 5 am, go to Mel­bourne and spend the day there and get some­one else to milk for us at night,’’ Mrs McCracken said.

‘‘One year we went to 11 games in a row. They had to win them all to make the fi­nals — and they did it.’’

Mrs McCracken said the first premier­ship she watched was the Tigers’ 1943 VFL grand fi­nal tri­umph, led by cap­tain-coach Jack Dyer.

‘‘You for­get a lot of the pre­mier­ships, but I can re­mem­ber 1967 well and how good Kevin Bartlett was,’’ she said.

‘‘His hair would stream be­hind him. . . he was so quick . . . but I re­mem­ber he didn’t have much on the top of his head.’’

Since the Tigers’ most re­cent premier­ship in 1980, Mrs McCracken and her hus­band have had it tough.

‘‘I’ve gone to bed at half-time dur­ing games,’’ she said.

But for the thousands of Tigers sup­port­ers around the coun­try, there is a glim­mer of hope, with many be­liev­ing this year might fi­nally be their mo­ment.

‘‘We’ve got our small for­wards work­ing well, we re­cruited that big ruck­man from Syd­ney and Alex Rance is just a mir­a­cle, he’s mar­vel­lous,’’ Mrs McCracken said.

‘‘I don’t like Dustin Martin’s tat­toos, but un­der­neath the fa­cade is a nice boy and he is so ag­ile and al­ways gets away.’’

Like the Western Bull­dogs last year, Mrs McCracken be­lieves the stars have aligned for her team and it is the team that is ‘‘sup­posed to win’’.

‘‘I was lost last week with­out the footy on tele­vi­sion . . . but I will die a happy woman if I get to see my team win a grand fi­nal again,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve got a feel­ing they’ll win it, but I don’t want to put the mozz on them.’’

Rich­mond took on Gee­long at the MCG on Fri­day night.

Al­though the Tigers headed into the game hav­ing lost the past 13 games to Gee­long, Mrs McCracken was con­fi­dent her team could get across the line.

‘‘I get told I scream too much watch­ing the footy, but I’ll have to be­have my­self be­cause I’ll be with friends this year,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m ner­vous in­side as soon as it’s talked about on tele­vi­sion or I read an ar­ti­cle in the news­pa­per.

‘‘But they’ve got those small for­wards work­ing so well that (Jack) Riewoldt doesn’t have to kick a lot of goals, so they’ll win.’’

Strong and bold: Long-time Rich­mond sup­porter Ruth McCracken is qui­etly con­fi­dent

this is the Tigers’ year. Pic­ture: Julie Mercer

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