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Pies embrace the hype, Tigers fenced in

Magpies fans flocked to Collingwood training in their thousands - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Collingwood Magpies
Magpies fans flocked to Collingwood training in their thousands

THE WEDNESDAY training sessions of Collingwood and Richmond couldn't have been more contrasting, with one club embracing all the hype associated with a preliminary final and the other going through their paces behind closed gates. 

Around 1000 people crowded at the Holden Centre to watch the Magpies run through their main training session, with fans jamming the space around the fence and creating long lines for coffee, food and merchandise. 

It was a long session with all eyes on Darcy Moore and Ben Reid as they unsuccessfully pressed for selection, and Jordan De Goey and Brayden Sier as they shook off the lingering effects of minor sore spots. 

The wind was cool but the sun shone on Pies' fans who, starved of finals action since 2013, treated the occasion like it was Grand Final week given there are no guarantees of progression beyond Friday night. 

Across Olympic Boulevard and the train line, the scene couldn't have been different at the Tigers, with a temporary cyclone fence surrounding the ground to minimise the foot traffic through the players' carpark. 

The main session was held without their supporters, as they've done for most of the season, with their brief captain's run on Thursday their designated "open session" for the week. 

Dustin Martin was convincing in the 15 minutes the media were allowed to watch with all 22 players from their qualifying final win over Hawthorn on the track; Kane Lambert and Daniel Rioli – who were also treated for minor ailments last week – included. 

Richmond supporters will have to wait until Friday night for their big finals party with the club to run a "fan zone" at Punt Road from 5pm with live music, mascots, face painting, food trucks and kids' activities before a march to the MCG behind drummers to precede the big clash.