Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton absolutely loves what Richmond ruckman Toby Nankervis brings to the table.
The triple premiership Tiger made an instant impact in his return against Brisbane on Friday night – a match Richmond simply had to win to revive their finals hopes.
Nankervis collected 22 disposals – including a game-high 18 contested – to go with 25 hit-outs, 10 intercepts and seven clearances, with his physicality in the air and on the ground making him one of Richmond’s most important players.
Speaking on SEN’s Bob and Andy, Brereton compared Nankervis’ “nasty” nature to GWS enforcer Shane Mumford.
“It is close to my heart, and I reckon it’s fantastic, good on them. It’s hard to do now,” the five-time premiership Hawk said.
“The Tigers had eight snide acts. I probably shouldn’t call them snide … shifty, nasty, careless - Toby had three of them.
“There was one in the first quarter where big Oscar (McInerney) sensed the ball was dropping a bit short so Toby went for the spoil, recognised he couldn’t get to the spoil, so he just flushed him in the back of the head with a spoiling arm.
“It was a good old solid ear massage. I thought, ‘That’s been lacking at the Tigers’, while Toby Nankervis has been out.
“He’s the new Shane Mumford. He’s accidentally, purposely clumsy. He’s a touch nasty and he’s aware of his size.
“He does play to that old ethos of, ‘Let them know I’m around’.”
Nankervis was key in Richmond’s 20-point win over the Lions as the reigning premiers got back on track ahead of a clash against Geelong on Sunday.