Through no fault of his own, Nankervis never really got a decent run of it at the Swans.
He broke into the Swans lineup in his second year, managing 5 games but unable to oust the incumbent Mike Pyke (in case you forgot, he’s a former Canadian rugby union player). When Kurt Tippett went down in round 12, 2016, Sammy Naismith was given the nod as first choice ruck.
Initially Toby had no desire to move clubs. He was prepared to stand his ground at Sydney and fight hard to prove himself. With a fit again Tippett back in the line up, along with competition from Naismith, Callum Sinclair, and recent draftee Darcy Cameron the Tigers eventually wore him down with promises of a bigger pay packet and more opportunities for senior footy.
On his trade to Richmond, GM Neil Balme had this to say about him:
“When he finally saw that there’s a much bigger opportunity at our club, than there would be at Sydney, he decided to come down.
“We’re really pleased he’s here . . . He’s only played a dozen games or so, but he’s always looked very lively, he’s pretty good up forward as well, and he’s a very willing, competitive kid.”
What excites me about Toby is his desire to not rest on his laurels and develop more strings to his bow. Realising the plethora of talls at the Swans was keeping him out of the side, Nankervis used the NEAFL to shift forward and develop his goal-kicking in the hope of winning back a senior spot.
|Games last season:||6 (12 NEAFL)|
|Average last season:||74.8|
|100+ games last season:||0 (season high: 88)|
|Sub 80 games last season:||3 (season low: 55)|
|Price range last season:||$226k (round 4) – 317k (round 21)|
|Missed games last season:||
The risk v reward ledger is about evens with Nankervis in 2017. He’s not the most mobile big man going around but he works hard to provide a contest. As long as Hampson is fit he gets first shot at the #1 ruck mantle, so I see Nankervis battling it out with Ben Griffiths for the gap at CHF and he can’t be worse than the guy the Tigers got a second round draft pick for but would have been happy with a fun sized Snickers and a warm coke.
Nankervis won’t be clueless playing forward either, he managed a bag of 6 and twice hauls of 3 in the NEAFL. Don’t go expecting him to smash out tons just yet, keep in mind he’s still only 22 which not the prime age for big men. Though with an extended run of games he’s got the tools to be a reliable cover for your R2. Now, if you’ve read my articles so far you know I love my stats, so lets get them out the way.
I wouldn’t get too carried away with NEAFL stats, definitely not the most competitive state league going around. The AFL stats, according to fanfooty, had all of his games as a forward pitch hitting in the ruck. The challenge for Toby I can see is him translating the amount of goals at NEAFL level to the AFL.
It all depends on your ruck structure. With a Gawn/Goldilocks/Grundy R1/R2 setup I probably wouldn’t bother with The Nank. At his price he’s probably a F3/4 and he’s not cut out for that. However, if you’re going to take a punt on Sandiballs as your R2 you’ll need cover. Boyd, Ryder, Lycett are a few of the names that spring to mind who have been given RUC/FWD DPP in 2017 and all of them have their pros and cons. In a perfect SuperCoach world Nankervis will eventually become your F7/8, but we all know the SC Gods are bastards so that probably won’t happen.
- Just look at those tackle numbers. Throws himself into the contest
- Stuff all in the way of injury history
- Can take a grab and is accurate in front of the sticks.
- Forward spot there for him with the departure of Spud Vickery
- Could join the long and illustrious list of midprice duds. With stuff all forwards in the cupboard this year he may be hard to get rid of if he spuds it
- Could be in and out of the side while Hardwick fluffs about with his setup of tall timber
- The Richmond factor
Tough one. I’ve been caught out before by having no ruck swing and I tell ya, it’s not a great feeling munching on a donut when there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m a staunch fan of the set and forget ruck strategy but maybe this is the year to try something new. For me, a few things need to happen:
- Sandiballs defies his age, his toe, and his Lurch-like qualities to make it through the preseason
- Nankervis has a strong NAB and is given an assurance of role
- Something happens to Ryder. I don’t want to be tempted by that burnman
WATCH FOR HIS ROLE IN THE NAB
|This article has been penned as part of the Jock Reynolds Community Series, where anyone from within our proud community can have their say in front of their peers. These men and women have displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.|
Toby Nankervis Poll: