Giants Rory Lobb and Richmond's Toby Nankervis.
Giants Rory Lobb and Richmond's Toby Nankervis.

Lobb: I won’t try to be Mummy

OF ALL the big assignments handed out in Round 1 few will be as challenging as the one assigned to Rory Lobb when GWS takes on the Western Bulldogs in Canberra.

The talented big man has to follow in the footsteps of Shane Mumford, arguably the most influential player in the Giants' short history.

In his four years at GWS Mummy was a force of nature, winning the Kevin Sheedy Medal in his first season (2014) then helping to turn the Giants from easybeats to winners over the next three years. There was a period where they found it very hard to win without him; they started 2015 7-4 but a season-ending injury saw the Giants win just four of the next 11.

He was an old fashioned blood and guts leader the talented young GWS players could get behind knowing he had their backs.

Lobb is smart enough to know he isn't that style of player and he brings his own talents to the game.

"I'm not going to try to be Shane," Lobb told the Saturday Telegraph.

Rory Lobb uses deft ruckwork rather than brute force. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Rory Lobb uses deft ruckwork rather than brute force. Picture. Phil Hillyard

"They are big shoes to fill but I play a lot different to Shane. He has some great aspects to his game but I bring different things like my athleticism into the ruck.

"I also play a lot up forward which gives me some flexibility. I take a lot out of what he's done for the club and now it's time to go forward with what I can do."

While Mumford used a sledgehammer to belt a path across the footy ground, Lobb will use his mobility and athleticism to influence the game.

"Mummy is a tackling machine," Lobb said.

"I'm more of a possession getter and trying to get as much supply to the midfielders as possible. We are a bit different but hopefully I can bring some of his aspects to my game with things like his tackle pressure."

Rory Lobb at pre-season training.
Rory Lobb at pre-season training.

Mumford's influence will still be present with the big man stepping into the ruck coaching job vacated by Dean Brogan. Lobb says his job description may have changed but his personality hasn't.

"He hasn't really changed too much as a coach he still likes to give it to me," Lobb said.

"He has a lot of knowledge and has been helping out Dawson (Simpson), Matty Flynn and myself. He's obviously got a lot to offer."

While Mumford is gone the fight for the No. 1 ruck spot is not a forgone conclusion with Simpson very close to beating Lobb for the spot in the team to take on the Bulldogs.

"Dawson was unlucky to miss out for this game," Lobb said.

"He's putting a lot of pressure on me to perform well and I'm sure he'll be fired up when the reserves play this weekend. He had a massive pre-season and he's playing really well, he's been out there and I've been watching him."