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AFL Giant emerges from Mumford's shadow

Greater Western Sydney's Rory Lobb has proved a point in his second game as a first-choice AFL ruckman after being monstered in his first one.

AFL Giant emerges from Mumford's shadow

Greater Western Sydney's Rory Lobb has proved a point in his second game as a first-choice AFL ruckman after being monstered in his first one.

Greater Western Sydney's Rory Lobb is ready to resume a ruck rivalry with Richmond's Toby Nankervis on a much bigger AFL stage, after proving he can prosper without his 'Mummy'.

In Saturday's home semi-final win against West Coast, Lobb was the Giants' first-choice ruckman for only the second time in his 54-game senior career.


Usually a sparingly used backup behind club talisman Shane Mumford, 24-year-old Lobb on Saturday emerged from the giant shadow cast by his imposing teammate, who last week suffered a season-ending foot fracture.

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He tallied a match-high 39 hit outs, more than double his previous best.

Lobb felt he he had a point to prove as in his only previous game as a first-choice ruckman he was monstered by North Melbourne's Todd Goldstein, who racked up an AFL record 80 hit outs.

"It was my third senior game, two and-a-half years later I was pretty confident that wouldn't happen again," Lobb said.

"I actually told (Giants coach) Leon (Cameron ) that I was pretty confident that I was ready to step up and take that role, so Leon backed me, and obviously I got the job done."

Lobb went into the game bolstered by the knowledge Mumford also felt he was ready to deliver as the Giants' go-to big man.

"He just said to back myself," Mumford said.

"He just basically said 'You've had four years here, you should be ready to go'.

"Obviously you learn a lot from Shane.

"We always knew that with my height I'd be in the ruck in the end of my career, so it was just a matter of when."

Lobb is now set to face Richmond's Nankervis in Saturday's preliminary final at the MCG.

"We've had some good battles in the NEAFL in my first couple of years," Lobb said.

West Australian Lobb's career standout ruck performance came against the team he supported in his early years.

"I actually did follow the West Coast Eagles as a kid, I went away from watching footy and played a fair bit of basketball and I didn't really watch too much after that," Lobb said.


AAP



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