There’s nothing like a tough, tight, tense, do-or-die preliminary final to get Toby Nankervis’ competitive juices flowing.

The robust Richmond dual premiership ruckman thrived throughout the intense heat of last night’s blockbuster clash with Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, particularly late in the contest when the narrowly-trailing home side was surging forward.

Nankervis repelled Port with some timely marks and was pivotal in the Tigers’ stirring six-point win.

He finished the match with 13 disposals, seven contested possessions, four marks, a game-high 10 tackles, three inside-50s, five rebound-50s, three clearances, six intercepts, 19 hit-outs,, four one-percenters and 294 metres gained in a sterling performance that drew plenty of praise post-game from his coach Damien Hardwick and teammate Kane Lambert.

“Toby Nankervis really started to take charge (in the last quarter),” Hardwick said.

“‘Nank’ was incredible that last five or six minutes, just sitting in behind the ball . . . It was really important.”

06:34 Mins
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'What an opportunity' - Nankervis

Toby Nankervis speaks to the media following the preliminary final win against Port Adelaide.

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Lambert cited Nankervis’ mighty, fighting spirit.

“Toby’s a warrior,” Lambert said on 3AW.

01:25 Mins
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PF: 'We're thinking of everyone back in Melbourne' - Lambert

Kane Lambert chats to the media following the preliminary final win over Port Adelaide.

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“You know what you’re going to get from him every single week.

“I think he plays his best footy when he’s challenged, and he stood up for us tonight. “

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