Nathan Cleary stars over Shaun Johnson as Warriors slump to another loss
Nathan Cleary has provided a peek into his steely mindset after Penrith beat the Warriors 40-6 in a confidence-building NRL demolition ahead of State of Origin Game 2.
Their clinical performance in a seven-try rout at Redcliffe’s Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday was timely with the Panthers expected to provide six members of the NSW team that will attempt to level the Origin series in Perth next Sunday.
NSW coach Brad Fittler is stacked for fullback options but Penrith’s Dylan Edwards would not look out of place in a Blues jersey either after scoring a slick try, having another disallowed and running for 171 metres in a stunning performance.
Cleary attracted some criticism for his game in the Origin opening loss in Sydney but he provided a playmaking masterclass against the Warriors.
He created many of the Panthers’ opportunities and combined beautifully with Edwards and Blues teammate Isaah Yeo.
“I just want to give my best every time I take the field, whether that’s a Penrith jersey, a Blues jersey or my junior club Penrith Brothers,” Cleary said.
“I just want to take the front that way, no matter where we’re playing. That’s my mindset.
“Sometimes it doesn’t go your way and you don’t play the best, and other days you play all right.
“You can’t be too focussed on results, it’s more process driven.”
Stand-in Panthers coach Cameron Ciraldo would also have been pleased with his back three – Edwards, two-try star Brian To’o and Taylan May – and centre Stephen Crichton who put his hand up for a Blues starting role in the absence of Jack Wighton.
The Warriors were willing, and were led by fullback Reece Walsh who created the side’s only try for Josh Curran in the 76th minute.
As committed as they were, they were simply outclassed.
Possession was balanced evenly but it was the precision of what Penrith did that splintered the hosts.
Penrith led the line breaks 8-2 and the tackle breaks 29-12.
While Cleary shone for the Panthers, Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson had little to offer and is fighting to retain his spot in the side.
“I think we showed glimpses of effort but when you’re playing against one of the best defensive sides in the comp, we’ve got to get those details right,” Warriors captain Tohu Harris said.
“Of all the good things we did we did, one or two things that would let us down.
“They’re too good a side to make those mental errors against.”
It was the Warriors’ seventh consecutive loss and they need to find some spark ahead of their Auckland homecoming against the Wests Tigers in Round 16.
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Well said James.Go to comments
Gary Graham to Carcassone from Newcastle????Go to comments