Sport Matter of time Cleary is NSW No.7: Maroons

23:03  13 september  2017
23:03  13 september  2017 Source:

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But this time there will be no Cameron Smith, no Johnathan Thurston, and no Cooper Cronk. Only six players remain from the side that lost the decider last year. Players like Nathan Cleary , Latrell Mitchell and Queensland Maroons v NSW Blues, Wednesday May 6, Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Record 11 debutants in NSW coach Brad Fittler's new Blues era. 'It's been a great ride' - Billy Slater to retire from Maroons after 2018 State of Origin. State of Origin: Panthers' Nathan Cleary to headline Brad Fittler's Blues revolution.

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Comparisons with Johnathan Thurston may be premature but Queensland coach Kevin Walters believes it is only a matter of time before Nathan Cleary wears the NSW No.7 jersey.

Walters just hopes it is not any time soon.

Cleary has emerged as Penrith's dangerman after stepping up in troubled skipper Matt Moylan's absence to help the Panthers book a knockout NRL semi-final clash with Brisbane on Friday night.

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While Nathan Cleary could very well end up being the next Andrew Johns, it will be a big ask to expect him to hit the ground running in this new-look New South Wales team. The problem with that theory is that Queensland's defence won't leak a lot of points, no matter how sharp their opposition may be.

Ever since Joey Johns, Freddy Fittler and Laurie Daley retired, the Maroons have dominated in the halves through Darren Lockyer, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk. yesterday. State of Origin 2018: NSW team revealed, Queensland snubs more.

His stellar rise has reminded many of another former Penrith teenager -- NSW great Brad Fittler.

Brisbane rake Ben Hunt paid Cleary arguably the greatest compliment before their sudden death clash, saying taking on the Panthers halfback was like "going into a game against Thurston".

Walters believed it was a bold call in Cleary's first full NRL season but claimed the 19-year-old was destined for representative honours.

"There is only one Johnathan Thurston for mine but for a guy his age he is doing some great stuff on the field," Walters said of Cleary.

"He's a quality player, he's got a calm head on his shoulders for a young player.

"And I thought his tactics (in finals win over Manly) were really good last week, kicking the ball early -- that sort of stuff wins big end of season games."

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  Cartwright fires in Penrith's finals win Bryce Cartwright scored two tries and set up a third in Penrith's elimination final win over Manly. Cartwright scored two tries and set up a controversial third in a gripping contest, which sees the Panthers move onto a semi-final against Brisbane.With the scores locked at 10-10 late at Allianz Stadium, Cartwright stunned many when he ignored rookie sensation Nathan Cleary for the field goal on Saturday.Instead, Cartwright went blindside from dummy-half, grubbering through for Tyrone Peachey's controversial try.

State of Origin: Game 1, 2018 – QLD v NSW . That’s a big asset with the likes of James Maloney and Nathan Cleary providing the supporting ball. Bookmakers have priced him at to score first and at .50 to score at any time for the Maroons – BET NOW.

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Walters may be sitting pretty after becoming the third Queensland coach to win his first two State of Origin series at the helm.

It marked the Maroons' 11th Origin series win in 12 years.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says comparisons with Johnathan Thurston may be premature but believes Penrith's Nathan Cleary is destined to become NSW No.7. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Queensland coach Kevin Walters says comparisons with Johnathan Thurston may be premature but believes Penrith's Nathan Cleary is destined to become NSW No.7. However, Walters sounded like an anxious man when asked about the possibility of Cleary making his Blues debut as soon as next year.

"I hope it is a long way away," Walters said.

"But on the progression that he is on, all things going the way they are he is going to play Origin at some stage.

"It is just a matter of when the Blues decide to pick him.

"It's not just his organisation, with the ball he supports well, kicks well, defends as good as any halfback -- he is quite a talent."

Ex-Broncos skipper Walters said Brisbane must overcome the Cleary factor in their knockout semi-final -- something he believed would be easier said than done.

"I think the Broncs can bounce back but they will have to be at their best to beat the Panthers," he said, referring to Brisbane's 24-22 qualifying finals loss to Sydney Roosters last week.

"They (Panthers) were pretty impressive on Saturday night with their aggression and their defence was exceptional to hold Manly.

"They have some improving to do against Penrith but I think they can do it."

Matt Moylan doesn't want to go: Merrin .
Penrith lock Trent Merrin has dismissed rumours an alleged rift between the playing group and injured skipper Matt Moylan will force him out of the club.The former NSW back-rower was adamant Moylan would be staying with the club at the foot of the Blue Mountains for the 2018 NRL season, despite reports Manly, Cronulla and Wests Tigers are interested in the playmaker.

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