Sport Ivan Cleary: 'I can't believe Nathan is coming back this week, not looking forward to game'

03:20  15 may  2018
03:20  15 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Ivan cleary is uncomfortable taking on nathan . "Yes (it will be unnerving)," Cleary told NRL360 . " I 've only done it once so I can only draw from that experience. "When the draw comes out, you're not really looking forward to that week .

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Ivan Cleary looking at the camera© Provided by Sportal com au

Father vs son in the NRL.

It's an odd situation for Ivan and Nathan Cleary who will go head-to-head this week as the Penrith Panthers take on the Wests Tigers on Thursday night at Panthers Stadium.

The son and player, Nathan, will make his return from a knee injury he sustained against the Bulldogs in round three, and the father and coach, Ivan, doesn't really know how to feel about it.

The man at the helm of the resurgent Wests Tigers has revealed he certainly isn't looking forward to taking on his 20-year-old son, especially with the latter's return from his first serious professional football injury.

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IVAN CLEARY IS UNCOMFORTABLE TAKING ON NATHAN

"Yes (it will be unnerving)," Cleary told NRL360.

"I've only done it once so I can only draw from that experience.

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You won' t start looking forward to it until some time in the future. Rather odd. " we are looking forward to have a meeting with you next week to discuss on the arising matters as per tentative below

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"When the draw comes out, you're not really looking forward to that week.

"My wife, Nathan's mother she struggles with it, she doesn't even know where to sit this week.

"We have a bit of fun with it because you've got to.

"Straight away (you go back to being the father after the match finishes)."

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN FATHER AND SON WENT HEAD-TO-HEAD THE FIRST TIME?

Round 22, 2017. The Wests Tigers are struggling through the season with Cleary taking over from Jason Taylor very early on.

The Panthers sat just inside the eight and ended up running away with the victory 28-14, as Nathan starred.

"It's the only game I haven't watched him. Every game he plays I watch him like any other father," Cleary said.

"In that game, you're watching your own team, and then he flashes into the game.

"He had a kick from the sideline, the game stopped and it really occurred to me.

"The ball sailed through, which I knew it would, and it pretty much ensured a Penrith victory.

"On one hand, you're unhappy, but you're happy for him because he's kicked that goal."

DAD ON SON'S EARLIER THAN EXPECTED RETURN FROM INJURY

"I can't believe he's coming back this week," Cleary said.

"The irony is unbelievable.

"When he got injured, I felt awful for him, but I did check the draw and thought we might miss out.

"He's worked extremely hard to get back, and they've got a very good medical staff out there at the Panthers."

Panthers jump to Maloney's NRL defence .
Penrith star James Maloney has missed 24 more tackles than any other player in the NRL this year but his club coach believes he is still worthy of a NSW spot. Griffin did admit the 31-year-old Maloney had been responsible for some tries the team had conceded over the opening 10 rounds, but was impressed with Thursday's win over Wests Tigers.Maloney missed just the one tackle for the match as the Panthers kept the visitors tryless."He's obviously been involved in a few tries that we've let in so far this year but as you seen tonight, we worked really hard on our defence and he's worked hard on his defence," Griffin said.

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