Sport Fittler backs Cleary for the future

17:09  11 june  2018
17:09  11 june  2018 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

Pressure won't stop decade's youngest half

  Pressure won't stop decade's youngest half Nathan Cleary is set to become the youngest State of Origin half since Mitchell Pearce in 2008, but his story already looks different.Tasked with leading NSW into the next era of State of Origin football aged just 20, Cleary has already proved in two years of NRL action his youth doesn't worry him.

Cleary , along with Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook and Dragons back -rower Tariq Sims, is one of the few Blues whose future is up for debate in 2019. While Cook is tipped to extend his tenure with South Sydney in the lead-in to the Rabbitohs finals charge, Fittler backed Cleary 's cool head to

Cleary , along with Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook and Dragons back -rower Tariq Sims, is one of the few Blues whose future is up for debate in 2019. While Cook is tipped to extend his tenure with South Sydney in the lead-in to the Rabbitohs finals charge, Fittler backed Cleary 's cool head to

NSW coach Brad Fittler thinks Nathan Cleary should be the the Blues go-to halfback well into the future.

Speaking one-on-one with Blues legend Phil Gould on 100% Footy, Fittler heaped praise upon his young star. 

"He's risen to every challenge which is pretty amazing," Fittler said. 

"Given I've known him since he was a young bloke I didn't want to put too much expectation on him.

a man wearing a black shirt © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

"But between him and Jimmy they just nailed it, they nailed all the big moments.

Hatred not an Origin motivation: Walters

  Hatred not an Origin motivation: Walters It may be "mate against mate" once again in State of Origin but Queensland coach Kevin Walters reckons hatred is no longer a motivation in the series.It may be enough to make the late, great Arthur Beetson turn in his grave but Queensland coach Kevin Walters reckons hatred is no longer a motivating factor in Origin.

Fittler said Cleary 's combination at club level with James Maloney, the incumbent Blues five-eighth, could potentially give him the inside running. Fittler backs Maloney for halves spot.

Fittler suggested Cleary 's early-season form had him well in the frame to be picked. "He was mostly one of the blokes that was really putting his hand up for a position in the halves," Fittler said on the Nine Network on Sunday. "But you know he's going to work hard, you know he's going to come back

"I think everyone realised he was going to be the halfback for a long time."

Cleary was pivotal in leading the Blues around the park in Origin 1 with the 20-year-old’s kicking game and defence providing NSW a steady platform to play their best football.

The Penrith playmaker admitted that the speed of the match was definitely a defining feature of the game and that the moment was all consuming.

a person standing in front of a crowd: Joey speaks to Clearys following Origin I © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Joey speaks to Clearys following Origin I

“It was full on. It was like everything in footy had led to this moment, it was so overwhelming to run out to that crowd. The game was just non-stop but to come away with a win was a dream come true.”

Cleary said he struggled through periods of the game but knew if he handled himself in defence then good things would come.

“It felt like there was no end to that second half, but I didn’t want to let the boys down I had to defend I wasn’t doing too much in attack.

“Warming up in the sheds you didn’t know what it was going to be like but running out and seeing the crowd was unbelievable”


Roosters score big win over Panthers .
Roosters score big win over PanthersMitchell was stretchered from the ground on a medicab after he injured his neck in a Nathan Cleary tackle in the Sydney Roosters' clash with Penrith.

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