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Sport Fittler backs Cleary for the future

17:09  11 june  2018
17:09  11 june  2018 Source:

Fittler: Cordner the only player I knew I was going to pick

  Fittler: Cordner the only player I knew I was going to pick New South Wales coach has revealed just one player was certain of a spot when he was appointed to the role back in November.New South Wales mentor Brad Fittler has confessed skipper Boyd Cordner was the only player certain of selection when he was appointed to the coaching role back in November.

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

None of the 11 were overawed, although Trbojevic and Nathan Cleary will long remember copping huge hits from opposing skipper Greg Inglis. "They are the future of our game and they nailed their first big opportunity," Fittler said.

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.

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.

Should he be back in time to face the Tigers, who are fittingly coached by his dad Ivan, it would give him two games before Fittler reads out his team for the May 6 Origin series opener. "I'll see how I go when I'm running but at this stage I'm aiming for round 11, that's a realistic goal," Cleary told AAP.

Fittler said Cleary 's ability to force his way into the NSW backline would depend on Maloney and their club combination. "I was out there watching them train the other day and they looked sharp," Fittler said at the launch of the Hogs for the Homeless charity motorcycle run which aims to raise 0,000.

"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”

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.

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