Nathan Cleary’s reputation has taken a major whack and it’s time for the Panthers to give him a wake up call

BY CURTIS WOODWARD

@woodward_curtis

Does anyone else think young Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary is just one more bad move away from losing the rugby league crowd completely after being caught in his latest lie to the NRL?

When the rookie halfback came on the scene in 2016, the entire state of New South Wales rejoiced. We finally had a talent with his head screwed on straight. He was cool under pressure and wise beyond his years. This was a guy the Panthers and the Blues could build their empires around.

He speaks well.

Tells it like it is – just like his old man.

Nathan’s popularity took a hit with everyone but the Panthers when dad Ivan rolled back into Penrith from the Wests Tigers amid questionable dealings and a rather hasty exit from the black and gold bus Ivan was apparently driving around Concord.

All of a sudden, Nathan wasn’t just a rising prospect with the world at his feet.

He was the halfback in “daddy’s team”.

Opinions shift quickly in rugby league circles.

Now Cleary and teammate Tyrone May have been suspended for two games respectively and Cleary fined $30,000 for “untruthful” dealings with the NRL.

A few weeks back Nine News got their hands on images of Cleary rolling around on a lounge with a group of girls on Anzac Day.

The Blues pivot told Nine the girls were there for no more than ten minutes and he was very sorry for breaking COVID-19 isolation rules.

“I just want to apologise as a role model in the community, I know it’s not good enough,” Cleary said.

“They’re my sister’s friends, they were drinking down the road on the street, they came by and popped in and said they were just waiting for an Uber to someone else’s house.

“Obviously in the time that they were here, there was a photo taken.

“I had no idea about it until this morning. It would have been no longer than ten minutes. I shouldn’t have done it. I stuffed up.”

Nah, fair enough. Everybody makes mistakes. Thanks for the apology. Let’s move on.

Then a video surfaces of Cleary on another night dancing with a bunch of women on the TikTop app.

Really?

May was also fined $15,000 – adding to his current suspension for recording sexual intercourse without the woman’s consent.

What’s the old saying?

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas?

Nathan Cleary’s reputation is crumbling.

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He has now lied twice to the NRL and the public in a matter of days.

Coach Ivan has said his son will remain in the Panthers leadership group but this would have been the perfect time to give Nathan a little wake up call.

Take him out of the leadership group for a few months. Put him back in before the finals if Penrith make it that far.

Do anything other than what you’re actually doing which is nothing.

@woodward_curtis

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