Australia

‘Groundhog Day’: Cleary kicks Rabbitohs’ blocker concerns into touch


Ivan Cleary has torpedoed South Sydney’s claims Penrith are utilizing unlawful blockers to protect halfback Nathan Cleary, assured the star No. 7 can deal with the “target on his back” and kick his aspect into one other grand ultimate.

There are considerations at Redfern over recommendations Penrith gamers are loitering within the ruck to intentionally guard Cleary from kick-chasers, and there have been requires referee Ashley Klein to intervene ought to the Panthers make use of the tactic throughout a preliminary ultimate at Accor Stadium on Saturday night time.

There have been related complaints from the Rabbitohs this time final yr. Then-Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett accused the Panthers of practising illegal blocks to protect Cleary at training because the rivalry between the 2 golf equipment reached tipping level earlier than they met in a grand ultimate.

But Cleary snr shut down claims his aspect bends the principles to realize an unfair benefit

“It sounds like Groundhog Day. It’s exactly the same as what happened last year,” Cleary stated on Thursday. “What I do know is that Ashley Klein is a very experienced referee who will ref the game how he sees it. It’s part of the game. We haven’t been penalised [for illegal blockers] this year, I don’t think. We’re doing alright.

“[Cleary] has got a target on his back every week. I don’t know how many games he’s played, 140 or something like that, so he knows what to do.”

Nathan Cleary’s kicking recreation is on the centre of South Sydney’s considerations.Credit:Getty

An NRL doc outlining referee interpretations reads: “Attacking players who loiter in and around the play the ball to block the path of defenders are to be penalised for the obstruction if, in the opinion of the referee or video referee, these players are deemed to in any way obstruct defenders”.

Panthers forwards James Fisher-Harris, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin will act as Cleary’s bodyguards as Rabbitohs gamers vow to heap strain on the halfback or threat being kicked to demise in like Parramatta have been throughout week one of many finals collection.



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