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2024 World Club Challenge

Messages
3,215
Manchester: First it was Manchester City, now Nathan Cleary has tapped into crosstown rivals Manchester United as he insists he won’t “close many doors” when it comes to deciding where he finishes his career.

Only a couple of days after having the blue carpet rolled out at one of the richest clubs in the world, Nathan and dad Ivan were given VIP access at United’s Carrington training base in greater Manchester.

The pair watched the first team train, with Nathan introduced to the playing squad while Ivan briefly met United manager Erik ten Hag and then spent significant time swapping notes with the Dutchman’s assistant and former England manager Steve McClaren.

For Nathan, a lifelong United fan, the experience was priceless. But for his club, pictures and videos of the Clearys being promoted on United’s social media channels was almost worth the trip alone.

Manchester United’s global fan base is so vast they have enormous reach on Facebook (83 million followers), Instagram (63 million) and X (37 million). The father-son rugby league duo took centre stage on their social media channels for a few hours.

The Panthers’ combined audience across the three social media platforms is just shy of 800,000.

Lifelong United fan Nathan Cleary meets Red Devils captain Bruno Fernandes.

Ivan Cleary said in the lead-up to the World Club Challenge showdown with Wigan on Sunday morning (AEDT) he has started digging deeper into some of world sport’s most successful dynasties, including United in the Alex Ferguson era, as Penrith begin a quest for four straight NRL titles.
But he has also considered a day when he’s not coaching Nathan, with the 26-year-old halfback acknowledging he is open-minded about where he will finish his career.

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Cleary has previously said rugby union’s global nature appealed to him, and he wouldn’t completely rule out considering a switch to the 15-man game well down the track.

He remains contracted to the Panthers alongside father and coach Ivan until the end of 2027 and said he is more than content in Sydney’s west at the moment.

“I’m not good at looking ahead,” Cleary told this masthead. “I’m a terrible planner and I try to stay focused and present in the moment.
“I’m also someone that wouldn’t close off many doors. I want to keep options open and experience different things, but at the moment I’m really happy at the club I’m at and the people I’m around. I don’t see why I’d change it now.”

Cleary has shaken off a knee injury he sustained in the miraculous grand final comeback – “I don’t think the alcohol helped afterwards” – to resume full training just before Christmas and has had an eye on adding a missing trophy to the Panthers’ collection ever since.
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Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher (far left) and captain Bruno Fernandes (far left) Ivan and Nathan Cleary.

Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher (far left) and captain Bruno Fernandes (far left) Ivan and Nathan Cleary.

Told of his dance with greatness on his current trajectory, Cleary said: “I just want to get the best out of myself. When it gets to the end of my career, I want to say I gave myself every opportunity to maximise my potential.
“That doesn’t stop after a bit of success. You’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to keep getting better. I still believe I’ve got a lot of improvement. That drives me.

"It’s something special being a part of this group. A lot of my best mates are in this team and you want to achieve success with them. That just comes from working hard.”

The Panthers will be without back-rower Scott Sorensen for the showdown with Wigan at the DW Stadium as he failed to bounce back from a leg injury. Luke Garner has been promoted to the starting side.

Andrew Webster

Andrew Webster

Chief Sports Writer
Matt Eisenhuth has been added to the bench alongside Tyrone Peachey, Lindsay Smith and Liam Henry with Taylan May named to start in the centres for his first match in a year after rupturing his ACL in last year’s World Club Challenge.
 
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blue bags

First Grade
Messages
7,936
Manchester: First it was Manchester City, now Nathan Cleary has tapped into crosstown rivals Manchester United as he insists he won’t “close many doors” when it comes to deciding where he finishes his career.

Only a couple of days after having the blue carpet rolled out at one of the richest clubs in the world, Nathan and dad Ivan were given VIP access at United’s Carrington training base in greater Manchester.

The pair watched the first team train, with Nathan introduced to the playing squad while Ivan briefly met United manager Erik ten Hag and then spent significant time swapping notes with the Dutchman’s assistant and former England manager Steve McClaren.

For Nathan, a lifelong United fan, the experience was priceless. But for his club, pictures and videos of the Clearys being promoted on United’s social media channels was almost worth the trip alone.

Manchester United’s global fan base is so vast they have enormous reach on Facebook (83 million followers), Instagram (63 million) and X (37 million). The father-son rugby league duo took centre stage on their social media channels for a few hours.

The Panthers’ combined audience across the three social media platforms is just shy of 800,000.

Lifelong United fan Nathan Cleary meets Red Devils captain Bruno Fernandes.

Ivan Cleary said in the lead-up to the World Club Challenge showdown with Wigan on Sunday morning (AEDT) he has started digging deeper into some of world sport’s most successful dynasties, including United in the Alex Ferguson era, as Penrith begin a quest for four straight NRL titles.
But he has also considered a day when he’s not coaching Nathan, with the 26-year-old halfback acknowledging he is open-minded about where he will finish his career.

Advertisement

Cleary has previously said rugby union’s global nature appealed to him, and he wouldn’t completely rule out considering a switch to the 15-man game well down the track.

He remains contracted to the Panthers alongside father and coach Ivan until the end of 2027 and said he is more than content in Sydney’s west at the moment.

“I’m not good at looking ahead,” Cleary told this masthead. “I’m a terrible planner and I try to stay focused and present in the moment.
“I’m also someone that wouldn’t close off many doors. I want to keep options open and experience different things, but at the moment I’m really happy at the club I’m at and the people I’m around. I don’t see why I’d change it now.”

Cleary has shaken off a knee injury he sustained in the miraculous grand final comeback – “I don’t think the alcohol helped afterwards” – to resume full training just before Christmas and has had an eye on adding a missing trophy to the Panthers’ collection ever since.
Advertisement

Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher (far left) and captain Bruno Fernandes (far left) Ivan and Nathan Cleary.

Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher (far left) and captain Bruno Fernandes (far left) Ivan and Nathan Cleary.

Told of his dance with greatness on his current trajectory, Cleary said: “I just want to get the best out of myself. When it gets to the end of my career, I want to say I gave myself every opportunity to maximise my potential.
“That doesn’t stop after a bit of success. You’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to keep getting better. I still believe I’ve got a lot of improvement. That drives me.

"It’s something special being a part of this group. A lot of my best mates are in this team and you want to achieve success with them. That just comes from working hard.”

The Panthers will be without back-rower Scott Sorensen for the showdown with Wigan at the DW Stadium as he failed to bounce back from a leg injury. Luke Garner has been promoted to the starting side.

Andrew Webster

Andrew Webster

Chief Sports Writer
Matt Eisenhuth has been added to the bench alongside Tyrone Peachey, Lindsay Smith and Liam Henry with Taylan May named to start in the centres for his first match in a year after rupturing his ACL in last year’s World Club Challenge.
Some hints on the radio
That he has been tempted by England. Super league. Offers. For the future 😉
 
Messages
99
Along with a bit of overconfidence and Ashley Klien’s propensity to forget about the 10 meter and ruck rules on rainy nights
Ashley Klein hates the Panthers and our record under him is atrocious.
When he first started here from the Super League he stated that he grew up in Parramatta. If that's true it explains a lot....
 

murraymob

Coach
Messages
10,080
We
Ashley Klein hates the Panthers and our record under him is atrocious.
When he first started here from the Super League he stated that he grew up in Parramatta. If that's true it explains a lot....
score more points the ref does not count.Play a high tempo game we should win
 
Messages
99
We

score more points the ref does not count.Play a high tempo game we should win
True that.
But on Klein refereeing Panthers, how many times does he send tries up "no try" to be overturned by the bunker.
How many captains challenges are successful against his bias decisions.
And at least one penalty try awarded against us by him per year from the bunker.
Total cheat and it was only the fact there was no controversy in the first half of the 2022 GF that it looked like he went ok.

I'd be happy if he never refereed a Panthers game again.
 

Fangs

Coach
Messages
11,450
Let's see some stats.

All refs are biased they are human. I'd like to see win/loss record, penalty/set restart count, try scoring decisions and also whether it's a home or away game.
 

snickers007

Juniors
Messages
1,473
True that.
But on Klein refereeing Panthers, how many times does he send tries up "no try" to be overturned by the bunker.
How many captains challenges are successful against his bias decisions.
And at least one penalty try awarded against us by him per year from the bunker.
Total cheat and it was only the fact there was no controversy in the first half of the 2022 GF that it looked like he went ok.

I'd be happy if he never refereed a Panthers game again.

According to the Rugby League Project we've lost 3 out of 16 games under Klein in the last 4 years.

18-19 against the Sharks in 2021 when we were Origin depleted.

10-37 against the Storm in 2021 without Cleary, To'o, JFH and Yeo

16-17 against the Eels in 2023 in Golden Point.


Across those 3 losing games, we only lost the penalty count once and we had faster average play the balls in all 3. We did however make more handling errors in all 3 games.

Seems pretty on trend to me. 80%+ win rate. Lose due to poor ball control and key players missing.
 

Fangs

Coach
Messages
11,450
According to the Rugby League Project we've lost 3 out of 16 games under Klein in the last 4 years.

18-19 against the Sharks in 2021 when we were Origin depleted.

10-37 against the Storm in 2021 without Cleary, To'o, JFH and Yeo

16-17 against the Eels in 2023 in Golden Point.


Across those 3 losing games, we only lost the penalty count once and we had faster average play the balls in all 3. We did however make more handling errors in all 3 games.

Seems pretty on trend to me. 80%+ win rate. Lose due to poor ball control and key players missing.

With our win rate we probably look alright with every ref.

We'd need to drill down to games 2009-2019 since he has been reffing.
 

Luke Bowden

First Grade
Messages
6,913
Has Garner ever played 80 mins? Coverage is going to be needed for an edge
I’m not sure. Peach can play on an edge if required I guess.

Personally I would have picked Mav. Maybe they are waiting to see how Henry is game day. Sounds like he’s been crook
 

Iamback

Coach
Messages
17,223
I’m not sure. Peach can play on an edge if required I guess.

Personally I would have picked Mav. Maybe they are waiting to see how Henry is game day. Sounds like he’s been crook

That is what I think the change is. Mav for Henry or Eiso depending on Henry's health.

That allows a change to give Garner a spell, He can play middle also if Ivan wants to strengthen that area too
 

Fangs

Coach
Messages
11,450
Before our current golden run, we were down to about a 25% win rate under Klein but were in the 45 - 65 range with other referees. His figures were atrocious but only when he refereed us.

I'll have a look into that sometime.

EDIT: Wasn't hard to find its on Rugby League Project. 23% win rate from 2009-2019. So that's 7/31 wins.
 
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