The thing is, he was Jeff Robson 2. The problem for that prediction was that he was comparing a teenager with a bloke who had played over 170 NRL games. If you're that good at 19 you'll probably be great at 24. Yong players improve, and the younger they are the more improvement they generally have in them.
Typical Pou statement, almost sounds right but is totally wrong.
Whoever compared Cleary to Robson back then was a goose and had no idea. When judging those two one could see the difference in the overall pedigree, stature, poise, calm assurity and cool head control that Cleary carried himself with from the very start.
Robson on the other hand within a handful of 1st grade games you could see all his strengths and weaknesses and never felt that he would be anything else other then a average playmaker even after 170 NRL games.
Also some players are average Robson type players when the debut and never really improve all that much really other then if they stick around long enough become a little more consistent and NRL savvy that affords them to look equal or better then their younger opponents who are still coming to grips with the NRL. Just like Robson did.
Cleary was and always looked like an ice cold and calculating half that just needed time and patience to get his game to the next level. Many of us could see this, but many of us could not as well and kept putting the boot in for their own reasons. Typical sports fan stuff really.
You though pou, weren't putting the boot in, you genuinely don't have a clue.
Stop relying so much on your stats and analysis and watch the game and player and get a feel for what is happening. Then add the stats mate. You might then get it right a little more often.