Matty Johns has lauded Nathan Cleary’s performance in Origin II as one of the best he has seen by a NSW playmaker, while Ivan Cleary wrapped Brad Fittler for keeping the faith.
Cleary came into Game II under immense pressure after the Blues’ shock series opening loss, but inspired NSW to a series levelling win in a man-of-the-match display.
“In my opinion it was the best performance of his football career,” Johns said on 1170 SEN’s Morning Glory with Matty Johns show.
Watch State of Origin II REPLAY on Kayo with no ad-breaks during play and Fox League Commentary. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly
Brilliant Blues flog Maroons
State of Origin: New South Wales bounced back from their game one loss against Queensland in resounding fashion, registering a dominant 34-10 victory in game two.
ORIGIN TEAM TIPS: Fittler hints at super sub role for Blues debutant hopeful
ULTIMATE GUIDE: Maroons host Women’s State of Origin for first time in blockbuster
TRANSFER WHISPERS: Manly target Tigers enforcer; Storm poach Bulldogs flyer
TRANSFER CENTRE: Bulldogs release speedster to Storm, Foxx stays in Melbourne
“In fact, I think it was one of the best performances I’ve seen from a Blues playmaker.”
Johns’ sentiments were echoed by Nathan’s father and Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, who was on hand to watch his son at ANZ Stadium.
“I’ve obviously watched him a lot over the years, his whole first grade career and now I coach him,” Cleary Senior said.
“He looked as in control last night as any game that I’ve ever watched him.
“To do it at that level and under those circumstances, I’m very proud of him.
MORE NRL NEWS
NEW LANDING SPOT: Ex-Souths star’s secret meeting with Tigers powerbrokers
‘PREPARING FOR SURGERY’: Cook’s Doctor stunned by ‘remarkable’ Origin heroics
‘GIVE US SOMETHING’: MG calls for striking rules to be relaxed for Origin
“We’re now looking forward for him to take that confidence up to Suncorp (in Game 3), which is going to be something else again next week.”
Cleary senior paid tribute to the faith Blues coach Brad Fittler showed in the early stages of Nathan’s Origin career that led to his breakout performance for the Blues in Game II.
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now >
“It was the most he has ever been under pressure easily and Freddy has got to get a big wrap because originally three years ago when Freddy took over the first thing he had to do was change the culture of the team,” Cleary said.
Nathan Cleary and Cody Walker combined brilliantly in Game II.Source:Getty Images
“He brought in all those new guys and Nathan was one of those where it was clear he wasn’t going to be the finished product for a long time and yet Freddy has been absolutely rock solid with him.
“I think it is good for Freddy to see the way Nathan played that the plan he put in place because he put Nathan in there not so much because he was going to be an Origin playmaker straight away.
“But he just did stuff that fit in with the culture and he makes his tackles and competes and all that sort of stuff and now you are starting to see the fruits of that loyalty.”
Originally published asMatty Johns: Nathan Cleary played one of the best Origin games I’ve ever seen
Source: Read Full Article