Panthers 'awful, inept, extremely disappointing' against Storm, says Ivan Cleary


    Ivan Cleary may have changed his stripes, but there’ll be no changing his focus ahead of his anticipated first match against the Wests Tigers next week. And the Penrith coach will need to block out as much of the build-up as possible as he tries to pick up the pieces from Saturday’s 32-2 drubbing by Melbourne.

    Cleary described the Panthers’ second-half performance in Bathurst as “awful”, “inept”, and “extremely disappointing”.

    His team failed to cross the stripe despite having 30 looks at the Storm line inside the opening 30 minutes on Saturday night, compared to the Storm’s none.

    Then the Panthers conceded four unanswered tries in the second half to leave Cleary with just one unconvincing win from their opening three games.

    Cleary was not discouraged by his team’s inability to find the stripe, but took serious issue with their lack of fight when the Storm took a two-try advantage.

    “The game changed around the 46th minute mark when (Melbourne) scored again. I thought our boys really failed to deal with that,” Cleary said. I think we completed four sets for the rest of the game or something. Just all parts of our game I thought were just inept."

    Not the kind of adjectives Penrith fans were expecting after the drawn-out drama that resulted in Cleary jumping off the Tigers’ bus late last year.

    Almost six months to the day Cleary officially rejoined the Panthers, his men are a shadow of the team widely tipped to contend for the premiership this year.

    NSW Origin halves pairing James Maloney and Nathan Cleary barely fired a shot against the Storm, while fullback Dylan Edwards made six errors.

    And if the pressure hasn’t ramped up already, the Tigers side Cleary abandoned are flying at the top of the table with two wins from as many games.

    They’re expected to make it three from three against Canterbury on Sunday.

    “(The Tigers are) going pretty well but for us, we’ve got to focus mainly on what we can deliver and across the 80 minutes it needs to be a lot better,” Cleary said.

    He denied the likely attention the match-up will receive would be a distraction, especially after their humbling at the hands of the Storm. The only saving grace will be that the game is being played at Panthers Stadium.

    “It’s not going to worry me,” Cleary said.

    When pressed further on what the face-off would mean to him, Cleary bristled before ending his post-game press conference.

    “How many times? You’ve asked the question enough. Seriously,” he said.

    Told the issue would be discussed all week, he said: 'Good. I look forward to it."

  • Can Ivan Cleary coach talented players or is he better at coaching scrapers like the Tigers and the Penrith team in 2012 2013 2014 before he was sacked in 2015 for not getting the results because i dont think he is capable of getting the attack going for Penrith this year without Phil Goulds help

  • I’m hoping to make an observation about Ivan Cleary, to Ivan Cleary, next Friday

  • Biggest myth coaching.
    His ego thought he was too good to be coaching us.

    Love seeing him lose. Penrith have become the new Manly. A team I love to hate.

  • ForumSupporter

    Could not care less about Voldemort…

    A pox on him his Club

  • Could not agree more with Geo amd
    OP… looks like we dodged a bullet

  • Penriths 3 games with scores 12/20 loss 14/12 win and tonight massacre suggest they have next to no attack and very bad defense. I wonder if Cleary would like to turn back the clock.

  • Yes

    I think Nathan wants to come play at the WT’s without his dad

    Early days but Dad coaching Son isn’t the dream they thought it would be

  • I enjoyed every second of the game tonight seeing them get taken to pieces by the Storm.
    Gus thinks Ivan is looking tired and thinking about giving him a season or two off to recover.

  • I almost felt bad for Ivan watching Penrith getting demolished… almost

  • god I hope we stick the boot in next week

  • My pre season tip was Penrith to miss the 8, looking good so far.
    I thought everyone was rating them way too high.
    They’ve got one play, flat ball to Kikau running a line.
    Other than that it’s a Cleary bomb and hope for a fumble.

  • I hope we stick the boot in next week and then stick the kitchen sink in when we play them in Brisbane

  • That would make my weekend. If they just keep playing like they have been we’ll pick them apart like the Storm have done tonight.

  • I don’t know what it is with Ivan, I don’t know if his game plan while he was coaching us was to save the forwards for defence and that’s why our forwards were doing nothing in attack but this year our forwards seem to be attacking well. Or maybe he’s just really bad at coaching attack.

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