World News – AU – Phil Gould reveals sad truth about Grand Final loss in phone call with Blues halfback Nathan Cleary


A 40-year first for State of Origin made some players’ jobs even harder with Phil Gould delivering a brutal truth to Nathan Cleary

State of Origin: Jo Healy & Warren Smith Explain Everything You Need To Know Before State of Origin Game 1 Tonight

Phil Gould was part of the deal that locked Cleary until 2024 at the PanthersSource: AAP

The first State of Origin series contested after the end of a season will put Penrith Panthers half-back Nathan Cleary back in the heat of the moment just 10 days after a 26-20 loss to the Melbourne Storm

Despite a 17-game winning streak in the Grand Final, only five Panthers have been selected for the 27-man squads between the Blues and Maroons, with Cleary the only one of the four selected for the Blues to make it to the pitch

Watch State of Origin I REPLAY on Kayo – available 30 minutes after full time, with no commercials during play and Fox League commentary New to Kayo? Get your 14 day free trial & starts broadcasting instantly

News broke on Wednesday afternoon that Kurt Capewell would be making his Queensland squad debut

But the big question of the night is whether the demons of a recent Grand Final loss will overwhelm Cleary

Still hurt by the loss, Cleary blamed himself for the loss, but admitted a cut pass he would ‘do again’ when asked about a pass intercepted by Suliasi Vunivalu for a long-range try

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Fresh from the game, Cleary said: « I felt I let the boys down a bit », admitting he blamed himself for the loss

But former Panthers football general manager Phil Gould told his Six Tackles With Gus podcast earlier in the week that he had spoken to Cleary since the loss with Gould admitting it would be a feeling that ‘he would never quite recover

« I had a conversation with Nathan Cleary just days after the grand finale, » Gould said

« I gave him time to breathe, I just rang the bell just to see how he was. He said, ‘This goes through my head all the time » I said, « Don’t worry… I lost a grand final 40 years ago and it still goes through my mind ”

« You won’t forget People say you will forget, you won’t forget You will never forget it, so don’t think that there will be a day when you forget it, you will remember it for the rest of your life; So get used to it, get over it and go out and start again ”

« He said, » I’ll be ready I’ll be fit and ready to go « So physically he felt good and just had to mentally get up after the disappointment

« There will be others out there that are on a high note, of course, because you have Melbourne Storm (who) won the game and there are players in this Origin as well »

The brutal element of the moment is that it is only 10 days after the defeat in the Grand Final that half of the Panthers must get up from the canvas to start again

Earlier in the week, Blues assistant coach and Panthers legend Greg Alexander called a suggestion that Cleary was not ready for battle « ridiculous »

« Nathan didn’t win the Dally M, but I thought Nathan was Player of the Season and was in Penrith’s top two players in pretty much every game this year, » Alexander told Wide 2GB World of Sports Radio

« If there’s a young man who’s mentally tough it’s Nathan Cleary. You can see it in the way he plays the game

« Although disappointed with the loss of the Grand Final, we jumped to conclusions that he had scandalous mental scars, I think »

Alexander reiterated his comments on Fox League pre-game coverage of State of Origin opener

« Are we saying Luke Keary shouldn’t be in this game because he was calm against the Canberra Raiders? I just thought of that statement about Nathan Cleary, for a young player who was absolutely brilliant this year they have an offside game and get beaten in the grand final and suddenly they shouldn’t be playing Origin He’s going to handle it well We’ll see how he does over the next 80 minutes but I am convinced that he will play hard « 

And that could be something to get used to, with the NRL admitting they have yet to decide if the end-of-season experience will continue

While the debate has been fierce, Origin’s great Chris Close called on the game to stay at the end of the year

« We have to think about what the fans want, and I think the fans, and the players, want a standalone State of Origin series, » Close told Wide World of Sports

« We cannot do this in the middle of the season, because of the disruption it would cause

Channel 9 owns the official broadcast rights to the exciting State of Origin series, viewers can also tune in through 9Now

A replay of the game will be available on Kayo 30 minutes after the end of the game without commercial breaks

Because the series opener is in Adelaide, the stands will have fans in them to cheer on the contest

Stands will be capped at half their capacity, meaning that around 27,750 fans could fill the stands and improve the broadcast with their voices

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Penrith Panthers, Nathan Cleary, Phil Gould, Grand Final, National Rugby League, State of Origin series, Melbourne Storm

World News – AU – Phil Gould reveals the sad truth about the defeat of the Grand Final in a phone call with half-blues Nathan Cleary
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Phil Gould reveals sad truth about losing Grand Final in phone call with Blues half-back Nathan Cleary


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