Cleary out to soothe NRL grand final pain
The Panthers star has a nervous wait on Sunday after being placed on report in the first half of Saturday's 10-6 preliminary final triumph over Melbourne to learn if he can have a shot at redemption against South Sydney next weekend.
Cleary was cited for a lifting tackle on Storm forward Kenny Bromwich but was hopeful he wouldn't have to spend the early part of grand final week attempting to beat a charge.
"There's always a bit of stuff around that ... it's just another story I guess," Cleary said about his report.
"I'd rather not (face the judiciary) but we'll see."
Of more concern to Cleary is going one better than last year after the heartache of the 2020 grand final loss to the Storm.
With those rivals in their wake, more redemption awaits after the Panthers were upset by the Rabbitohs in the opening weekend of the finals in Townsville.
That defeat meant Penrith's route back to a decider has been the hard road, with gruelling clashes against Parramatta and the Storm taking a physical toll.
James Fisher-Harris (knee) and Tevita Pangai Jnr (knee) both picked up knocks against Melbourne, testing Penrith's forward depth with Moses Leota (calf) also pushing to be fit for Sunday's grand final.
"Especially after that Parra game last week, it was just such a bash up and there were a lot of people sore and sorry on the Monday morning," Cleary said.
"Just to get everyone on the field today was massive.
"Tevita will be fighting the clock next week. He'll probably get scans to see what it's like but I've got full faith in our medical team and the boys they'll do whatever they can to be on the field.
"Fish (Fisher-Harris) is Fish, he's one of the toughest guys out there and again he'll be doing everything he can to get on the field."
© AAP 2021
Image: Nathan Cleary/Flickr