Panthers’ Cleary hit with five-game ban

Nathan Cleary is likely to miss Penrith’s remaining five games of the regular season after being charged by the NRL for his spear tackle on Parramatta’s Dylan Brown.

Cleary was sent off for the first time in his career in the first half of Friday’s 34-10 loss to the Eels and was handed a grade-three dangerous throw charge by the NRL’s match review committee on Saturday.

Similar tackles this year have resulted in four-game suspensions but owing to a previous charge in Penrith’s game with Brisbane earlier this year, Cleary is now facing a five-game spell on the sideline.


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In the unlikely event he fights the charge and then loses at the judiciary, Cleary would miss six games.

Penrith are unlikely to pursue such a course of action given they are already without five-eighth Jarome Luai with a knee injury.

Assuming he takes the early guilty plea, Cleary will return for week one of the finals and miss games against Canberra, Melbourne, South Sydney, the Warriors and North Queensland.

Cleary expressed regret on Friday night, posting on Instagram: “Massive apologies for tonight (Friday).

“(I’m) filthy at myself for such a dumb moment that let the boys and the fans down.

“I’m not about that, it was a terrible technique and I need to be better.”

© AAP 2022