It could be a case of one too many Nathans when it comes to Newcastle coach Nathan Brown saying that Nathan Cleary does not stand to benefit from talk of Cleary becoming the long-term solution to the position of halfback for NSW at Origin level, but Brown was quick to praise the youngster’s recent performance for Penrith against Sydney on Monday night.
That sort of talk can lead to unrealistic expectations and burdens being placed on a young player when it should be obvious that one good outing indicates nothing other than potential.
Just 18, Cleary should be given time to grow into the role and Brown was quick to temper his remarks with a bit of realism.
When asked directly if Cleary could be the long-term number seven the Blues have sought, Brown was a little more circumspect. “There has been a lot of NSW halfbacks that have been found over the years and found too early and too young,” Brown said.
Cleary does have time on his side and using that time wisely to gain the experience to deal with the enormous pressure of Origin would serve him well and there is really no better place to gain that sort of experience than playing in the NRL.