An hour before the biggest game of his second term with the Panthers, Ivan Cleary announced that his team would take on the Rabbitohs.
Brent Naden was no longer his right-wing center, came Tyrone May.
It might be viewed as a game of chance by some, a big game of chance considering what stage it was on.
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It seemed like a risk changing the center you used up until round 8 for a player used sparingly and mostly by the bench in 2020.But it paid off when May saw the full 80 minutes and Naden didn’t come on the field.
In his post-game press conference, Cleary revealed the thought process behind his bold position switch.
Panthers press conference
“It was twofold,” Cleary explained.
“Tyrone played a bit in the center out of necessity this year. We had Dean Whare and Brian To’o together at one point, which meant Tyrone played in the middle for a while.
“I thought when he played on the right it was probably our best defensive combination.
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“I thought that was important at the beginning of the game as it turned out he stayed there for the whole game.
“That wasn’t exactly the plan, and he also has another ball game option, so we’re confusing that with the attack.”
Cleary said he needs to consider what changes he will make next week for the big final battle with the storm.
Mai, Naden, or whoever he throws in there will come across one of the strongest edges in the competition – Josh Addo-Carr, Justin Olam, Kenny Bromwich and Cameron Munster.
What will Penrith change?
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“You have to take risks, you have to do what you see right,” he said.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while (this switch). Nado was unlucky tonight because he had a great season. We’ll see what happens next week. ”
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