Nathan Cleary's sister 'banned' in furore surrounding NRL grand final

Nathan Cleary, pictured here with sister Indi.
Nathan Cleary has joked that sister Indi is banned from getting near the NRL trophy. Images: Indi Cleary/Instagram

Nathan Cleary has joked that sister Indi is 'banned' from going anywhere near the premiership trophy if the Panthers manage to win the NRL grand final on Sunday night.

The Panthers were handed a number of breach notices over their celebrations after winning the premiership in 2021, with NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said to have been particularly upset that the Provan-Summons trophy was damaged.

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Photos of the broken trophy did the rounds on social media after the grand final last year, with the NRL demanding a please explain from the Panthers.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph in an interview published on Friday, Cleary appeared to implicate Indi as the culprit who left the iconic trophy in a number of pieces.

The publication reported that Indi was “in the vicinity” when the trophy was knocked off a table next to a dance floor.

Cleary joked: “She is banned if we win it (this year)".

League bosses were also unhappy with the 'disrespect' shown to the iconic trophy last year - which bares the likeness of late legends Norm Provan and Arthur Summons.

Photos on social media appeared to show the trophy being carried around in a baby carrier and pram.

The NRL later fined Cleary $7000 and teammate Stephen Crichton $4000 for treating the Provan-Summons premiership trophy "in a manner which showed disrespect towards the individuals depicted in the iconic moment memorialised on the trophy".

The controversy came not long after Provan's death, while Summons died in 2020.

Nathan Cleary to unleash kicking game in NRL grand final

Cleary has long held one of the most precise kicking games in the NRL, but "the floater" or "the torpedo" is his latest weapon of choice to inflict misery on opposition players.

Waqa Blake had an absolute nightmare when the Eels met Penrith in week one of the finals under the threat of the halfback's favourite trick play.

Immortal Andrew Johns has previously described it "as the hardest kick to do".

Like the traditional up-and-under, Cleary wants height but the difference is he will aim to make the ball deviate in the air.

It means a winger can get into position to anticipate the landing point of the kick only for the ball to veer at the last moment.

Both Blake and South Sydney winger Taane Milne were left red-faced by Cleary as the halfback sent the Steeden swirling through the sky in Penrith's two finals wins.

Nathan Cleary, pictured here speaking to the media alongside Panthers coach and father Ivan.
Nathan Cleary speaks to the media alongside Panthers coach and father Ivan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

"You try and hold the ball on the side and I like to drop the ball so it's flat, horizontal," Cleary told AAP.

"Then I kick through the belly and hopefully it gets some float.

"If it doesn't (I hope) it starts to spiral a little bit."

When he opts to go to that section of his arsenal depends on his field position.

"A lot of it comes down to the feel of the play and when to do it in the game," he said.

"It's a little bit of a muscle memory thing.

"Benny Harden is our sort of last-plays coach and I bounce a few ideas off him and the rest of the coaching staff.

"(Penrith fullback) Dylan Edwards is very good (at catching them), he's the best at the club and the hardest to get.

"There are on and off days for them (back three players) and there's a bit of chirp behind it too."

with AAP

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