Nathan Cleary's staggering act after 'horrific' tackle: 'Dumb moment'

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·Sports Reporter
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NRL player Nathan Cleary (pictured right) looking frustrated after a send-off and (pictured left) Cleary tackling Dylan Brown.
Panthers star Nathan Cleary (pictured right) has apologised for his tackle on Dylan Brown (pictured left) which earned him a send off in the NRL game against the Eels. (Images: Channel Nine)

Panthers star Nathan Cleary has taken to social media to apologise for his 'disgraceful' spear tackle against the Eels on Friday night that earned him a send off and a five-week suspension.

Cleary left the NRL in shock after a horrible lifting tackle Eels playmaker Dylan Brown left his rival in pain on the ground.

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Brown came crashing down on his neck and shoulders, which prompted Cleary to immediately apologise as players came rushing in.

“Oh my goodness there is a problem,” Fox Sports commentator Dan Ginnane said.

“That’s Dylan Brown that was flipped over like an omelette.

“That is a horrible tackle... thank goodness Brown is OK.”

Brown was fortunately uninjured, however, it didn't save the halfback who was sent to the sheds.

Cleary, whose hopes of winning the Dally M Medal are now over, expressed regret on Friday night.

The NSW halfback copped heavy criticism from the NRL world after the horror tackle and the 24-year-old was quick to recognise his mistake post-game.

"Massive apologies for tonight (Friday)," he posted on Instagram.

"(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."

Brown admitted after the game he didn't think there as any malice or intent from Cleary in the tackle.

Nathan Cleary handed five game suspension after tackle

On Saturday morning, Cleary was handed a grade-three dangerous throw charge by the NRL's match review committee.

Similar tackles this year have resulted in four-game bans but owing to a previous charge in Penrith's game with Brisbane earlier this year Cleary is facing a five-game spell.

If he takes the early guilty plea - a course of action which is likely for the Panthers, who are already without five-eighth Jarome Luai for the next month due to a knee injury - he would return for week one of the finals.

Cleary will miss Penrith's five remaining regular season games against Canberra, Melbourne, South Sydney, the Warriors and North Queensland as they aim to wrap up the minor premiership.

Dylan Brown (pictured on the ground) recovers after a spear tackle from Nathan Cleary.
Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary has copped a five-week suspension for his tackle on Dylan Brown during the match against the Eels. (Photo by Joshua Davis/Getty Images)

He was the first Panthers player to be dismissed in an NRL game since Travis Burns in 2012.

"I think all the boys know if they've been in that position they would feel the same," said Ivan.

"I don't think he meant to do it. He's done a fair bit for our team over the years.

"I know Nat pretty well and this will fuel his fire for later."

Regardless, the NRL world was quick to react to the horror tackle.

Panthers legend and Fox Sports commentator Greg Alexander was one that had no issue with the send-off.

with AAP

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