“Oh My God”: Ban seeks out Cleary after being sent off for a “horrible” tackle

Panthers superstar Nathan Cleary faces an almost certain stint on the sidelines after being sent off in an impressive start to his side’s clash with the Eels on Friday.

With the Eels trailing 12-4, 18 minutes into the game, Cleary threw five-eighth Dylan Brown into an ugly tackle.

Cleary wrapped one arm around Brown’s waist and the other around one leg as he lifted him past the horizontal.

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“Oh, my God, there’s a problem,” Fox League commentator Dan Ginnane said.

“This is Dylan Brown flipped like a tortilla.

“This is a horrible attack … thank God Brown is OK.”

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Cleary immediately shook his head after the tackle and CommBank Stadium erupted in boos as he addressed referee Todd Smith.

“Your hands are between his legs, you knocked him to the ground; you’re out,” Smith said as he pointed to the cutlery.

The boos from the Eels fans quickly turned to applause as one of the biggest names in the game, and Penrith’s most important player, was ordered off the field.

“Can you believe it? Nathan Cleary walked off the CommBank Stadium,” Ginnane said.

“These replays aren’t any prettier.”


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Shane Flanagan pointed out that Cleary’s hands between Brown’s legs is a “definitive no”.

Meanwhile, Panthers legend Greg Alexander acknowledged the ejection was the right call.

“I think the referees’ hands were tied. It was a spear strike, the guy ended up in the head,” he said.

“The ref said the hands between the legs, which they were, are the indicators the refs are looking for, so I think the ref had no choice but to send Nathan off.”

The Eels immediately took advantage of the Panthers down a man and ran in three tries before half-time, including a double to Reed Mahoney and a last-gasp try in the 77th minute.

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Cleary faces a nervous wait for the charge sheet to go down on Saturday morning, but based on preference, he could face a four-week ban.

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Manly’s Karl Lawton was suspended for four weeks in May after pleading guilty early to a charge of third-degree dangerous throwing.

Lawton’s clash was Rabbitohs skipper Cameron Murray in Round 8.

“The priority has been set this year and we’ve seen a few very similar entries,” Alexander said.

If Cleary’s assault is considered a 1st degree, he can get away with a $1,000 fine with an early guilty plea if it’s his first offense or a $2,500 fine if it’s his second offense.

But it is more likely to cover a second or third degree charge. They have a two match or four match penalty with early guilty plea respectively if it is their first offence, or a four match or five match penalty with early guilty plea if it is their second offence.


First offense

Grade 1: $1,500 ($1,000)

2nd grade: three sets (two sets)

3rd grade: five games (four games)

Second offense

Tier 1: Two sets ($2,500)

2nd grade: four sets (three sets)

3rd grade: six games (five games)

*(means early guilty plea)

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