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Penrith Panthers’ $1.1m Nathan Cleary deal would be a steal


By then, Cleary might be sitting on $1.5m a season, perhaps extra – however even then it appears gentle compared to what he means to his soccer membership on and off the sphere.

Round two uncovered the obtrusive want for golf equipment to get not solely get their wage cap proper however to make sure they’re paying the appropriate amount of cash for his or her halfback or five-eighth.

Playmakers have all the time been vital, in fact, however within the period of a strictly enforced wage cap golf equipment had higher get it proper or they’re years of ache.

A coach’s kingdom for a dominant, organising half who can kick usually play, isn’t a legal responsibility in defence and who kicks objectives from all around the park at 80 per cent or extra.

A membership’s kingdom for a coach who can get the perfect out of their star halfback who’s taking over extra of the wage cap than another participant.

Too usually struggling golf equipment pay far an excessive amount of for a half after which match them with coaches who can’t get the perfect out of them.

That definitely appears the case on the Wests Tigers who’ve a $900,000-a-season headache in halfback Luke Brooks.

Luke Brooks has become a $900,000 headache for the Tigers.

Luke Brooks has turn out to be a $900,000 headache for the Tigers.Credit:Getty

In the loss to Newcastle, the 27-year-old merely seemed like a defeated participant, ineffectual in assault and lacking six tackles in defence.

Brooks shocked on debut in late 2013 however has principally failed to fireside beneath 4 coaches: Mick Potter, Jason Taylor, Ivan Cleary and now Michael Maguire.

The Tigers should be questioning in the event that they made the appropriate name in knocking again two requests within the low season from his administration for a launch so he might be a part of Newcastle as a alternative for Catalans-bound Mitchell Pearce.

Andrew Johns, in his new capability as halves coach on the Knights, was determined to teach Brooks, however the Tigers dug in, refusing to let him go.

Johns has rated Brooks since watching him as a schoolboy however was as an alternative left to work with Adam Clune and Jake Clifford.

Clune was thought of a plodder, nothing greater than a back-up half, whereas Clifford had come from North Queensland with coach Paul Green’s stinging evaluation of him ringing in his ears.

It’s early days, certain, however the Knights sit undefeated atop the ladder taking part in less complicated, much less structured soccer.


Johns has been effusive in his reward of Clune particularly, always stunned at his ability and intelligence, whereas Clifford is taking part in with a smile on his face.

What if Brooks immediately popped up available on the market with the Tigers determined to unload him earlier than June 30?

The Knights wouldn’t be , as an alternative seeking to shore up different elements of their roster.

Perhaps Brooks would be a higher match on the Bulldogs, who had been mentioned to be serious about him final yr, however their wage cap is already at bursting level for 2023.

They have the unfathomable scenario of getting a halfback in Kyle Flanagan chewing up the wage cap whereas taking part in reserve grade, such is the shortage of religion coach Trent Barrett has in him.

Flanagan is on $450,000 this yr, however that shoots as much as about $600,000 in 2023. The Bulldogs would possibly be ready to pay a lot of that if one other membership took him off their palms, however what number of golf equipment are lining as much as signal Flanagan whereas he’s languishing in reserves, undesirable by the Roosters and now the Bulldogs?

Not each younger half is as proficient as Nathan Cleary. Not each coach is nearly as good as his father. And it has taken a lot of labor, a lot of wage cap ache, to get the Panthers buzzing as they’re proper now.

But if golf equipment can’t develop high quality younger halves and switch them into high quality, NRL-standard playmakers, they higher make certain they’ll establish those price signing on the appropriate cash, and match them with the appropriate coach.

Otherwise, they’re dreamin’.

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