Infotainment Factory: 'They've never been a great combination'

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Friday, 5 April 2019

'They've never been a great combination'


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NSW coach Brad Fittler has revealed he believes Panthers and Blues' halves Nathan Cleary and James Maloney have never been a successful combination.

Despite being paired by Fittler to orchestrate NSW's historic 2018 Origin title, Fittler revealed he has become increasingly unconvinced by the the partnership of late.

“I don’t think they’ve actually ever been a great combination,”Fittler said on Nine’s Friday Night Knock-off ahead of the Panthers’ clash with the Tigers.

“This was the thing with Penrith. If they become a good combination they become real dangerous.

Nathan Cleary and James Maloney

“At the moment I think the balance isn’t quite right between James and Nathan and getting the share correct with the ball will only improve their team.

“Even during Origin. I think they played their role but I don’t think they were a great combination.

“We’ve seen some of the great combinations in the past and that is their next challenge, to be that combination.”

The news comes as Cleary finds himself under a mountain scrutiny after a slow start to the season.

Nathan Cleary and James Maloney

NRL great Paul Vautin questioned whether the young gun was struggling with his father at the helm of his long-time club.

“What about Nathan Cleary, I’ve watched the first three games and I don’t want to be derogatory to players but he’s not the player he was last year or the year before,” Vautin said on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“Is there pressure on him because his dad's coach?”

NSW coach Brad Fittler has revealed he believes Panthers and Blues' halves Nathan Cleary and James Maloney have never been a successful combination.

Despite being paired by Fittler to orchestrate NSW's historic 2018 Origin title, Fittler revealed he has become increasingly unconvinced by the the partnership of late.

“I don’t think they’ve actually ever been a great combination,”Fittler said on Nine’s Friday Night Knock-off ahead of the Panthers’ clash with the Tigers.

“This was the thing with Penrith. If they become a good combination they become real dangerous.

Nathan Cleary and James Maloney

“At the moment I think the balance isn’t quite right between James and Nathan and getting the share correct with the ball will only improve their team.

“Even during Origin. I think they played their role but I don’t think they were a great combination.

“We’ve seen some of the great combinations in the past and that is their next challenge, to be that combination.”

The news comes as Cleary finds himself under a mountain scrutiny after a slow start to the season.

Nathan Cleary and James Maloney

NRL great Paul Vautin questioned whether the young gun was struggling with his father at the helm of his long-time club.

“What about Nathan Cleary, I’ve watched the first three games and I don’t want to be derogatory to players but he’s not the player he was last year or the year before,” Vautin said on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“Is there pressure on him because his dad's coach?”

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