'He will get a lot out of this season' - Queensland coach backs Nathan Cleary for greatness

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In his first full NRL season, Nathan Cleary was compared to Johnathan Thurston and earned an endorsement to be the next NSW halfback from Queensland coach Kevin Walters.

Nathan Cleary of the Panthers is tackled by Bodene Thompson of the Warriors.

Nathan Cleary of the Panthers is tackled by Bodene Thompson of the Warriors.

Source: Photosport

All at the age of 19 and in his second season that might be a tough act to follow.

According to Penrith coach Anthony Griffin we haven't seen anything yet.

Cleary's stellar year came to an abrupt halt when Brisbane held out the Panthers 13-6 in their semi-final at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

"I suppose he has risen to a level of consistency so quickly people forget this was his first full season," Griffin said of his star No.7.

"The way he plays and behaves as a 19-year-old is pretty special and he will be much better for this year.

"He will get a lot out of this year."

Already without captain Matt Moylan, Cleary tried to assert himself against a fired up Brisbane and his job only got harder after halves partner Tyrone May (knee) was lost on the stroke of halftime.

However, even Cleary could not stop Brisbane ending Penrith's run of eight wins in 10 games.

While Griffin took the huge raps on Cleary with a grain of salt, he expected his young half to reach great heights next year.

"I think they were playing a bit of mind games earlier in the week, Hunty and those guys," Griffin said of Ben Hunt comparing Cleary to Thurston.

"But he is a very level-headed kid. He doesn't shy away from anything."

Griffin did not point the finger at Cleary over Penrith's inability to crack Brisbane's desperate defence.

"It's a bit raw at the moment but we just couldn't convert the field position we had," he said.

"We got pulled down centimetres short at times and there were a couple of wrong options.

"We needed to be better than that with the opportunities we had."

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