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NRL: Cleary returns as Panthers march on

Nathan Cleary returned to the Penrith side as they made it four wins on the bounce with a 26-12 victory over South Sydney in the grand final re-match on Friday night.

The Panthers are out to win the 2022 grand final and are looking like they will be the team to beat once again despite a new-look squad.

Cleary comes through

Star halfback Cleary was making his first appearance of the season following a shoulder reconstruction and came through the game with flying colours.

Winger Taylan May grabbed a brace of tries while Izack Tago, Liam Martin and Stephen Crichton also crossed as the Panthers wrapped up a comfortable win in the end.

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Coach Ivan Cleary was delighted to see son Nathan back in the side and was also pleased with the manner of the performance. Although there is still lots to work on.

"It's good to have him back," coach Cleary said. "It's always hard to come back especially in a game of this magnitude.

"I thought we looked really good in the first half. I thought our defence still wasn't where we want it to be, but we scrambled well."

Souths not happy

Meanwhile South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou was not happy with the performance and says his star players are not getting enough of the ball.

"I feel like we are team that is chasing points and doing things we shouldn't be doing," said Demetriou. "We've lost three games and all three have been when we've been at 63 per cent completion rate. We are just not giving our key players field position to do what they want to do."

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