Cleary recreating Warriors success at Panthers

IAN MCCULLOUGH
Last updated 05:00 20/05/2013
LEWIS BROWN
Getty Images
LEWIS BROWN: Moved to the Panthers from the Warriors at the end of last season.

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Penrith NRL centre Lewis Brown believes coach Ivan Cleary is slowly recreating the success he had with the Warriors at the rejuvenated Panthers.

Written off as wooden spoon certainties at the start of the season, Cleary has masterminded three wins from the past four games with an injury-hit side.

After producing the shock result of the season by beating premiers Melbourne in round nine, the Panthers followed it up with a 62-6 hammering of the Warriors on Saturday.

It was a record defeat for the New Zealand outfit and Brown, who moved across the Tasman this year to reunite with his former coach, said the future is bright at Centrebet Stadium.

''Ivan's a top bloke and a guy I have a lot of respect for and that is why I came to this club,'' Brown said.

''He's a man of few words but, when he does speak, he gets his point across very well.

''He is low maintenance and lets his coaching do the speaking. He did it at the Warriors and I believe he is doing it here.''

After clearing out big earners such as Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings and Michael Gordon, Cleary has also been without injured key men Lachlan Coote, Josh Mansour and Sam McKendry. 

But this has resulted in the emergence of young fullback Matt  Moylan, winger Travis Robinson, five-eighth Issac John and exciting back-rower Matt Robinson. And Brown said the lack of superstars at the club has fostered a great team spirit.

''He's getting the structures in and the boys are buying into it,'' Brown said.

''There are no egos here and, although everyone knows we are in a rebuilding phase, we know we're heading in the right direction.

''Ivan took the Warriors to the grand final by doing what he is doing here.

''It's too early to be getting ahead of ourselves, but we've taken a lot of confidence from the last two games.''

Young hooker James Segeyaro is a player who's benefited from a move to the Panthers since arriving from North Queensland.

Segeyaro has been outstanding this season and said he's thriving under the influence of Cleary and general manager of football Phil Gould.

''It's been a really good move for me,'' Segeyaro said.''I've learned a lot from the coach and Gus (Gould) has been  brilliant with me.

''He's one of the most respected men in the game and he's always there if you need him.''

With Segeyaro's great form, the Panthers have opted not to re-sign veteran skipper Kevin Kingston at the end of the year.

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The 30-year-old was told he would not be kept on a fortnight ago and, although disappointed, holds no hard feelings towards Cleary.

''I feel lucky to have come here from Parramatta when no one else wanted me and I worked my way up to become captain,'' Kingston said.

''The worst thing they could have done would be to string me along. They've been honest, and that is what I like about Ivan - he treats you like men.

''We're all big boys - we can handle it.''

- AAP

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