Cleary full of praise for rookie prop in tough season
AS ONE Panthers hardman hangs up his boots, another has proved one of the biggest positives in a difficult season.
Rookie prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 22, scored his first NRL try in the Panthers 24-10 win over the Warriors at Pepper Stadium on Saturday as Nigel Plum announced his retirement after 11 years.
Having avoided the nudie run at the end of the season, Campbell-Gillard (pictured) said he was overwhelmed with the weekend’s result.
“We’ve been wanting this win and it’s been a long five weeks since our last win so everyone is pretty stoked and pumped,” CampbellGillard said.
“Our last three games we’ve been in contention to win and that didn’t happen, so to do it in front of the crowd at Penrith, it’s special to get the win for ourselves and for our fans.”
Penrith, who led 20-10 at half-time, are temporarily out of wooden spoon contention with three regular-season games left.
Coach Ivan Cleary said in what had been a tough season, he couldn’t have asked for more from Campbell-Gillard’s first year.
“Reg has been good just about all year,” Cleary said. “In some of the bigger games he has stood up and has been starting as well.”
However, it wasn’t all good news, after CampbellGillard was put on report for a high shot on Tuimoala Lolohea.