Cleary full of praise for rookie prop in tough sea­son

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Kristine Tar­bert

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.

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