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Cleary back up to his best in dominant Panthers win

Just four days after giving his all in the State of Origin series opener, Blues halfback Nathan Cleary showed his class and determination to back up and steer Penrith to a commanding win over Newcastle.

Cleary quickly put the disappointment of Game One behind him as he controlled the match from start to finish to help the Panthers continue their winning ways, with the Telstra Tracker data highlighting just how much the halfback put in for his side.

Cleary finished top of the charts in terms of total distance covered throughout Round 14, covering a total 9465 metres, while doing it a relative distance rate of 103.8 metres per minute (which trailed only Roosters bench forward Terrell May).

Nathan Cleary was dominant in Penrith's big win over Newcastle in Round 14.
Nathan Cleary was dominant in Penrith's big win over Newcastle in Round 14. ©NRL Photos

To produce those sort of numbers backing up from Origin is eye-catching, with Maroons playmaker Cameron Munster also doing the same for his side as they emerged victorious from a tough contest against the Roosters the night before.

Munster finished with a total distance covered of 9216 metres, with only Sharks fullback Will Kennedy (9385m) and Cleary covering more distance than Munster, who picked up the Man of the Match award for his efforts in Origin I.

Elsewhere, the high-flying Cowboys continue to lead the way with their intensity in attack causing problems for teams across the park. Todd Payten's men took out all three top positions in sprint distance, which measures the number of metres covered by players at a speed greater than 25 kilometres per hour, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Chad Townsend and Murray Taulagi clean-sweeping the podium.

Tabuai-Fidow (who will be in contention to replace Xavier Coates on the wing for Queensland in Origin Two), also recorded the second top speed of the round with his 34.1 km/h maximum velocity bettered only by Dragons debutant Jonathon Reuben, who reached a top speed 34.6 km/h in Townsville.

Match Highlights: Cowboys v Dragons

Telstra Tracker: Round 14

Total Distance

  1. Nathan Cleary (Panthers) — 9,465 metres
  2. Will Kennedy (Sharks) — 9,385 metres
  3. Cameron Munster (Storm) — 9,216 metres

Relative Distance (metres per minute)

  1. Terrell May (Roosters) — 107.6 m/min
  2. Nathan Cleary (Panthers) — 103.8 m/min
  3. Tanah Boyd (Titans) — 102.7 m/min

Sprint Distance (metres > 25 km/h)

  1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Cowboys) — 336 metres
  2. Chad Townsend (Cowboys) — 262 metres
  3. Murray Taulagi (Cowboys) — 244 metres

Maximum Velocity

  1. Jonathon Reuben (Dragons) — 34.6 km/h
  2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Cowboys) — 34.1 km/h
  3. Will Kennedy (Sharks) — 33.7 km/h
Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.