CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08: Raiders coach Ricky Stuart reacts after a the Panthers kick an equalising conversion during the round 14 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Penrith Panthers at GIO Stadium on June 8, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)
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1. Ivan Cleary

Did he hop off the bus and step into oncoming traffic?

He has a decent looking team on his hands, he’s stepped into a ready made side that is a genuine contender which is unfamiliar territory for Ivan and expectations are now high at the foot of the mountain. Anything less than finishing firmly inside the top eight will be a failure for Ivan and the Panthers.

Will the father-son thing work?

I feel the Panthers are expecting results quickly after what went down with Hook last season and if they drop a few games in a row Ivan could really feel the pressure.

If Nathan doesn’t fire also I feel the constant media attention and father-son questions could become a distraction which could add even more pressure.

It will be interesting to see how Nathan’s teammates handle the fact that the Origin playmaker’s daddy is his coach, he could be isolated from any conversation regarding Ivan’s coaching in fear it might get back to Ivan through Nathan, these things could turn into big headaches for Ivan, Nathan and the Panthers if not managed carefully.

Ivan might begin to wish he’d stayed on the bus.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 23: Panthers coach Ivan Cleary looks on after the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Penrith Panthers at Redfern Oval on February 23, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
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10 COMMENTS

  1. Lol…are you running out of things to write about ZT? Hasn’t this article already been done? I can remember an article much the same as this only a couple months ago…

  2. Hmmmm certainly not a blog from a bias tigers fan.
    I think you can add your coach to the list. He went well with a star studded bunnies squad. Let’s see how he goes with an average tigers squad.

  3. Nathan Brown might be first to go if the Knights don’t start well. He’s already on notice that he needs to deliver a return to a winning culture or he’s not going to be in charge of the team he’s built. I think his strength is rebuilding a clubs roster ,but he isn’t a great strategist or motivator.

  4. The amount of coaches the Tigers have burnt through over the last decade I can’t see then turfing another one soon. I think he’s a lot safer than some.

  5. Stuart has been the luckiest coach in the NRL for the past decade.
    He has only made the Finals once in the last 10 seasons. Only year was back in 2016 where the Raiders should have made the GF no thanks to butter fingers Ed Lee. I honestly believe if the Raiders did make the 2016 GF they would’ve beaten the Sharks they did twice in 2016 already.

  6. Yeah Stuart has to be on shaky ground, the Raiders don’t look like there’s much upside there either. The Wighton switch seems like a move just try something different, but it feels a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  7. I appreciate your comment.
    Yeah there’s a few ways you could rank them.
    I tried to put them in order of who I think has the most expectation.

    With the latest fiasco going on at Penrith, I think I nailed Cleary at no 1 😉

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