Penrith took a bet on bringing again a former junior who had did not crack it at three rival golf equipment – however Sean O’Sullivan proved on Thursday he belongs within the NRL.
O’Sullivan’s arrival this summer time has arrange the Panthers’ premiership defence completely because it’s cured a giant headache.
Penrith solely misplaced three video games within the common season final 12 months they usually had been all video games wherein Nathan Clearly didn’t play.
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There have been fears the facet relied too closely on the famous person halfback and his absence in first three rounds of this season may set off a troublesome begin to 2022.
However these fears have been allayed by O’Sullivan, the No. 7 who may barely get a begin on the Roosters, performed a handful of video games over two seasons on the Broncos after which did not cement his spot on the Warriors final season.
He’s additionally battled accidents since he was a baby however the Panthers took a punt on him and the 23-year-old repaid the religion in simply 80 minutes towards Manly.
Forward of his fourth begin at an NRL membership in 5 years following three ACL accidents, O’Sullivan admitted he was a “nervous wreck”.
The Penrith junior retuned to the membership final November and within the season opener he lastly checked out dwelling in an NRL facet as Penrith dismantled Manly 28-6.
O’Sullivan was changing Cleary (shoulder) towards the Sea Eagles and he loved a sensational Panthers first grade debut.
The halfback completed with two strive assists, three line break assists and 385 kick metres in entrance of a raucous dwelling crowd.
O’Sullivan was introduced as a late alternative for Cleary however the younger gun revealed after the sport that he’d been worded up by coach Ivan Cleary weeks in the past.
“I haven’t been that nervous for a sport in so lengthy. Yesterday I used to be a nervous wreck,” O’Sullivan.
“I’m going to let the cat out of the bag. I’ve recognized (I used to be taking part in) for some time. Sorry dad, sorry mum.
“I simply needed to type of preserve it to myself, and that’s what I needed to do for the group.
“I had been actually clear (over) the final two weeks with what I wanted to do, and I’m simply glad I used to be capable of execute it.
“The final time I wore this jersey we performed (an) SG Ball grand remaining on this precise floor.
“Simply to come back again, be taught from Nathan (Cleary) and Jarome (Luai) and Ivan has simply been a blessing. I’m actually so grateful that I’m right here and, actually, I wouldn’t need to be wherever else.”
O’Sullivan is the son of revered NRL recruitment guru Peter O’Sullivan, who left the Warriors for the Dolphins on the finish of final season.
Ivan Cleary praised the homecoming of O’Sullivan, who was compelled to go away Penrith as a young person to make his NRL debut – on the Roosters in 2018.
“I’m actually comfortable for him, a Penrith boy, needed to go away and look elsewhere so he’s been in a couple of completely different programs,” Cleary stated.
“He’s a extremely good footy head, he loves the sport and loves studying.
“All our skilled gamers performed properly and we challenged guys like him do exactly do their factor however I assumed he was simply excellent by the 80 minutes.
“It reveals his dedication to the group and the membership that he stored it in-house (that he was taking part in).
“I may see he was nervous the final couple of days, all eyes had been going to be on him and he simply did what he’s good at and what we requested of him. He did rather well.”
Rugby league nice Laurie Daley echoed the sentiment and backed O’Sullivan to proceed filling Cleary’s sneakers.
“The best way they regarded final night time, they didn’t miss a beat with out Nathan Cleary, you’d have sworn Nathan Cleary was on the market,” Daley stated on Massive Sports activities Breakfast radio.
“That regarded nearly as good as what they’ve produced during the last couple of years they usually simply had been intense.
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“Every little thing they did had an depth about it with and with out the ball.”
Cleary was happy with O’Sullivan’s performances however warned he should again it up forward of Nathan’s scheduled return in Spherical 4.
“He ready for this sport for the previous three months, in all probability greater than that, he’s been round a bit,” Cleary stated.
“I’m comfortable for him however he’s going to must again it up once more subsequent week.
“He’s going to must put his head down and soak up all these accolades that everybody will give him however then he’s simply received to get his head again on the bottom, which I’m certain he’ll do.”
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