Penrith assistant coach Trent Barrett will need to remodel the Panthers’ attack around Nathan Cleary in 2020.
Penrith assistant coach Trent Barrett will need to remodel the Panthers’ attack around Nathan Cleary in 2020.

Barrett to shape Panthers' attack

Nathan Cleary made half the number of try-assists of James Maloney this season, and it's Trent Barrett's job to fix it for Penrith in 2020.

The former Manly coach-turned Ivan Cleary assistant has begun pre-season training with the Panthers in the post-Maloney era,and is in charge of reviving the team's attack.

It's a huge task for Barrett given Maloney set up 18 tries for the Panthers in 2019 compared to Cleary's nine, while incoming five-eighth Jarome Luai has just 17 NRL games under his belt.

 

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However, after just three days of training, club leader James Tamou believes Barrett has already left an impression.

"He's made an immediate impact on the young boys just the way he carries himself," Tamou said of Barrett.

"You know you have to listen. He's been around the game so long and coached around. It will only be beneficial for us."

Without a player like Maloney to generate points, the responsibility will now fall to Cleary and Luai with the support of Barrett.

The pair came through the junior system at the Panthers together and already have a strong combination in the halves - a partnership that Tamou thinks will work.

 

Nathan Cleary will need to step up as the chief playmaker in 2020.
Nathan Cleary will need to step up as the chief playmaker in 2020.

"I think (Luai) and Nath, no disrespect to anyone else here, but Nath's real controlled and he can take that kick if he needs to, where Jarome, he can play off the cuff footy where we can be dangerous," Tamou said.

"It's an exciting time for Panthers.

"Romey adds that different flair to the game."

Rising star Matt Burton made his NRL debut last season and will also be pushing for a starting spot alongside Cleary in 2020.

News Corp Australia

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