Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai has revealed he’s not immune to copping a spray from his long-time halves partner and close mate Nathan Cleary.
Luai revealed the day he recieved an almighty spray form Cleary after his error gifted the Knights a try in a game they led 42-0 at the time.
“I remember there was a loose ball and I went to dive on it. I physically felt I couldn’t get to it but (Cleary) reckons I could,” Luai told The Daily Telegraph.
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“I could see him in the corner of my eye, then I heard him.
“He was just yelling my name out – I mean really yelling – but I kept walking away.
“But I knew he was calling me, and I know that he knew that I knew… There were a couple of swear words in there, we laugh about it now.”
Luai has played most of his 85 NRL games alongside Cleary, while the pair also played together in the juniors at the Panthers.
Their close bond on and off the field makes it easier to not take criticism to heart, but Luai believes it helps keep everyone in the team honest when mistakes are made.
“He’s probably the only one I can cop a spray off,” Luai said.
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“If I do something wrong, he’s the first guy to spray me.
“It’s good, we need that in our team. We keep each other accountable, that’s what a good team does.”
Cleary believes the honesty between the pair is what drives him and Luai to get better and improve, but spraying each other is not common, which makes it more effective when it happens.
“I feel like because I’ve played with him for so long I feel comfortable spraying him or telling him when he’s done something wrong,” Cleary told the Telegraph.
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“He takes it well. He got that bad one in Newcastle but it doesn’t happen too often.”
One area where Luai knows he needs to improve or he could cop another spray is his penchant for giving away penalties, which he hopes will not be a factor in the grand final against the Eels.
“(The penalties) are something I have to keep a lid on because it hurts the team,” Luai said.
“I don’t look for that stuff because it puts our team in a bad position.”
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