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Cleary stars in Junior Kangaroos win

NZN 7/05/2016

Penrith dynamo Nathan Cleary has demonstrated why he's considered an NRL player in waiting, guiding the Junior Kangaroos to a 34-20 win over the Junior Kiwis.

The former Australian Schoolboys captain has been earmarked for a first-grade debut and only enhanced his claims with a rounded performance in the under-20s international fixture at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday.

With the game in the balance at 22-14 with 20 minutes to go, the halfback, and son of former Penrith coach Ivan Cleary, produced a brilliant individual effort to score, as well as boot five goals.

Workaholic second-rower Jaydn S'ua was named man of the match after running for 212m and making 21 tackles in an 80-minute effort.

His Brisbane teammate Tevita Pangai Junior was also outstanding.

The Australians went into the break up 10-8 before Connor Watson came off the bench and imposed himself on the game, setting up Brian Kelly before scoring under the posts.

The Kangaroos looked red-hot in the opening exchanges, scoring through JJ Felise and Curtis Scott to open up a 10-0 lead before Junior Kiwis playmaker Ma'afoaeata Hingano dragged his side back into the contest.

The Warriors-contracted livewire, who has been likened to Anthony Milford, was a standout in a beaten side, having a hand in all four of his side's tries, including scoring two himself.

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