Cleary’s building his attacking game with the help of a Blues great
NATHAN Cleary is hoping one-on-one video sessions with NSW great Andrew Johns will help him create his own State of Origin highlights reel.
Not satisfied with helping steer the Blues to just their second series win in 13 years, Cleary has been working overtime with Johns to elevate his Origin game.
"I think they were solid performances without being great and that's something to work on," Cleary told AAP of his individual efforts so far in the series.
"Ultimately, I'm really happy that we got the series win. But I think myself as a player can strive to get better and play some better footy. And when he asked for Johns' appraisal, the rugby league Immortal didn't mince his words.
"The foundation is there, now you've got to build on that. Build your attacking game and work from there," Johns told him.
Cleary has had just six less touches than Maloney over the opening two games, however he has largely taken a back seat behind his more experienced halves partner.
Maloney has four try assists - a series high - as well as two line break assists, while his younger halves partner has yet to register one in either category.
But even with the series decided, Cleary insists he's not "self-indulged" enough to begin overcalling his veteran teammate next Wednesday night.
"We're playing to win so whatever works out better for the team, I'm happy to do," he said.
"I don't think I'm too self-indulged that I want to get myself in the game. If that harms the team, I don't want to be doing that. It's just how the game works out and how it fits in the game plan."
While he assumed Origin would be the toughest level of physicality in the game, Cleary concedes being challenged by the mental toll of the interstate series.
As the Blues look to lift the shield with a series whitewash, Cleary's NRL side Penrith are in danger of dropping out of the all-important top four with back-to-back defeats.
"But I definitely can't use that as an excuse for my club form. It's obviously harder, but people have been doing it for years now and you've just got to deal with it," he said.
"It's what comes with being an Origin player. The mental preparation. Physically I'm fine, I probably just wasn't mentally as switched on as what I need to do be."
The Blues had a rest day Wednesday but will resume preparations with their major training session of the build-up on Thursday, where captain Boyd Cordner will test his calf.
Cordner sat out most of Tuesday's field run, but is adamant he will be fit to play.
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