NRL: How Nathan Cleary’s phone screen unfairly caused him grief

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Nathan Cleary quickly denied that the white seen on his phone during Penrith's premiership party was an illegal substance.
Camera IconNathan Cleary quickly denied that the white seen on his phone during Penrith's premiership party was an illegal substance. Credit: Supplied

Nathan Cleary’s phone screen nearly got him unfairly into trouble.

Pictures surfaced of Cleary celebrating Penrith’s premiership victory on a Sunshine Coast beach with what appeared to be white marks on his phone in the background.

The photo quickly circulated on social media but without justification.

It followed a host of NRL stars being caught in possession of drugs in the post-season, including Warriors young gun Reece Walsh and Storm stars Cameron Munster and Brandon Smith.

Nathan Cleary quickly denied that the white seen on his phone during Penrith's premiership party was an illegal substance.
Camera IconNathan Cleary quickly denied that the white seen on his phone during Penrith's premiership party was an illegal substance. Credit: Supplied

Melbourne and the NRL integrity unit launched an investigation into Munster, Smith, and Chris Lewis over their involvement in the video where the trio were seen partying with a white substance.

Munster will enter a treatment facility for four weeks and copped a suspended $100,000 fine, while Smith was handed a suspended $50,000 fine from the club.

Cleary said the alleged white substance on his phone was just an air bubble that had built up on his phone screen.

Nathan Cleary's bubbly phone cover
Camera IconNathan Cleary's bubbly phone cover Credit: Supplied

Penrith were made aware of the photo doing the rounds on Tuesday night, and the suggestion that an illegal substance was on the phone in the picture was strongly refuted by Cleary and people with him at the time.

The Panthers have been in party mode since Sunday night after defeating South Sydney in the grand final to claim the club’s third premiership.

The players have been soaking up the triumph with the winning trophy in hand.

The grand final win capped off a brilliant season for Cleary, who is booked in for shoulder surgery after bravely defying the injury that he first suffered during the mid-season Origin series.

Originally published as NRL: How Nathan Cleary’s phone screen unfairly caused him grief

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