However even they’re “in awe” of Penrith pivot Nathan Cleary, who lifted the Panthers to a 3rd successive premiership on Sunday evening.
Cleary manufactured a file comeback after three Ezra Mam tries rapidly put the Broncos 16 factors up in a frantic second half at Accor Stadium.
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The stylish No.7 ended up scoring the decisive attempt within the 76th minute, stepping off his left foot to beat the Brisbane defence and dart over the road.
Working the sideline for 9 at that second, Thurston had his fingers on his head in disbelief.
“It is a true champion of our recreation,” Thurston mentioned.
“At 25 years of age, it is unfathomable what he will do all through his profession.
“He hasn’t even hit his peak but, most halfbacks get to their peak at about 28, 29, 30 – this child’s 25, and what’s achieved is unbelievable.
“I am in awe.”
Thurston’s uncooked response was replayed following the sport, highlighting how freakish the Cleary efficiency was.
“I really like footy, I experience the highs, I experience the lows,” Thurston mentioned.
“I used to be simply mind-blown. I could not consider what I used to be watching, it simply goes to point out what a champion halfback he’s.
“He is solely simply starting his profession and he is achieved a lot already.”
Thurston gained two grand finals, 4 Dally M Medals and three Golden Boot awards throughout what is taken into account among the finest careers ever.
Newcastle legend Johns – an Immortal and arguably the best playmaker in historical past – gained two titles with the Knights and picked up three Dally M Medals, in addition to two Golden Boots.
Cleary, at 25 years previous, already has three premiership rings and two Clive Churchill Medals for his grand last heroics.
Johns has beforehand said his perception Cleary will end his profession as one of the best halfback to play the sport.
Panthers co-captain Isaah Yeo has no hesitations about labelling Cleary one of the best halfback ever.
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“What he is achieved on this area of time, no different halfback has achieved it,” Yeo mentioned of Cleary after Sunday’s win.
“Nobody has achieved what he is achieved. That 20-minute interval he put the group on his again and gained us our third grand last in a row.”
Even Cleary’s father and coach, Ivan, was in awe of what his son did within the last 20 minutes of the grand last to elevate Penrith to victory.
“I did see his face on the massive display screen after a attempt when he was coming again for a kick-off, and I did suppose to myself he regarded actually clear,” Ivan mentioned.
“Should you have a look at, say, the 2020 grand last, he wasn’t. I did not suppose what was going to occur after that.”
Cleary credited classes discovered from the 2020 grand last – his first, which the Panthers misplaced to Melbourne – for serving to him orchestrate Sunday’s win.