Panthers’ secret fitness test for Luai uncovered

Vision has emerged of the tackling test Jarome Luai was put through at a closed Panthers training session to prove his fitness for the preliminary final.

The slow motion clip obtained by 9News Sydney shows Luai tackling an on-rushing teammate, leading with his wounded left shoulder.

It comes after Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy said his players would make the Panthers five-eighth “make a few tackles” in order to test his left shoulder, which was dislocated in round 26.

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Bellamy’s call was backed up by Luai’s own coach Ivan Cleary, who said he expected the Storm to target his No.6 “a fair bit”.

”He’s a big boy. He’ll be all right,” Cleary told reporters on Thursday.

“He was always going to play. This has been coming for four weeks.

“I’ve seen a lot of guys at this club do pretty amazing things. That’s just the way they like to do it, they like playing.

“He’s trained with us for two weeks. It all feels pretty normal here.”

Luai wasn’t the only Panthers star to attract the attention of 9News at the closed training session, with vision emerging of Nathan Cleary with his left middle and ring fingers taped together following a dislocation earlier this week.

Cleary has also been named to play despite being rushed to a medical centre following a training mishap.

“You always get some drama… at this time of year. I don’t know whether the anxiety levels go up a little bit for everybody,” Ivan Cleary said regarding his son’s trip to hospital.

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“That was just another little dramatic incident, but he’s OK.

“(I felt) a little anxious. But you go back over the years and there always seems to be something like that happen. Luckily the result was good.”

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