Cleary reacts to Tigers fans’ ruthless sledging

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary copped ruthless sledging from Tigers fans on Friday night at Leichhardt Oval.

Wests defeated a depleted Penrith team without their Origin stars 26-6, but the home ground fans didn’t care how they got the win, they were thrilled regardless, and made sure former Tigers coach Cleary knew about it.

Cleary departed the club for Penrith at the end of 2018 in a messy exit, and last year he sarcastically blew a kiss to angry Tigers fans after the Panthers beat them.

And it was clear on Friday night there was no love lost between Tigers supporters and Cleary.

The crowd was heard chanting offensive sledges and flipping the bird at Cleary in the coaches box.

When the full-time siren sounded, chants of “Cleary’s a w—er” rang out at the Oval.

“I didn’t really notice,” Cleary told reporters with a smirk post-game when asked about the hostile welcome back to Leichhardt.

NRL journalist Christian Nicolussi captured some of the abuse hurled at Cleary, with the coach seated behind the media at the ground.

“Crowd having a wonderful time in the grandstand,” commentator Phil Gould joked as the cheer could be heard over the broadcast.

“They’ve got a new chant tonight.”

“There was one particular lady who had a lot to say,” an amused Paul Gallen said on Nine after the game.

“I wanted to put the microphone on her. It would be non-stop.”

Cleary will get a chance at revenge in Round 24 when the two teams meet again in Penrith.

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