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26 Apr 2018 15:25
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    NRL club moves made me stronger: Maloney

    James Maloney has played grand finals at more clubs in the halves than any other NRL playmaker, and he says his game continues to be better for the moves.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    NSW State of Origin five-eighth James Maloney warns his move to Penrith has only strengthened his game as he closes in on rare NRL journeyman air.

    Already the only player to guide three separate clubs to grand finals in the halves, Maloney could become just the fourth playmaker to help four teams to the finals if Penrith qualify this year.

    If they go a step further and reach the grand final, Maloney also stands to become the first man to play four deciders with different clubs in any position.

    But at age 31 and at his sixth NRL club - including Parramatta, where he didn't play first grade - Maloney says the moves have only made him stronger.

    "I've always enjoyed the new change. Everyone plays a slightly different style of footy. Everyone has new strengths," Maloney said.

    "I find that everywhere I go I learn a little bit more, a different perspective. It think in the long run it's helped in terms of what I know about the game and how I play."

    Much of the pre-season NRL fodder surrounded whether Cronulla or Penrith would fare better out of the Maloney-Matt Moylan swap.

    But as Penrith prepare for their clash with Gold Coast at Panthers Stadium on Sunday, there appears only one early winner.

    While Maloney has taken over the third-placed Panthers' attack following Nathan Cleary's injury, the Sharks' spine still looks unsettled following their 2-4 start to the season.

    Meanwhile, with Maloney at the helm in the halves, the Panthers are motoring with four wins from their opening five games in 2018.

    All at a club where coach Anthony Griffin was under the pump in the media before a ball was kicked.

    "I could never tell where it was coming from," Maloney said.

    "I've really enjoyed it from day dot. I get on well with Hook and enjoy learning under a different style of coach and a different philosophy on footy."

    STATS THAT MATTER

    * Maloney has played 18 finals matches at three clubs.

    * The five-eighth has kicked 39 consecutive goals at all levels, two short of the world record.

    * Penrith have won six of their last eight over Gold Coast.

    Stats courtesy Fox Sports Stats


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