Penrith are set to lose promising youngsters Mitch Kenny and Brent Naden from their list of available players with both only getting a run in the 15-12 win over Manly due to exemptions.
Hooker Kenny and centre Naden are on part-time contracts and the club was given exemptions for the pair to play but that is not likely to be the case in round 13 with Wayde Egan (shoulder) set to be available and top 30 centre Brayden McGrady now two games into his return from a knee reconstruction in Canterbury Cup.
"We've only got [Kenny] in through an exemption the last couple of weeks so, bit of an anomaly in the system we have at the moment that a kid like that won't be able to keep playing," Cleary said.
"We'll see how that one pans out but at least he's shown he's certainly more than capable. I look forward to him getting plenty more games in the future."
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Winger Brian To'o was recently added to the Panthers' top 30, filling the final roster spot, so neither Naden nor Kenny will be able to play when other fit players are available unless a spot opens up in that 30.
At the other end of the experience scale, prop Tim Grant's 196th career game ended prematurely due to a suspected pectoral tear.
Grant left the field just before the 60-minute mark but barely a minute into his second spell.
"At this stage they're a bit worried about torn pec - just have to cross our fingers and hope it's not too bad," Cleary said.
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Cleary also questioned some of the refereeing decisions, particularly a no-try to Kenny from dummy half in which it was ruled the markers were obstructed as he burrowed over.
"There were some strange decisions, we were penalised a few times tonight in ways I just can't fathom," Cleary added.
"One in particular, Mitch Kenny was held up or I don't know if he scored, that was one, there was a few others. The sin bin, I suppose one of each [got sent] but I thought it hurt us more than them."
Overall though Cleary welcomed his side earning successive wins for the first time in 2019.
"The last couple of weeks, it's been nice to get the wins. Pretty sure our best footy is still in front of us," he said.
"Both sides were depleted so it was a bit of a dogfight, bit of a slow game, the play-the-balls were really slow but two points, we'll take it.
"I think we were asked, we attempted something like 500 tackles, I don't think I've seen that before.
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"It got a bit sloppy there in the middle of the second half but there was certainly more commitment being shown, more teamwork being shown, that's been obvious the last couple of weeks.
"We brought it to attention and the boys have taken it on board.
"We need to keep improving there."