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Ivan Cleary cleared by NRL over half-time referee approach

The NRL has decided not to take action against Ivan Cleary, despite allegations the Penrith coach approached the referees at half-time of Sunday’s loss to Canberra.

The NRL interviewed Cleary as part of an investigation into allegations he launched a verbal tirade at the officials in the tunnel during the break.

However, they have decided against a sanction, with the Penrith coach allegedly disputing the reports about what he said.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has spoken with Cleary, warning the Penrith coach not to leave himself in a position that leaves his actions open to question.

An NRL spokesperson confirmed the NRL would not be issuing a breach notice under the circumstances.

"There were a number of conflicting versions about the events in question," the spokesperson said.

"There were no complaints from the match officials. Additionally, neither referee was aware of any comments directed at them by Ivan Cleary.

"It is however a timely reminder that coaches should not place themselves in a position where they might be perceived to be approaching referees during matches."

Cleary in his post-match press conference claimed there was not "anything untoward" about his behaviour.

His half-time approach came as Penrith stand-in captain James Maloney engaged in a running battle with Klein throughout the first half of the Raiders win.

Cleary claimed he had been directing his regular skipper James Tamou to raise an issue with Klein as the pair were in deep conversation while walking up the tunnel, and conceded on Sunday that he had spoken to match officials at this point.

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