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Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary has praised the decision of assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo to stay with the club despite interest from Cronulla.

As the Panthers celebrated a 24-6 win over the Knights they were buoyed by the announcement in the sheds that Ciraldo had turned down an approach from the Sharks to join incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon's staff next year, with a loud roar heard from the change rooms when coach Ivan Cleary informed the group.

"He said he was going to say, all the boys are pumped with that," skipper Nathan Cleary said.

"A lot of the boys have come through the grades with him, he coached a lot of us in under-20s and was our defensive coach. We're pretty fond of him. It's a massive asset to this club and what the boys are doing."

Despite Ciraldo turning down this opportunity, Cleary didn't reckon it would be too many more years until he takes on a head coaching role somewhere.

"You would be crazy not to go after him as a coach, he is a great coach," Cleary added.

"But for him to show his loyalty and stay here, it just shows what is going on. I am pleased to be a part of it and am grateful he is staying.

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"He's definitely got what it takes but I think the role he is now he adds so much to the coaching staff. He is still young and his aspirations are to be a head coach. But he's not rushing that. He's certainly not undervalued at our club."

Among a host of outstanding performances for the Panthers it was the form of fullback Dylan Edwards, playing his first game since breaking his hand in round three, that had his coach in raptures.

Edwards was among the best players on-field with a try, 267 metres and seven busts with his coach proclaiming he had picked up where he had left off a month ago against Melbourne.

"He looked pretty similar to how he left in the game against Melbourne; the first half of that game he was the best player on the field," Ivan Cleary said.

"I thought he was really strong. He's gone to another level this year Dyl. He's a very important member of our team which was pretty obvious tonight."

Told of his coach's feedback, Edwards appreciated the praise but insisted he still had some way to go to catch up to his pre-injury form.

"It's a nice little rap from the coach but I'm not really sure – we work hard as a team and I'm just trying to reap the rewards from that," Edwards told

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"I think it will take me a couple of games to get back to full game fitness. I was a bit tired out there at certain stages but it was a pretty end to end game of footy."

Of the crucial scrum play from which he scored to break the game open, Edwards said it was rare to get a ore-planned move to come off in a game.

"We tried one a few weeks ago and it didn't quite come off but it worked out tonight, it was nice," he said.

"Set pieces like that don't often come off so it was nice to get across the line."

Edwards was relieved to be able to come back from nearly a month out into a team that remains unbeaten and felt the squad was well-placed to continue to look for improvement rather than letting their form slip.

"We enjoy winning; we're hard on ourselves so we learn lessons even when we do win," he said.

"We find things we can work on to get better. We're really diligent, we don't take anyone lightly no matter where they're sitting on the ladder."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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