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May breaks silence on nightclub incident

Panthers rookie Taylan May said he was proud to be able to ‘support Cleary’ as he spoke for the first time about defending Nathan Cleary during a nightclub incident after the Grand Final from last year.

It emerged last week that May had been charged by Queensland Police with assault causing bodily harm following an incident in October at a Sunshine Coast nightclub as the Panthers celebrated their post success of prime minister.

The 20-year-old allegedly dragged a patron to the ground after heckled the players and attempted to film afterwards without their consent.

The NRL Integrity Unit and the Panthers had seen the CCTV footage and were happy May was continuing to play. As coach Ivan Cleary said last week: “The fact that the NRL took no action tells a fair story.”

May refused to let the police charges distract him from his work in the field. His try against the Broncos on Friday night tied him with Ryan Papenhuyzen as the competition’s top try scorer, which he achieved by replacing injured Brian To’o on the left wing.

While not admitting any guilt on the assault charges, May said he was defending a good friend.

“Anyone in my position, if he was a good friend, would have done what I did,” May said. The Herald of the Sun. “I defended Cleary. I don’t think I was wrong.

“I didn’t want the situation to get out of hand. [My teammates] are big names, I’m nobody. . . security was on my side. The situation for me, it doesn’t really bother me. I put it behind me and focused on the game.”

May, nicknamed “Tiny” and the younger brother of Prime Minister Panther Tyrone May, is due to have his case heard in court on May 18.

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement