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Sick Segeyaro turns tide for Penrith

Having infected most of Penrith's NRL side with a stomach bug this week that made a five-day turnaround even more cumbersome, James Segeyaro wasn't the most popular man among his teammates.

As Segeyaro learned on Friday night, when he scored his first NRL hat-trick to power the Panthers to a 28-12 win, a week can be a long time in football.

"They were all walking around with towels on their faces when they came near me when I came to training the other day," Segeyaro said after his man-of-the-match effort at Centrebet Stadium.

"I was excluded from the group for a bit.

"By the time we came back (from New Zealand) on Monday I was pretty sweet and they (teammates) ended up getting sick on the Tuesday."

James Segeyaro. Getty Images
Segeyaro suspected it was some cold scallops and seafood chowder that had given him plenty of digestive issues prior to last Sunday's clash in Auckland.

The poorly-prepared seafood also gave coach Ivan Cleary a few headaches.

With most of the squad bed-ridden this week and the likes of halfback Luke Walsh still so ill he had to vomit during Friday night's match, Cleary was concerned with how his side would hold up in a taxing second half.

"I was a bit worried in the last 20 minutes how it was going to go, but luckily we got out to a bit of a lead and were able to get some field position and hang onto the ball. We probably dodged a bullet a little bit," Cleary said.

Cleary was full of praise for Segeyaro, who he recruited from North Queensland last year.

"He is dynamic and he plays off the cuff a fair bit," he said.

"Tonight was good because he very much played within the structure and picked his moments.

"And when he picked them he pretty much got every one right."

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