Philosophical Cronk shrugs off criticism

Cooper Cronk has taken a subtle dig at his many knockers, arguing many of them don’t know what’s going on at the Sydney Roosters.

Since moving from Melbourne on a two-year marquee deal, Cronk has copped plenty of criticism during the Roosters’ hit-and-miss start to 2018.

The Tri-Colours seemingly turned a corner with their 32-0 towelling of the high-flying Warriors on the weekend, easing the pressure on the pre-season premiership favourites.

But Cronk’s contribution has been questioned as the Roosters turned in some patchy efforts over the first nine rounds.

Some asked whether he was justifying his reported $1 million-a-season salary and being scrutinised at the same level as the man he replaced, Mitchell Pearce.

But for rugby league’s most cerebral man, it’s all water off a duck’s back.

Cronk doesn’t have a problem with anyone criticising him – but he doesn’t necessarily agree with them.

“It’s fair and reasonable,” Cronk said.

“In the 24-7 news cycle we live in these days you open yourself up. I’m too old to worry about things like that but I take criticism and compliments in the same breath.

“At the end of the day those opinions, they don’t know what’s truly going on. It doesn’t inspire me.”

Asked whether the critics had a point, Cronk said: “Everyone’s opinion is valid. Is it relevant? That’s the question. Is it accurate? That’s the other question.”

Cronk’s numbers during the first 10 weeks tell an intriguing story – some are comparable to his output at the Storm while some are down.

He has come up with nine try assists, the seventh-most in the competition.

It’s the same number as St George Illawarra No.7 Ben Hunt, widely considered the competition’s form playmaker.

It’s also comparable to what he did at the Storm where he averaged between 0.9 to 1.36 try assists per game in his final five years in the Victorian capital.

On the flipside, he’s come up with just four linebreak assists – down on the 1 per game he came up with last year.

He’s been credited with zero linebreaks this year.

With Cronk at the helm, the Roosters have averaged 3.1 tries (eight in the competition), 3.5 linebreaks (12th) and 26.6 tackles inside the opposition 20 (14th).

Following their Anzac Day loss to St George Illawarra, Rooster coach Trent Robinson conceded that his side had been too structured.

Cronk said they’d adjusted to play more freewheeling football at times but all teams needed organisation to fall back on.

“The structure is still there, whether it’s the Dragons or it’s the team on the bottom, they have a structure in place that they think wins football games,” Cronk said.

“The teams that do it well, execute it better than most.”


A look at Cooper Cronk’s NRL stats per game over the last six years:

* 2018 – 0.9 try assists, 0.4 linebreak assists, 0 linebreaks, 0.7 forced drop outs, 10 games

* 2017 – 1 TA, 1 LBA, 0.4 LB, 0.6 FDO, 22 games

* 2016 – 1.1 TA, 0.8 LBA, 0.3 LB, 0.6 FDO, 26 games

* 2015 – 0.9 TA, 0.7 LBA, 0.2 LB, 0.8 FDO, 23 games

* 2014 – 1.4 TA, 0.8 LBA, 0.2 LB, 1 FDO, 19 games

* 2013 – 1.3 TA, 1 LBA, 0.2 LB, 0.8 FDO, 26 games

Source: Fox Sports Stats

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation