Sport

Cronk aims to mark milestone by sealing grand final spot

Melbourne Storm player Cooper Cronk speaks to the media ahead of Saturday's preliminary final against the Raiders at AAMI Park.
Melbourne Storm player Cooper Cronk speaks to the media ahead of Saturday's preliminary final against the Raiders at AAMI Park. JULIAN SMITH

YOU hear and read all the time about how Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk's kicking game is the best in rugby league.

It's said he could drop the football on a dollar coin nine times out of 10 from 20 or 30 metres away.

The emphasis is often on his sublime ability to kick the Steeden like few others before him.

But the baby-faced kid from Brisbane with the Hollywood looks, initially sent back home by the Melbourne Storm to work on his game, has shown he is much more than a kicker and that his game is also built on toughness and being a perfectionist.

"When he first came here he was just a kid looking for an opportunity to play first grade,” said Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, who was blessed by an influx of players in his early days at the Storm that helped shape the club.

"It's fair to say Cooper had gone a long way with the talent he was born with.”

Cooper works harder than most players on all aspects of his game.

He is the ultimate all-round player, whether he is leading the kick-chase to pin rivals in goal, throwing cut-out passes to teammates or dropping a kick on to a player's chest for a try.

When he becomes the 25th player in rugby league's 300-game club on Saturday night against the Raiders it will be because, like most of the members already in the club, he is mentally and physical strong.

He'll be the third halfback to play 300 games, behind Brett Kimmorley and Scott Prince.

Sometime in 2017 he will claim Kimmorley's all-time record for a halfback of 307 games.

But unlike Kimmorley who tallied his milestone from stints with six NRL clubs, including Melbourne (79 games), Cronk has been a one-club player since making his debut for the Storm in 2004 - forming the Fab Three with fellow Queenslanders Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.

That became the Fab Four when a lanky but athletic 18-year-old called Greg Inglis joined them in 2005 out of the North Devils program in Brisbane.

While the significance of playing 300 games is not lost on Cronk, who did not have a position when he landed in Bellamy's care 12 years ago, he realises there's a bigger occasion ahead if Melbourne can halt Canberra's roll this weekend.

"It will be a massive occasion and a proud moment for me on Saturday night,” Cronk said.

"I certainly don't want to disrespectful of 300 games because it's a great achievement.

"But there is something greater on offer for this football club and I am very happy to take a back seat to the preliminary final, which gives us an opportunity to do something special if we win.”

Topics:  cooper cronk, melbourne storm, nrl finals


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

King Kyuss wins world silver

LIKE A KING: Byron bay's Kyuss King has taken second in the 16 Boys Division at the 2016 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Azores in Portugal.

Kyuss King has scored a second at the World Junior Championships

Why we're the top spot for mobile tourists

Caravanners and campers spend an average $152 a night in our region.

Our region is the top spot for caravanners and campers in the state.

Local Partners

Community Calendar

This week's Byron Shire News Community calendar

Council to request continuation of shark spotting program

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Byron mayor says trial was a fantastic success

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

King Kyuss wins world silver

LIKE A KING: Byron bay's Kyuss King has taken second in the 16 Boys Division at the 2016 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Azores in Portugal.

Kyuss King has scored a second at the World Junior Championships

Why we're the top spot for mobile tourists

Caravanners and campers spend an average $152 a night in our region.

Our region is the top spot for caravanners and campers in the state.

Monster hospital sale coming soon

HOSPITAL AUCTION: Mullumbimby and Byron Hospitals will be having auctions of excess equipment.

There will be a monster garage sale at Byron hospital next month.

Theatre lives to thrill another day

LET US STAY: Brunswick Picture House owners Brett Haylock and Chris Chen with supporter Guy Kable want the theatre to stay open.

Local theatre may continue to operate after council discussions.

Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce AGM

BYRON CHAMBER: Bjorn Peterson- Woody's Surf Shack, Felicity Davies- Lease Boutique, Dan McGill- Byron Bazaar, Gavin Barber- Ruskin House, Deborah Benhayon- DB Inner Designs, Simon Cook- Birddog Marketing, Gail Fuller (President)- Byron Coastal Real Estate, Fin Murray- Architect Fin. Photo: Clayton Lloyd.

The Byron Chamber of Commerce AGM is on this week.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Theatre lives to thrill another day

LET US STAY: Brunswick Picture House owners Brett Haylock and Chris Chen with supporter Guy Kable want the theatre to stay open.

Local theatre may continue to operate after council discussions.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.