The Roosters, Cooper Cronk? Say it aint so

Matt Cleary Columnist

By Matt Cleary, Matt Cleary is a Roar Expert

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    Hey Cooper Cronk? The word is you’re thinking about playing for the Roosters. And that is of course your choice.

    But I believe not at all presumptively that I speak for all fans, indeed all of this greatest game of all rugby league when I say this.

    Say it aint so, Cooper Cronk. Say that it aint so.

    Not the Roosters. Not anyone.

    But not the Roosters.

    Know what I’m saying? The dear reader(s) know what I’m saying. They know absolutely full well what I’m saying.

    And what I’m saying is this, Cooper Cronk: should you play for the Roosters, it will not sit well with us at all.

    Not at all.

    Now, yes, of course, Cooper Cronk – and let’s everyone rip off their best Dr Evil – one miiillioooon dollars is still a very good chunk of coin and if you can earn it at the Chooks because Mr Politis has sold more Fords than Henry Ford, then good luck to you, one supposes, it’s a business you’re in after all and you’re only in it for so long and … make hay … and…

    No. I can’t do it. To coin a phrase from Australia’s great thinker Pauline Hanson: I don’t like it. And please explain.

    But Cooper Cronk? True story: I dinkum do not like it. I don’t like you at the Roosters.


    Matt Moylan of the Blues beats Cooper Cronk of the Maroons to the ball

    (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    Of course! What does it matter what I don’t like, Cooper Cronk? What does my opinion that you going to the cashed-up Roosters (and more on these people shortly) would dull your legacy as a one-club Storm boy who turned up in Melbourne as a 20-year-old bit parts utility back-rower, or something, who through sheer dogged persistence and the work ethic of a speed-addled Amish barn-builder built yourself into the best No.7 in the land?

    What does it matter that to see you running about in the tri-colours of Eastern Suburbs Roosters would be like Dennis Lillee having a Sheffield Shield season with Tasmania aged 38.

    Like Channel Nine thawing out Hey Hey it’s Saturday and bringing back black-face to entertain Harry Connick Jr.

    Maybe not that bad. But bad, man. Bad.

    Of course! My opinion means nothing. Only thing that matters, Cooper Cronk, is that you’re happy and tooling about in the eastern suburbs in one of uncle Nick’s Mustang GT Convertibles with the top down sucking on a quinoa and ginseng smoothie, or something equally slimming and horrendous, brother, as long as you’re cool with that we’re all cool with out, peace out.

    Of course none of that is true.

    Not the Mustang bit, not the hideous green chunky drink thing bit.

    And not the fact that I’m cool with you playing for the Roosters – or anyone else in Sydney for that matter – in season 2018.

    I’m not okay with it, Cooper Cronk. I hope I have made myself clear.

    (Of course if you absolutely had to play for someone in 2018 you should play for Canberra Raiders because your skills and speedy smarts are what the Raiders need to pilot their funky-bunch of mad kids around the park, much as Aiden Sezer goes okay, he’s not as good as you, with all due respect to Aiden Sezer, but it is true.)


    Don’t play for the Roosters, Cooper Cronk! Not the Roosters!

    Consider: How can it be, Cooper Cronk? How can the Roosters add a million dollar halfback to a team that already has a million dollar halfback – Mitchell Pearce – and is gaining a million dollar fullback in James Tedesco?

    Mitchell Pearce Sydney Roosters NRL Rugby League Finals 2017

    (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

    I’ve never been great at maths, Cooper Cronk, and the nuance and dark art of “third party agreements” agreed upon by management is lost on me like how CPI affects the All Ordinaries, whatever they are.

    But there’s $3 million for three players.

    And then you’ve got Dylan Napa, Jared Waerea-Hargeaves, Luke Keary, Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Michael Gordon, Mitch Aubusson and Blake Ferguson.

    Aiden Guerra’s gone, true, and that’ll free up some coin, as did the departure of fellow Knights-man Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

    But would it be outrageous to suggest that these eight players’ salaries average out to $500k per man? And thus cost $4 million?

    And that $3 million plus $4 million is $7 million? And the salary cap is $9.4 million.

    And that Dale Copley, Isaac Liu, Latrell Mitchell, Daniel Tupou, Kane Evans and Sio Siua Taukeiaho aren’t there on work experience.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

    Of course, it’s nothing to do you with you, Cooper Cronk, all this head office malarkey.

    And truth be told I don’t really care how much blokes are on, or how much a club is spending, market forces should run a business like rugby league and a “cap” on how much clubs can spend is an artificial edifice that thins out the comp’s talent and moves players around just when fans are starting to feel like they own them, another story.

    I’ll tell you another story I heard, Cooper Cronk. Few years ago you were really, really close to signing with St George Illawarra Dragons.

    Cooper Cronk Billy Slater

    (Digital Image Grant Trouville ©

    The Dragons believed they had you. They were prepared to pay what needed to be paid. Your market rate was NRL best practice. You were among the elite, the million dollar men. Saints were going to open the Taj Mahal and tell you to back up the ute so they could scoop the rivers of gold roll right in.

    So money was not an issue. But you stayed in Melbourne because, ultimately, you couldn’t play against Cam and Billy and the Hoff, and of course dear old Bellyache.

    Has that changed? For now you’re in Sydney and have bought a house on the lower north-shore not far from the Harbour Tunnel and it’s 30 minutes commute from there to Moore Park on a bad day and all the journos are saying things “won’t go away” which means it’s a warm story still.

    Say it aint so, Cooper Cronk.

    Say that it aint so.

    Matt Cleary
    Matt Cleary

    Matt Cleary is a sports writer from Sydney. He enjoys golf, footy and Four Pines Pale Ale, and spends as much time as conscience allows at Long Reef GC. Tweet him @journomatcleary, or read him at his website.

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    The Crowd Says (69)

    • October 13th 2017 @ 7:48am
      Peter Phelps said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Already been here.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:02am
      Oingo Boingo said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      “Of course! My opinion means nothing.”
      Yes you are correct, your opinion does mean nothing , now go and change your sheets and go back to bed.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:16am
      Dean said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      Not only is this story not even hot, it’s not even warm. Sorry to tell you Matt, it’s a pretty stupid story, written very badly.

      I could be wrong, but I expect it was meant to be humorous as well. It isn’t.

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 8:21am
        not so super said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        its great, most genuine RL supporters know the roosters as a club that is ashamed to call themselves Easts, has no local juniors and locals head off to the Waratahs and Swans at the closest opportunity

        • Roar Rookie

          October 13th 2017 @ 9:58am
          josh said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          This here is the problem with Rugby League in Australia.

        • October 13th 2017 @ 4:21pm
          Billy Blog said | October 13th 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

          Have to be called Sydney as the Eastern Suburbs as per current real estate lingo includes Souffs areas some of which they stole from the Roosters- Roosters have the second highest numbers of local juniors in NSW which includes the Central Coast -part of their Agreement with the Central Coast Rugby league – Wyong Roos is their NSW Cup side.

          see below what suburbs are included in what is called the Eastern Suburbs(74) – even Redfern is classed as the Eastern Suburbs

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:20am
      not so super said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Rumour season, Matt cleary.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:21am
      morley101 said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      umm your’re wrong …You;ve seriously under stated the departures.. Dale Copley and Jackson Hastings contracts are no longer being subsidized as well there many more departures than in your article.

      2018 Player Movements

      2018 Gains: James Tedesco (Wests Tigers, 2021)
      2018 Losses: Paul Carter (released), Kane Evans (Parramatta Eels), Aidan Guerra (Newcastle Knights), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Newcastle Knights), Liam Knight (Canberra Raiders), Connor Watson (Newcastle Knights)
      Re-Signed: Mitch Cornish (2018), Blake Ferguson (2018), Michael Gordon (2018), Ryan Matterson (2019), Dylan Napa (2019), Mitchell Pearce (2019), Victor Radley (2019), Chris Smith (2018), Daniel Tupou (2021), Sitili Tupouniua (2019)

      • October 13th 2017 @ 8:29am
        Oingo Boingo said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Sticking to the facts Is not something taken into consideration by Matt “The Hack” Cleary.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 11:49am
        no one in particular said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

        Guerra and SKD are the only ones on decent money that have gone. Others were on first NRL contract. Most of that money is eaten up by Tedesco. Napa is upgraded to SOO player money. Rep players Ferguson and Pearce haven’t taken pay cuts

        • October 13th 2017 @ 1:14pm
          John Corey said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          Mate its a fact that Ferguson has taken a huge pay cut. Previous and current. Trying to prove to the Roosters he deserves a big payday for his final contract, for them giving him an opportunity despite his previous bad behaviour.

          So yes… got that wrong.

          • October 13th 2017 @ 4:49pm
            no one in particular said | October 13th 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

            It’s a fact? So he gave up large multi year contracts at 2 clubs (and to play centre) for a 1 year contract with a massive pay cut to stay at the Roosters?

            It’s cute how naive people can be when you question their clubs integrity

            • October 16th 2017 @ 12:07am
              Slow news days said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:07am | ! Report

              Ferguson signed for a lot less with the Roosters than he was offered at other clubs – a fact – being paid wingers money only and a 1 year deal/ do some research before posting false comments

          • October 13th 2017 @ 8:52pm
            Not so super said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

            No he is right

      • October 13th 2017 @ 8:53pm
        Not so super said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

        They released no one on decent money – they must all be replaced. You reckon teddy was cheap?

    • October 13th 2017 @ 8:37am
      Oingo Boingo said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Cronk you say , might become a Rooster , well that sounds great , a super dooper Rooster booster.
      Some won’t like it , some will sook, some will wet the bed at the thought of him becoming a chook.
      A half that can kick , a half that can scheme , a little general , a legend , to steer a whole team.
      Cry all you like , let your jealous tongues wag , but we won’t give a phuck if he wins us the flag.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 11:39am
        Albo said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Trouble is this half would be more like a quarter without Smith & Billy around him. He would end up playing something like …..say, .Mitchell Pearce ! Luckily we won’t have to suffer more of that, because I am sure Cronk is already practising his serious repartee for a Foxtel job.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 8:54pm
        Not so super said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

        Why would anyone be jealous of a team that has no support or juniors ?

        • October 13th 2017 @ 9:04pm
          John Corey said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

          This guy is so desperate to be a Roosters supporter. It’s burning him :). Sorry bud, we’ll happily be hated. And unfortunately your want to be a Rooster is denied.

        • October 14th 2017 @ 12:58pm
          Kangarooster said | October 14th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

          Highest home ground attendance of any Sydney team

        • October 15th 2017 @ 2:38pm
          Mushi said | October 15th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

          And yet trotted out more one club players than the cowboys.

          So those vaunted juniors at you club must really love it there

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