Cronk will not improve the Roosters. Here’s why

ScottWoodward.me Roar Guru

By ScottWoodward.me, ScottWoodward.me is a Roar Guru

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    The thinking people I know in this game are all scratching their heads trying to work out what the hell the Roosters are doing with champion half Cooper Cronk.

    I tell them “I have no idea, it makes no sense”.

    Having “sense” is something that the Roosters legendary President Nick Politis and his head coach Trent Robinson are noted for, which is why this potential high-profile recruit is so fascinating.

    Cooper Cronk is rugby league’s ‘Mr Perfect’. He could play footy in a dinner suit and he never creates any negative headlines off the field. He just masterminded the Melbourne Storm to win the grand final, but despite his glowing reputation, his addition to the Roosters would have no positive impact of their market value to win the 2018 NRL competition, in fact it would act as a negative in some circles.

    Here’s why.

    The Roosters lost their head of list management Peter O’Sullivan twelve months ago, and he knows Cronk better than most as he shared a Unit with him when he was the Storm Recruitment Manager back in the early days when he would come off the bench and normally play a pivot role.

    Sully was a big fan even then and knew his roommate would make it to the top, but it doubtful if he still had his job at Moore Park today that he would break up the Roosters’ current spine.

    It is also likely that he would council his President that he already has the best spine in the NRL, particularly as it now boasts NSW’s best player in James Tedesco who will compliment incumbent Blues half Mitch Pearce – as well as the outstanding Luke Keary and workhorse Jake Friend.

    Any coach would salivate over that spine – including Kangaroo coach Mal Meninga.

    The Luke Keary and Mitchell Pearce combination assisted in a combined 31 tries, and an incredible 43 line break assists. To put those stunning figures into perspective, the Storm’s Cam Munster and Cronk made a combined 40 line break assists and 29 try assists.

    As well as being the Premiers, Munster and Cronk are also the incumbent Maroons halves, but as good as they are, their figures on two crucial stats for halves are inferior to the Roosters six and seven.

    Surely media reports that Pearce is to blame for the Roosters losing in the finals this year are folly. Pearce may not be everyone’s cuppa tea, or someone who you would invite home for dinner with your sister (especially if she had a poodle), but there can be no denying that he gave the Roosters 110 per cent this year and his figures support his contribution.

    Mitchell Pearce Sydney Roosters NRL Rugby League Finals 2017

    (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

    Luke Keary also had a stellar season and many considered him along with Josh Addo-Carr as the recruitment of the year. The other member of the Roosters spine is Jake Friend who played 22 matches and was the only player in the NRL to average over fifty tackles every week.

    When you add Friend, Pearce and Keary to the explosive newbie Tedesco, you can understand why the bookmakers have re-acted and installed the Roosters as competition favourites.

    It is true that Cooper Cronk could teach anyone, even Kim Jong-un, about true leadership, but to recruit him just for that purpose is an insult to Robinson and his assistant coaches who are all brilliant and highly sought-after mentors.

    The Roosters exited the finals early this season, and it was not because of a poor showing by their halves or hooker, but more because of the blood rushes from the brilliant but inexperienced Latrell Mitchell and the errant Blake Ferguson.

    Also some of the game-day selections raised a few eyebrows with winger Daniel Tupou on the bench and two back rowers playing in the centre position over Joseph Manu. Veteran fullback Michael Gordon was also preferred over the flying Connor Watson.

    This was a very defensive mindset and made it difficult for the Roosters to post a winning score.

    Perhaps the biggest reason was that the Roosters big men Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Dylan Napa lost the battle in the middle, which is never easy for halves to play off no matter how good they are.

    You get the feeling if Nick Politis made a call to the man that recruited his 2013 grand final winning team – Peter O’Sullivan – he would suggest that the Cronk money may be better invested into some big forwards.

    New South Wales have won the 2018 State of Origin series with an 18-14 win in an absolutely outstanding Game 2 at ANZ Stadium. See how the action unfolded with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 scores, highlights and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (89)

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 6:05am
      Not so super said | October 23rd 2017 @ 6:05am | ! Report

      It is true that Cooper Cronk could teach anyone, even Kim Jong-un, about true leadership, but to recruit him just for that purpose is an insult to Robinson and his assistant coaches who are all brilliant and highly sort after mentors.

      Well said

      • Roar Guru

        October 23rd 2017 @ 8:23am
        ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Super
        Robbo has won a Premiership and 3 minor Premierships in 4 years, not bad leadership.

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 10:49am
          Glenn said | October 23rd 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Yes but 3 minor premierships, a second last and a second over 5 years has translated into only 1 grand final appearance. And in reality they only won in 2013 because of $BW. A hugely disappointing performance if you ask me.

          • Roar Guru

            October 23rd 2017 @ 11:07am
            ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

            Glenn
            Injuries have a monumental influence on Grand Finals; it is such a long tough comp that often it is left to the last man standing.
            The Storm played their best 13 this year and the Cowboys did not and last year the Storm would have won had they had Billy Slater at 1 and Munster at 6 plus big Nelson off the bench. The Roosters have struggled in recent years with key injuries at the pointy end of the season like most teams, but their ability to win games and collect 1 P’ship, 3 MPs and play finals 4 footy in 4 of the last 5 years is an exceptional record.
            To say they won the Pship because of SBW is silly as you can say that about any GF winning team; it is a team game with 17 players.
            You are hard to please mate.

      • October 23rd 2017 @ 10:47am
        Ron Norton said | October 23rd 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        Doesn’t matter. Nick Politis wants him and what Nick wants Nick gets, irrespective of the salary cap.

        • Roar Guru

          October 23rd 2017 @ 11:13am
          ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Ron
          I would not think that salary is an issue here; the Roosters have the space it seems.
          More of an attraction may well be life after footy rubbing shoulders with Roosters Directors Mark Bouris, Andrew Crawford, Peter Newton, Brien Samphier and Mark Fennessy.

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 6:11am
      Wayne Turner said | October 23rd 2017 @ 6:11am | ! Report

      He should retire.Will be making a big mistake if he plays on.Expectations will be huge,and he is certain to disappoint.He’s too old now in rugby league terms,as a halfback,having to play in a new system,after so long at the Storm.Plus,he has left it so late,with most clubs having finalised their options.His choice will be limited.

      • Roar Guru

        October 23rd 2017 @ 8:25am
        ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        Wayne
        I think he has plenty of footy left in him as you will see this Fri., but thats not the point.

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 5:10pm
          Wayne Turner said | October 23rd 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

          It’s totally the point,and you can’t compare him playing for Aussies,with familar team mates,against going to a whole new and different NRL team.He should retire..

      • October 23rd 2017 @ 6:11pm
        matth said | October 23rd 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

        As long as he doesn’t disappoint himself he can play as long as he wants. There is always a fan perception that great players should go out on top or tarnish their legacy. But what if they just like playing?

        I remember Jimmy Connors in tennis played well past when he could seriously compete with the best, but he loved to play and his aim was to be the most dangerous floater in the draw, when a seeded player would think they were getting an easy start to a tournament then they drew Jimmy Connors.

        Benji Marshall looked like he had a ball this year. Should he have retired because he is no longer the best player in a team?

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 6:12am
      Dean said | October 23rd 2017 @ 6:12am | ! Report

      Another day, another Cronk beat up story. Pray tell Scott, would you care to name these thinking men you know in the game? You mention the so called brilliant Rooster’s assistant coaches who are all sought-after mentors. I take it you refer to Jason Taylor as one of them. After stating how brilliant the coaches are, in the next breath knock them for their eyebrow raising positional selections in the team. Latrall Mitchell brilliant? No. Exciting but still inexperienced? Yes. A bit like your writing really.

      • Roar Guru

        October 23rd 2017 @ 8:35am
        ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        Dean
        Coaching is fundamentally different to recruitment and also differnt again to getting the selections correct. During the Finals I believe the Broncos also got got their selections incorrect big time and I rate Bennett the second best coach behind Bellamy.
        Robbo has an NRL coach in waiting in Craig Fitzgibbon, and yes, in terms of leadership Jason Taylor would be excellent along with junior coach Adrian Lam who missed out on the Titans gig but assists Mal Meninga with the Kangaroos.

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 7:44am
      Rugby Realist said | October 23rd 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      I really think the only teams that feels right for Cronk, as a netural (well, Warriors) supporter is the a struggling Sydney team.
      He could make a mark and help the rebuild at the Tigers for instance.

      Signing for a glamour club like the Roosters or Rabbits will leave a bad taste, especially if a good NRL half like Pearce or Reynolds got the boot.

      • Roar Guru

        October 23rd 2017 @ 8:39am
        ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        RR
        Cooper is a special human full stop, but it is all relative and the Roosters have a wonderful 7 already who has another 5 years left.

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 9:10am
          Cedric said | October 23rd 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

          totally agree SW. It’s just like trying to get Cronk over here in Auckland, when we already have Johnson, what’s the point when really the Warriors need a few big boppers.
          Has someone at the Roosters got tunnel vision?

          • Roar Guru

            October 23rd 2017 @ 9:30am
            ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

            Cedric,
            The Warriors are fundamentally different to the Roosters and Cronk is different to Johnson, who would thrive if he only had to focus on his running game.
            The Warriors need a Cronk and so do a young team like the Knights.

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 12:47pm
          Rugby Realist said | October 23rd 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          Yes, i know. Thats why i suggested that Cronk should not replace Pearce, or Reynolds (Adam) at Souths.

          • Roar Guru

            October 23rd 2017 @ 1:15pm
            ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

            Rugby,
            Replace is different to co-exist which is what the Roosters are suggesting.

            • October 23rd 2017 @ 1:37pm
              Rugby Realist said | October 23rd 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              Semantics, but if Cronk was starting 7, you could argue that he had in fact ‘replaced’ Pearce as the 7 and the on-field guide. Even if Pearce was playing somewhere else.

              Other rumours have also suggested Pearce may go and could benefit from a fresh start.

              We will all know soon enough.

              I ultimately agree anyhow. I dont think he should ‘co-exist’ or ‘replace’ Pearce.

              • Roar Guru

                October 23rd 2017 @ 2:11pm
                ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

                Rugby
                It not “Semantics”.
                If Pearce goes the Roosters ca still boost their forwards which is the priority IMHO. If he stays they cannot.

              • October 24th 2017 @ 7:27am
                Rugby Realist said | October 24th 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

                I cant reply to your last comment.
                Scott, i’m not sure you have actually read the conversation or my points at all.
                Anyhow, nevermind.

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 9:28am
      Sammy said | October 23rd 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      Cooper Cronk needs a new challenge – he’s achieved everything in the game, so if he goes to the Roosters then they should keep Pearce and Keary in the halves and move Cronk to a ball playing lock forward, aka Scott Hill, Brad Fittler, etc.

      He just needs to bulk up in the off season.

      • Roar Guru

        October 23rd 2017 @ 9:36am
        ScottWoodward.me said | October 23rd 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Sammy
        You cannot have an 88 kilo lock in the modern game, the Roosters already were found out in the middle third of the field during the finals.
        He is about to bet married – surely no greater challenge than that!

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 9:30am
      Andrew said | October 23rd 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      So adding the second best half in the world doesn’t make your team better?

      You say why would they change the spine – Well they have already added Tedesco, so it is changed.
      You say any coach would salivate at a spine of Tedesco Keary, Pearce and Friend. The tongue would be permanently on the floor if the spine was Tedesco, Keary, Cronk Friend.
      You hand picked a stat try assists and line break assists which basically said it is a wash – even though you know full well that if you compared spine vs spine – which is what you were previously talking about, you would know that Cronk and the Storm play alot different to the Roosters, and the last pass for the line break or try assist doesn’t always come from the half.

      But if you want to hand pick a stat. – Errors. Pearce made the third most in the league – 38. Cronk ranked 85th with 17!!! 85th!! Why did the Roosters get bundled out of the finals? Questionable coaching selections and errors at key moments. Cronk brings a calmness and stability in big games and doesn’t make errors.

      Pearce is a good player, but the only coach who could justify saying “no” to Cronk is Paul Green, and even he would probably say yes please.

      • October 23rd 2017 @ 1:10pm
        Jimmmy said | October 23rd 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

        Spot on Andrew. When the going gets tough Cronk steps up. Pearce goes missing. Pearce is a very good half but Cooper Cronk he ain’t.

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 1:21pm
          jeandetroyes said | October 23rd 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

          Couldn’t agree more. He brings stability, confidence and is used to winning (something that shouldn’t be underestimated). Cronk in + Pearce out = premiership. Absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.

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