Cooper Cronk during Melbourne's Round 25 win over the Cowboys.

Storm's Cronk aims to lift his game

With contract talks still up in the air, Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk has admitted that the decision may be affecting his early season performances.

Cronk is in the final year of his contract with the Storm and is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal, and has said that he's finding it hard to separate his off field thoughts from his on field jobs.

"I'd like to think I can [separate them], but if I'm completely honest I'm not exactly stoked with the level of my performance in the last four weeks, so there probably is a little bit of weight there," Cronk said.

While Cronk was unable to give a timeline on when the contract will be finalised, he's relatively upbeat about the current situation of the deal. 

"I'm thereabouts. It's a process that will continue to evolve. We're in discussions with the club, it's developing and there is some progress, and there'll be an announcement in some time, but I can't give you a date," Cronk said.

The Storm will be looking to bounce back after a sub-par performance against the Sharks last Monday, and Cronk is hoping to play a big part in this Saturday's game against the Knights.

"We weren’t great last week there's no doubt about it… hopefully I can take a bit more ownership and direct us around the park and play a little more direct this week and give our guys on the edge a little more room to be creative," Cronk said.

"If I've got anything to do with it, our attack will be fine."

 

Marika Koroibete was named but will miss the game through suspension, so a replacement is need for the speedy Fijian. 

Tony Tumusa and Richie Kennar loom as possible inclusions, but when asked if he knew who would get the nod, Cronk was keeping his cards very close to his chest.

"I do, but I can't tell you. You'll know at about 1pm tomorrow afternoon," Cronk laughed.

Regardless of who gets the jersey, Cronk knows that the Knights will provide tough opposition on Saturday afternoon.

Trent Hodkinson will line up opposite Cronk, and the 32-year-old knows just how important he is to the Knights.

"He's a big recruit for them. Nathan Brown is trying to instil a culture and that comes along with Jarrod Mullen, and Trent Hodkinson is at the forefront of that, there's no doubt about it," Cronk said.