Cronk field goal haunts Tigers again
In Round 7 this season, Cooper Cronk kicked a field goal in golden point to give his side a 19-18 win over the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
On Sunday, Cronk was at it again, nailing a field goal with just five minutes remaining to extend the Storm lead to seven points and put the result beyond the Tigers.
While Cronk was understandably pleased with the end result, he admitted he would like to have the game wrapped up a little sooner next time around.
"It probably shouldn't have come down to that [field goal], we had the game in a position that we should have taken advantage of, but credit to them, they're a momentum team and they had it and ran with it, and lucky enough we probably scored a few points in the first half that saved us," Cronk told NRL.com.
"We got dominant [in the first half]. We controlled field position and the speed of the ruck both offensively and defensively. I dare say that at half time we came out a little bit complacent, and they took their opportunity.
"They started with a trick shot off the kick-off and got a penalty and scored off that set, so credit to them as they wrestled the momentum back after half time, but the most pleasing thing was that we probably scored too many points for them to run down in the second half."
The Storm headed for the sheds up 26-0 at half time and it seemed at that stage it would be a question of how much.
Cronk said coach Craig Bellamy's message was one that his side needed, although one he and his teammates couldn't follow.
"He said all the right things, but it's easier said then done to say one thing then going out to execute. We let ourselves down in that regard by not starting with enough energy and physicality in the first 10-15 minutes, we'll look at it and we'll do the analysis of what went wrong, but at the end of the day, that's not a normal performance from us, so I'm sure we'll turn it around," Cronk said.
After playing an important role in Queensland's 10th State Of Origin series win in the past 11 years, Cronk added another important milestone to his long list of achievements during Sunday's win.
Cronk became just the sixth ever player to record 200 NRL wins, joining his fellow Melbourne and Queensland captain Cameron Smith in the illustrious club.
The 32-year-old's past week has been quite pleasing from a personal view, and Cronk knows winning is something that he just has to do.
"It's always an enjoyable time to win football games, at the end of the day that's what we're judged on and that's what we want to do," Cronk said.
"It's a little hard to come down off the high of Origin and back up but that's our responsibility and we never shirk that, you never take that lightly."
Reports suggested that Cronk may have been troubled in recent weeks by the ankle injury he sustained in the training camp for Origin 1, but the halfback has labelled his ankle fully fit.
"It's absolutely fine. Every time you put your hand up to play there is no excuses, and if you do the right things from Monday to Friday you should be right to back up," Cronk said.