Cronk shrugs off criticism
Cooper Cronk says he will sooner hand back a portion of his pay cheque than take criticism to heart as the Roosters' attack continues to evolve.
The Tricolours go into Friday's clash with Brisbane sitting in sixth place and off the back of an impressive 32-0 thumping of the Warriors last week, but are still yet to hit the heights many predicted of this year's short-priced pre-season favourites.
The multimillion-dollar outlay for Cronk and fellow representative star James Tedesco has fuelled much of the hype and the resulting criticism when the Roosters have struggled for cohesion at times across the first 10 rounds.
Halves coach and Eighth Immortal Andrew Johns has been one of the highest profile and most strident critics of the Roosters attack at times, but 34-year-old Cronk has no issue with Johns's comments, or anyone else's for that matter.
"It's fair and reasonable," Cronk told reporters on Monday.
"In the 24-7 news cycle we live in these days you open yourself up. I'm too old to worry about things like that but I take criticism and compliments in the same breath.
"We play a game that is open to public opinion. And if I sit here and jump up and down about people criticising or complimenting me, honestly I need to hand back some of my pay cheque because that's just what we do."
The Roosters' defence now ranks as the best in the Telstra Premiership thanks to the shut-out of the Warriors, their second in the space of a month after downing Canterbury 6-0 in round 7.
But following a lacklustre Anzac Day showing against ladder leaders St George Illawarra, coach Trent Robinson vowed to tinker with his offensive structure and give his playmakers more "freedom with their eyes up".
As his first campaign with the Tricolours wears on, Cronk expects the side's new attacking focus will produce the goods as oppositions continually look to stifle their playmakers.
"We've changed a few things philosophy wise and done a different training technique and I think that's really paid dividends," Cronk said.
"The more we can do that over the next month the more you'll see hopefully those combinations with (Luke) Keary and Teddy in certain positions on the field using their ability.
"To be a really good attacking team in this competition you need to be multidimensional. The idea of playing one dimension the whole year, teams and coaches analyse it, break it down and come up with tactics to stop it.
"So one thing we've worked at is different parts of the footy field, long, short, middle of the field stuff so that when the ball is in that position we've got the option to go to each and every player."