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Roosters co-captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend are firm in their belief that Cooper Cronk's injured left shoulder won't become a distraction even though the playmaker thinks he's a "long shot" for Sunday's grand final.

"It's about staying relaxed and not getting too worked up. You don't want to think too far ahead to the game because it's still quite a long way away," Cordner told

"I will remind the boys to enjoy the week; it's exciting times; this is why you play footy to play in a game like this.

"When it gets closer to the time, it will be more intense, and that's when I might say more."

While Cronk arrived at Monday's media session with his left arm in a sling, he is still not giving up on playing his old club.

"Don't know what my realistic chances are, but look I'm a long shot. That's not lying," Cronk told reporters.

"I'm not going to go into the details of the injury because at the moment, with all due respect, it's on a need-to-know basis and at the moment you don't need to know.

"The whole idea is, it's one hell of a game, we've got seven days. I'm going to do everything I possibly can to play on Sunday."

Cronk injured

Friend said that even if the worst-case scenario happens, the Roosters players still have Cronk's knowledge and considerable grand final experience (seven grand finals with Storm) to draw on.

"You want everyone in the side, but it's not always the case," Friend told

"Whether Coops plays or not I think his role throughout the week wouldn't change. He's a leader around our place and all the boys look up to him.

"But we have players in and out during the season, so we still train well and train hard. That's worked for us all year so we'll try to get that right again for Sunday."

Cordner had the added scare of thinking he might lose his No.9 in Friend through a suspension, as well as his No.7 with an injury.

Friend was charged with a dangerous tackle, as he lifted Greg Inglis into an awkward position, but is able to play on Sunday because he had no prior penalty points.

"It wasn't ideal," Cordner said of waiting for the match review committee's decision.

"When you're playing during the game you don't think of it. But then people in the sheds after the game bring it to your attention and you start to think 'Oh Wow'.

"It takes a bit of your energy but in saying that I'm pleased he got off and he's able to play, because he's our captain and a big part of why we're in the grand final in the first place."

Cronk is aiming to play his third grand final in a row – the 2016 loss against the Sharks and the 2017 win over the Cowboys with the Storm, and now with the Roosters in 2018.

If he is able to play, he will not be tentative about the opposition heading straight for him as Rabbitohs Sam Burgess and Adam Reynolds did in Saturday's 12-4 preliminary final win.

"I think every team runs at me, runs at every half. I think Souths did it on the weekend as well," Cronk said.

"I'll tell you what, if I'm there with the boots on and this Roosters jersey on, everyone can run at me because there's nowhere to hide out there."

Rooster right-edge second rower Mitch Aubusson, and centre Joseph Manu, were credited by coach Trent Robinson as key in upping their own workloads to help Cronk out in defence on Saturday.

In actual fact Aubusson made 34 tackles. But the week before against Cronulla in the qualifying final, Aubusson made 40.

"I enjoy the actual work load. The Sharks game was really different with the ball in play a lot more, due to less stoppages.

"I still think Coops did his fair share and did well to hang on until the end of the game," Aubusson told

As far as his teammates keeping up their spirits this week, Aubusson says the prize awaiting one club on Sunday is enough.

"First of all it's an individual approach. You get yourself right first, all your recovery sorted, and then as a team we'll get together and train well.

"We keep tight and we enjoy the week no matter how Coops goes."


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