Cooper Cronk has tried to stay out of the Sydney limelight.
Cooper Cronk has tried to stay out of the Sydney limelight.

Cronk out to avoid being ‘corrupted’

SYDNEY Roosters star Cooper Cronk has revealed how he has closed himself from all media over the first six weeks of the competition as he settles in at his new NRL club.

Cronk's highly-publicised move to Sydney will reach fever pitch this week as the Roosters prepare to face the man he replaced in the No.7 jumper, Mitchell Pearce.

Pearce will be one of four ex-Roosters to make their first return to Allianz Stadium, including Connor Watson and 2013 premiership-winner Aidan Guerra.

Cronk was reluctant to discuss his individual battle with Pearce, but reiterated previous statements over his new-found friendship with his long-time state nemesis.

"It's going to be built up, isn't it?" said Cronk, who was also happy to see Pearce kick the golden-point winning field goal in his first match.

"I'm going to put this out there: from my point of view, our relationship is better than it ever was.

"The extent of my relationship with Mitchell was, 'Hello, how are you, and good luck next week'. To understand the guy and have a few conversations ... it is easy for me to comment." Cronk, who spent his first 14 years in the NRL at Melbourne, also insisted he had avoided any criticism of the side following their shock round-one defeat to the Wests Tigers.

The club's recruitment of Cronk and James Tedesco meant the Roosters began the season as premiership favourites, and they proved their class in Friday's strong win over Canterbury.

Tedesco and Cronk shone bright for the Roosters.
Tedesco and Cronk shone bright for the Roosters.

Cronk said he had made himself impervious to criticism.

"I have shut up shop for the first month or six weeks. The way we play the game, you open yourself up for criticism, you open yourself up for compliments," he said.

"If you don't want to take the pros and cons you probably should hand back half your pay cheque. I enjoy it, it's fine."

He admitted to preparing for the fishbowl life of Sydney as opposed to Melbourne.

"Rugby league is so strong and passionate in Australia, but in particular Sydney," he said.

 

 

"You turn your TV on and it is one of the first stories on the news. If you're driving in a car and listening to the radio, Matthew Johns is talking about it on his show.

"I have never experienced that too much. In the build-up I am a pretty removed type of guy. In the build-up to round one I probably heard a bit more and read a bit more.

"My natural position is whatever is written, good or bad, it doesn't make me tackle harder, run harder or compete more. The reason I compete is pride in my performance and for my teammates.

"I just realised that maybe I should pull back a little bit and let my football not be corrupted."



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