Cooper Cronk has a laugh during Roosters training. (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Cooper Cronk has a laugh during Roosters training. (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Cronk: Roosters a work in progress

BLUES tormentor and Queensland champion Cooper Cronk has admitted he will "miss" State of Origin this year - but he won't attract much sympathy in NSW.

In a remarkable Origin record, Cronk has won seven from eight series when named Maroons halfback.

He never lost a series when playing all three games.

Cronk has now retired from representative football - as has his halves partner Johnathan Thurston - and claimed he could now watch the State of Origin "beast" unfold yet again this series.

"When the games come around, there's no doubt the beast that Origin is. If you think about it, from a football point of view, if you want to be tested physically and mentally under the most extreme circumstances, there is no other place to do it than Origin," Cronk said.

"That determines whether you are working hard or have the skills set to perform under pressure. Because you only one, two opportunities maximum in Origin.

"If you don't take them, then you can quickly find yourself not playing Origin football for a while.

"That was probably the biggest thrill I loved about Origin. It put the 34 best players in this country together and put under extreme circumstances and only time would tell if you were good enough to stand up under the pressure.

"It's arguably up there with the top three moments in my career, along with playing for Australia and in grand finals.

"Yeah, I am going to miss it, naturally. But I have a baby due around that time so I am sure I will be busy in other ways."

NSW have lost one of their main tormentors. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
NSW have lost one of their main tormentors. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Cronk didn't want to play selector but did name Anthony Milford, Ben Hunt, Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster as possible replacements for himself in the Maroons halves.

"Hunt, Morgan and Munster all played in game three last year so I think that's a pretty smooth transition," Cronk said. "There are a lot of options there.

"But I can become one of you guys (the media) and guess. Until Kevvie (Walters) names his the team, we have no idea."

Tedesco crosses the line in Auckland. (AAP Image/David Rowland)
Tedesco crosses the line in Auckland. (AAP Image/David Rowland)

The Roosters attack meanwhile with Cronk as pivot has been adjusted in recent with sparkling results.

They are now starting to look like the side many felt would be strong NRL premiership contenders.

Under a restructured attack, the Roosters hammered the Warriors 32-0 in Auckland last weekend after scoring 22 points against Manly the previous game.

 

"If you look at the end result, it does feel better. Any educated person looks at the processes and are the processes being done, then the outcome tends to take care of itself," Cronk said.

"Our defence has been rock solid most of the year. Our attack has been indifferent but what we have done in the last two or three weeks when we've changed a bit of the philosophy, we have put ourselves in better field positions to use the skill set of our players.

"Our attack, we know we have the ingredients, we just need to put the fundamental pieces together so it flows. That is the word I have used a lot. We need to make it flow, we can't be stop-start.

Cronk has high expectations. (AAP Image/David Rowland)
Cronk has high expectations. (AAP Image/David Rowland)

"It's still a work in progress. We're nowhere near our end result. One game doesn't determine your season. We will keep working hard at the things that make you a good footy team.

"To be a really good attacking team in this competition, you need to be multi-dimensional. The idea of playing one dimension the whole way through the year, teams and coaches analyse it and break it down with use tactics to stop it.

"There are guys in our footy team - our centres, (Luke) Keary, (James) Tedesco - we want to create space for them."



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