Cronk: Chink in NSW armour I’d target

Maroons, take note.

Former Queensland star Cooper Cronk has looked at the NSW line-up for Origin II and identified the weakness in the Blues' defence he'd try to exploit.

The Blues have made a number of changes for game two, with the spotlight heavily on the new centre pairing of Jack Wighton and Tom Trbojevic.

Both players have been seen rarely in the centres throughout their careers, with Trobjevic the least experienced of the two in the position, and it's why Cronk would look at targeting the Manly star.

"For me, I think the Maloney-Wighton combination is aggressive moving forward, but I think it's Turbo," Cronk told NRL 360 on Fox League.

"(Trbojevic) is an elite player. He's one of the best players in this game, but I just think him and (Nathan) Cleary together, they haven't defended together much over time.

"There's one clip in the series last year when Tommy was on the wing and that's when NSW went down to 12 men, he was aggressive in shutting down all the plays. That tells me his first instance is to be moving forward and trying to shut the ball down.

"He might shut one or two down but expect Munster and, in particular Kaufusi, to pick that apart."

The Blues flew former centre Mark Gasnier across to Perth to work with Wighton and Trbojevic before game two.

The ex-St George Illawarra star had his first session with the team on Wednesday and said he had no qualms about the duo's defence or attack in a different position.

Cronk believed it was possible for Gasnier to give the duo a valuable crash course.

"With elite players, you can," Cronk said.

"Mark Gasnier's one of the best defensive centres the game's seen.

"For me, it's about positions that you get on the field to make good decisions.

"If you are passive, you can't come from a long way to stop the football, so you need some line speed to shut that down.

"I expect Queensland to attack left and target the NSW right edge.

"It's just a matter of time whether those repetitions through Mark Gasnier and training time that the combination between Cleary and Turbo is strong enough to shut everything down that comes their way."

News Corp Australia


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