Cronk talks up a Storm
Melbourne needn't have said much following their impressive eight-try rout of the Sydney Roosters, but Cooper Cronk ensured the rest of the NRL took notice by saying they're nowhere near their best.
STORM – 44 (TRIES: Slater 2, Cronk 2, Nielsen, Proctor, Hoffman, Chambers; CONS: Smith 5, Widdop)
ROOSTERS – 4 (TRIES: Cordner)
The Storm remain the competition’s only unbeaten team following Canterbury’s defeat to Newcastle and their prolific display in the Victorian capital, inspired yet again by fullback Billy Slater who bagged a record fourth consecutive brace.
Even notorious taskmaster Craig Bellamy would have struggled to find any negatives such was their precision in attack and rock-solid defence. However, Cronk was adamant they’re very much a work in progress.
“We’re still a long, long way from playing our best football,” the star No.7 said. “You try and set the parameters early in the season and work to reaching those and being your best in the back end of the year. That’s what we are trying to do.” Last week, Aussie Test No.1 Slater became the highest try-scoring fullback in rugby league history and he added another milestone yesterday, becoming the first player to start the season with four straight doubles.
‘Billy the Kid’ also had a hand in several other Melbourne tries, including a superb second-half effort to kick ahead for Cronk to touch down. The Storm next host the Knights on Friday, who handed the Bulldogs their first defeat on the year with a comprehensive 20-6 win in Sydney.
Newcastle had been patchy in their opening three games, losing twice, but new coach Wayne Bennett believes they’re finally starting to click, saying: “It was a pretty complete performance. Maybe the penny’s dropped that we can do better.”