Pressure is nothing to Roosters' Cronk

Cooper Cronk can't feel, see or touch pressure. As far as he's concerned, it doesn't exist.

It may sound like another philosophical musing by one of the NRL's deepest thinkers but, based on Cronk's first finals outing for the Sydney Roosters, his thought process appears accurate.

"What is pressure? You can't touch it, see it or feel it": Cooper Cronk.

Photo: AAP

No player will have more spotlight on him this finals series than Cronk.

He was brought to the Roosters to deliver a premiership. Even his predecessor Mitchell Pearce said as much earlier this year.

The Tri-colours are desperate to jump those final hurdles.

Intent on turning a fourth minor premiership and fifth top-two finish in the past six years into a second title under Trent Robinson.

But now that the time is here, that increased Sydney spotlight - compared to Melbourne's - is of no concern to Cronk.

"At this time of year everyone is under pressure," he said.

"But what is pressure? You can't touch it, see it or feel it.

"It's just whatever you make it out to be.

"Everyone has the right to their opinion and the articles and write whatever that is but for me it doesn't inspire me to do well or bad, it just is whatever it is.

Click to reload

"To me, inspiration is the fact that I've got a playing group who train their backsides off every week; I've got coaching staff that work tirelessly to have us prepared.

"No matter the articles, attention or pressure, you've just got to go out there and perform, and that's what it comes down to."

Performing is just what Cronk did in just the Roosters' fourth finals win in nine attempts since 2014, against Cronulla on Saturday night.

So often criticised for their kicking game in big matches with Pearce at the helm, Cronk's 688 metres kicked against the Sharks was the most by any player all year, according to Fox Sports Stats.

It helped the Roosters stay in the territorial battle against a bigger Sharks pack.

After telling players all last week that the same little things were key in finals, Cronk stood up when it mattered most to boot the match-sealing field goal with a matter of ease in the final 10 minutes.

"We had 100 per cent completions in the second half, we kicked the ball out of our own 30 or 40 on multiple occasions in the second half," he said.

"The thing we did really well was get to our kick, get the ball down the other end and get that good kick-chase line.

"Because if you just relax for two or three tackles that's when teams can get the jump on you and you end up camped on your line."

AAP

Most Viewed in Sport