The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk



  • @Cultured_Bogan said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @bigsiro said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @Cultured_Bogan said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    Simply put, if we had a chance to snag Cronk for those two years at the expense of losing Brooks, I’d have done it in a heartbeat, and I am certainly not one who has it in for Brooks.

    Was a no-brainer. I said at the time to write an open cheque for the bloke.
    His work ethic and winning mentality alone would have created a better culture here - and that’s not even considering his exceptional game management and halfback play.

    Except he wouldn’t have ever come here to play under JT and our merry band of under achievers. There’s a reason why he went to Easts.

    The reason is, like great coaches… Great players have options and can choose a new club likely to win a comp rather than one that’s missed finals for a decade… People forget it takes two to tango


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    @innsaneink absolutely, ink , or you could be a very lonely alpha sometimes …



  • @jirskyr said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    I wanted to pose a question - is Cooper Cronk a great footballer, or has he been blessed with stacked rosters his entire career?

    The thought occurred to me in another thread about Luke Brooks, who I felt was busy without being decisive against the Bulldogs. Personally I thought if he was given more support, more would have come of his efforts, and later in the game he seemed to be running an awful lot, to good effect, simply because either the DH service was poor or because his backline was not running onto the ball.

    And I wonderd what kind of career Luke Brooks might have if he was playing for the Storm and Roosters, not Tigers. If he was receiving passes from Cam Smith, throwing balls to Munster or Slater or Inglis or Folau or Keary or Latrell or Tedesco (well we had a reasonable look at the latter).

    Cooper Cronk has never played in a bad side. He’s never had less than 3-4 future Hall Of Fame players in any team. He’s a very capable organiser, tough, good defender, good support, good in clutch players, but also - he can afford to focus on these because he doesn’t have to do everything himself. Because when he passes, his team-mates make things happen, run good lines, bust tackles, set up line breaks themselves.

    So how good really is Cooper Cronk and what do you guess his career might have been like if he played for Titans or Tigers?

    I’m fascinated by this type of question and the fact that so many of the responses are of such low calibre shows how poorly we understand the concepts you’re talking about. “Brooks must be terrible because the Tigers don’t finish in the top eight”. Presumably Thurston must have been a sub-first-grade standard player in 2008-10 because the Cowboys finished 15th, 12th and 15th (last in the non Storm zero points department).

    What’s interesting is that we basically have no useful evidence to back up our own impressions - which shows how the NRL is still in the dark ages when it comes to data analytics (possibly just what’s publicly available, but I strongly suspect there are still plenty of teams that sign players based on, more or less, guesswork).

    We can all tell when a player has extravagant athletic gifts - a Taumalolo, Ponga or Tedesco, say - but otherwise it comes down entirely to our impressions, biases and personal preferences. Plenty of Souths fans think Adam Reynolds is holding them back (and did so even when they won a premiership). We of course have the Brooks haters. From what I’ve seen, Roosters fans both dislike Friend. No doubt there were some Dragons fans who thought signing Ben Hunt was a good idea. I’m sure it’s the same at every club.

    Personally I wouldn’t claim to understand the game well enough to answer the original question. What I do know is that confirmation bias is a powerful weapon. Cronk can do virtually nothing and yet be lauded for “leading the team round the park” if the Roosters win (he looked borderline disinterested when we played the Roosters a few weeks back, frankly). Brooks was disappointing for his first two seasons and he’s played in a succession of bad Tigers sides so nothing he ever does will redeem him for some fans. That doesn’t mean Cronk is a bad player or Brooks is the next immortal, it just means we tend to see what we expect to see.


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    @2041 talk about beating around the bush, buddy, did you just have that thought then or already had it typed out and couldn’t figure who to respond to ! Seems a very Blasé response and something that doesn’t engender any real understanding of what is not even the crux of the question - where you have focused on replying- that any, or many (in your words) are responding to about the caliber of player we can attract, whether they lift us out of the cellar, and whether they have the same success here… imo this is all totally irrelevant even in the hypothetical sense because I don’t see there being any competing factors at this stage of their respective careers that differentiate Cronk & Brooks, except that one is 100% proven at the top level and the other isn’t. It comes down to cash , convenience and top quality coaching/nothing else (note: Moses’ improvement under Brad Arthur)… Moses isn’t a halfbacks bootlace but currently his side and club off the field are doing more to support him and showcase the better aspects of his game.

    It’s that simple, if we keep Madge and in the next 5 years win at least one premiership … then you’d have my permission to even ‘try’ comparing Luke Brooks to C. Cronk.

    I see what u tried to do there but there’s really no need to deflect on a forum. Back to the OP; Cronk would’ve helped us out (not of his own choice) and made us competitive week in, week out, but we’d still have not had a premiership opportunity yet IN MY opinion - and so, as history shows with both of them - he would’ve pulled a Teddy and left for the Chooks either way.



  • @Cultured_Bogan said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    In those terms, you can make that argument for any player.

    Yes and no. In terms of Johns, the question is - do you think Knights could have won the comp if Joey didn’t play for them? Who are the players that teams cannot do without? Who are the players that dominate, not just compete, at all levels? Those are the Immortals.

    When it comes to Cronk, I think all his teams could manage without him. There’s no doubt he’s a very good footballer and especially in the area of game management / team organisation, apart from Thurston, he probably hasn’t had an equal for a decade. He is a real clutch player in terms of finding the right pass or kick. But he was never cutting teams apart, never a real weapon with the football or a specific headache for opponents to nullify. Rather, he has always been a high-level gritty footballer, competing on every play with a cool head and minimal mistakes.

    Thurston, on the other hand, propelled what became a reasonable Cowboys outfit to the finals; when he joined from Canterbury they had a horrendous record. And then based on Thurston’s excellence, Cowboys were able to flesh-out their roster, because players were keen to sign on with him. That adds to Thurston’s legacy in my opinion.

    The same cannot be said about Cronk; at both Storm and Roosters he came into what was already a very successful operation, with a prominent roster. His debut match for the Storm in 2004, their side was: Slater, Geyer, Bell, MacDougall, Dustin Cooper, Hill, Orford, Kearns, Cam Smith, Kearney, Kidwell, Dallas Johnson, Hoffman, Howe, Danny Williams, Reynoldson, Cronk. Slater and Smith had already played a full season; 4 of the players had played in the 1999 premiership.

    Cronk will undoubtedly become a Hall Of Fame player and almost certainly not an Immortal. I think he is probably the weakest of the top-tier footballers that made their careers at Melbourne - behind Smith, Slater, Inglis, Folau. I’d even say Munster, at this stage in his career, is a superior footballer to any time in Cronk’s career. I think Keary, Latrell and Tedesco outshine Cronk at the Roosters now.



  • @DieHarder said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @2041 talk about beating around the bush, buddy, did you just have that thought then or already had it typed out and couldn’t figure who to respond to ! Seems a very Blasé response and something that doesn’t engender any real understanding of what is not even the crux of the question

    Totally do not agree. @2041 does understand the question, and I know he/she does, because I am the one that posed the question.

    Your post, on the other hand, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, though I’ve tried to read it a few times. I never really asked how Tigers would have fared if we had Cronk instead of Brooks, though it came up in discussion. I also didn’t specifically ask to compare Brooks to Cronk, because of course in many respects you cannot compare them yet. What I asked is “what makes Cooper Cronk a great footballer and how much of that is dependent on the rosters he played in?”. Brooks, by way of contrast, has not played in top rosters and I wonder what impact that has on his career/reputation. Not comparing Brooks to Cronk, rather comparing reputations and success of players based on the haves- and have-nots at club level.



  • There’s no doubt he’s benefitted from being around those players and in general, good systems. Anyone would. You get access to that extra 5% everyday that adds up to a great deal more resources in the long term. Think of the opportunies that come with those teams. Their victories attract more people to the club and better competition which breeds better performance. If he’d been with us he’d have been good but not great; it’s why a lot of our good players, if they can leave, choose to. It’s why Benji is a legend for everything he’s given to us. He surely would have received bigger offers to go elsewhere.

    Cronk has definitely had to work for it, all truly great people do. But kudos to him for getting chosen by the Storm and then making the most of it. It’s given him this role at the Roosters and then led to him getting a TV role.


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    @jirskyr hence me confirming that his/her response is off-base, because it does not address your question. Which part of what you ‘read’ in my wording is yet to hit you? Just wondering, Jirskyr!

    The post stands and never once did I compare Brooks and Cronk - simply saying that any response mentioning a comparison is off the mark, is totally wrong - whether it has been raised in OP or not. Definitely on topic, struggling to see what doesn’t make sense about “Cronk is 100% proven at the top level” & “would’ve made us more competitive week in, week out” but we wouldn’t have had a premiership window on his abilities alone, future immortal or not. Does this answer your ‘question’ succinctly ???


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    @jirskyr Keary??? Are you kidding😂

    Latrell Mitchell, no where near just yet, unless you are talking about specifically flamboyance and finesse and the ability to cock up things because of his ego…

    So, really I’m giving you benefit of the doubt in posting a legitimate reply to your previous post. What an unintelligent piece of writing back from you to me ^ also. I hope you will understand this time or I really fear for whoever you go to games with or what get up to in your spare time/for work. No offence meant btw… just a crazy silly topic to expect literal and concrete answers to, I never said he didn’t attempt to answer your question - rather that it was a “beat around the bush”… don’t bother reading two lines and replying in future mate!


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    @jirskyr said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @DieHarder said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @2041 talk about beating around the bush, buddy, did you just have that thought then or already had it typed out and couldn’t figure who to respond to ! Seems a very Blasé response and something that doesn’t engender any real understanding of what is not even the crux of the question
    

    Totally do not agree. @2041 does understand the question, and I know he/she does…

    So, you think you know? For certain, that Cronk is as good as YOU say he is and not on the opinions/stats from the most important figures in the game as well the two most respected coaches and the most dominant Queensland side in history!?? Wow, I mean I am a blues fan but I’d love to have such blissful unawareness to truly tho k he couldn’t have bettered our club. You have confirmed your own bias, as 2041 said.



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  • @jirskyr said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @Cultured_Bogan said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    In those terms, you can make that argument for any player.

    Yes and no. In terms of Johns, the question is - do you think Knights could have won the comp if Joey didn’t play for them? Who are the players that teams cannot do without? Who are the players that dominate, not just compete, at all levels? Those are the Immortals.

    When it comes to Cronk, I think all his teams could manage without him. There’s no doubt he’s a very good footballer and especially in the area of game management / team organisation, apart from Thurston, he probably hasn’t had an equal for a decade. He is a real clutch player in terms of finding the right pass or kick. But he was never cutting teams apart, never a real weapon with the football or a specific headache for opponents to nullify. Rather, he has always been a high-level gritty footballer, competing on every play with a cool head and minimal mistakes.

    Thurston, on the other hand, propelled what became a reasonable Cowboys outfit to the finals; when he joined from Canterbury they had a horrendous record. And then based on Thurston’s excellence, Cowboys were able to flesh-out their roster, because players were keen to sign on with him. That adds to Thurston’s legacy in my opinion.

    The same cannot be said about Cronk; at both Storm and Roosters he came into what was already a very successful operation, with a prominent roster. His debut match for the Storm in 2004, their side was: Slater, Geyer, Bell, MacDougall, Dustin Cooper, Hill, Orford, Kearns, Cam Smith, Kearney, Kidwell, Dallas Johnson, Hoffman, Howe, Danny Williams, Reynoldson, Cronk. Slater and Smith had already played a full season; 4 of the players had played in the 1999 premiership.

    Cronk will undoubtedly become a Hall Of Fame player and almost certainly not an Immortal. I think he is probably the weakest of the top-tier footballers that made their careers at Melbourne - behind Smith, Slater, Inglis, Folau. I’d even say Munster, at this stage in his career, is a superior footballer to any time in Cronk’s career. I think Keary, Latrell and Tedesco outshine Cronk at the Roosters now.

    I guess you look at it in the availability of other premiership winning halves in the comp at the time. Would Sticky, Alfie, Toovey, Kimmorley have taken the Knights to premiership glory? You could argue yes because they did with their clubs. Would any of those thrown that pass to Darren Albert? Quite possibly, but alas we’ll never know.

    Another thought I have is what constitutes a great? Do they absolutely have to have the X-factor, is it mutually exclusive? Can being only a ridiculously solid player who will always put the kick in the right spot or throw the right pass almost without fail and absolute precision preclude you from being a great? Because I don’t consider Cameron Smith to possess an X-factor as such either (I am of the belief that Cronk is a no-frills footballer.) For mine I believe him to be an extremely reliable and regimented footballer who can read the game and execute extremely well 99.9% of the time and yet well all know he will be an Immortal.

    It’s also no surprise that Slater and Smith came on before Cronk. Prior to the former they had Richard Swain and a mixed bag of fullbacks. Hill and Orford were well established at that point so I can understand why Cronk came on later.

    I don’t mean to be coming across as argumentative as you make some very good points, I feel that they can be openly applied as well. I agree that Cronk has enjoyed a wonderful career as a result of the teams he has played in, they’ve both been littered with stars, and as a result we cannot assess how he fared in a battler side. I absolutely believe had he played at Wests we would have been a much better team for it though. Would he have won us a premiership? Maybe not. But would we have spent 7 sevens in the bottom 8? I can reason that would be doubtful.

    Lastly, I am not interested in the Cronk vs. Brooks comparison like others have been. I did say that I would have taken Cronk if he were on offer in a heartbeat. I don’t believe this should be a thread to drive the notion that Brooks is (not) an adequate halfback for us.



  • @DieHarder said in The possible non-greatness of Cooper Cronk:

    @2041 talk about beating around the bush, buddy, did you just have that thought then or already had it typed out and couldn’t figure who to respond to ! Seems a very Blasé response and something that doesn’t engender any real understanding of what is not even the crux of the question - where you have focused on replying- that any, or many (in your words) are responding to about the caliber of player we can attract, whether they lift us out of the cellar, and whether they have the same success here… imo this is all totally irrelevant even in the hypothetical sense because I don’t see there being any competing factors at this stage of their respective careers that differentiate Cronk & Brooks, except that one is 100% proven at the top level and the other isn’t. It comes down to cash , convenience and top quality coaching/nothing else (note: Moses’ improvement under Brad Arthur)… Moses isn’t a halfbacks bootlace but currently his side and club off the field are doing more to support him and showcase the better aspects of his game.

    It’s that simple, if we keep Madge and in the next 5 years win at least one premiership … then you’d have my permission to even ‘try’ comparing Luke Brooks to C. Cronk.

    I see what u tried to do there but there’s really no need to deflect on a forum. Back to the OP; Cronk would’ve helped us out (not of his own choice) and made us competitive week in, week out, but we’d still have not had a premiership opportunity yet IN MY opinion - and so, as history shows with both of them - he would’ve pulled a Teddy and left for the Chooks either way.

    I’m tempted to say “whoosh” and leave it at that. But let me have a go at simplifying it a bit for you - I probably was a bit verbose as I was typing as I thought.

    All I’m saying is that rugby league is still in the dark ages when it comes to understanding what players bring to a side, at least when they’re not obviously physical freaks (and even then I think there’s room for doubt - look at Latrell Mitchell. What’s the value of a transcendent talent who occasionally disappears completely?)

    In this case, there’s a widespread perception that Cronk is - let’s say - a 9/10 player and Brooks is maybe a 6/10 player (putting aside the loonies on here who think Brooks is a 1/10 player). OP is making the point that this potentially gives far too much value to the teams the two have played in. Maybe Cronk is an 8/10 and Brooks a 7/10. Maybe they’re actually both 8/10s.

    What I’m saying is we still don’t have any way of knowing, so we all retreat to our biases. Mine is that Brooks is better than he’s often given credit for, whereas Cronk is probably not quite as valuable as it is often suggested. But I could easily be wrong.

    If you look at other sports, they are all taking steps towards trying to understand this concept of a player’s value as an individual. It’s really hard in sports where nothing happens on an individual basis (a quarterback might complete loads of passes but if he has an amazing offensive line and great receivers, and is playing against a terrible defence, that might not mean much).

    League still seems to be based far too much on trusting the impressions of ‘people who understand the game’ - coaches and pundits, in particular. We know definitively from sports like baseball that ‘people who understand the game’ have their own biases and that there is value to be found in challenging those biases.


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