Storm halfback Cronk out to atone - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm halfback Cronk out to atone

By Todd Balym 30/09/2009 10:20:35 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk says he found it difficult not to take last year's 40-0 record NRL grand final defeat to Manly personally.

With skipper Cameron Smith out suspended, Cronk was called upon to captain against the Sea Eagles but the decider could not have gone worse with the Storm blown off the park right from the start.

Cronk said he struggled to come to terms with the result during the off-season but believes the Storm players have all learnt from that painful experience.

"I'm a very proud person and when things don't go right you obviously get a bit upset and worked up," said Cronk.

"At the end of the day, we didn't go out there and perform as a team.

"We had things preceding us that didn't help us but there was no excuses last year, we got out-gunned by a long way.

"A few things didn't go our way. (But) what's happened previously has definitely moulded me as an individual and us as a team to be a lot more respectful of how hard it is to get there but also again how hard it is actually to finish the day on a good result."

Cronk is one of just six Melbourne players who will enter Sunday's clash with Parramatta having played in all three previous deciders in the club's current streak of four successive grand finals.

The 25-year-old, who only cemented a first grade spot at the start of the 2006 season, said he was a much more mature player now than when he first led Melbourne into the 2006 grand final loss to Brisbane.

As his career has grown, so too has his desire to become a better player by working on the finer details of the game.

"I've obviously got older, a little bit wiser and smarter," he said.

"Every day you come into the club (coach) Craig (Bellamy) has something for you or the other players have something for you to improve.

"I remember when I started in 2006 it was you have to work on your kicking game.

"Now it's a lot more diverse by looking at the little things you can do better.

"Everyone has got the overall ability and talent to play football, but you need to rejink and look at things to become a better footballer."

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