Storm players rule out appeal: Cronk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm players rule out appeal: Cronk

By Guy Hand 29/04/2010 05:56:56 PM Comments (0)

Preparing for their first taste of away crowd reaction to the salary cap scandal, Melbourne Storm players have ruled out attempting to overturn their 2010 NRL premiership points ban.

Halfback Cooper Cronk said on Thursday two days of talks with owners News Ltd and the players' association had persuaded the players to forego any bid to appeal that controversial part of the club's punishment for long-term salary cap cheating.

It means they are resigned to collecting the wooden spoon as they play out their remaining 17 games this year, including Saturday's clash with North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

"There'll be no appeal. A lot of emotions run round your head, but we've got football to concentrate on now and the only thing we can hang our hat on now is playing football," said Cronk before the team flew to Townsville.

The players' acceptance of their penalty comes after News Ltd chief executive John Hartigan told them there would be no support from the owners for an appeal despite the wishes of many Storm fans.

The Storm thumped New Zealand Warriors 40-6 last weekend in Melbourne in their first match since the shock of being stripped of two premierships and losing the right to play for points this year.

But their big test comes this weekend when they leave a fan base which has backed them to the hilt, and prepare to test crowd reaction to their predicament at away matches.

Cronk vowed that being resigned to playing for no points would not mean putting in any less effort.

"We're all professional footballers and we pride ourselves on playing for this footy club," he said.

"I know I have a lot of pride in that purple jersey and every time I wear it, I go out and have a red-hot crack."

Cronk said the players had been heartened by support from the union - the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) - and News Limited's promise to continue backing the club.

"The one thing we can take out of the meetings is that everyone's there to support us in what we're all going through," Cronk said.

"For News Ltd to come down and say they're right behind us, for the RLPA to be behind us, it's good as an individual and as a footy team."

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