No blame for Croker after costly miss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No blame for Croker after costly miss

By Steve Jancetic 18/09/2010 12:24:08 PM Comments (0)

Blame it on the sunshine, blame it on the moonlight, blame it on the good times - just don't blame it on Jarrod Croker.

The young Canberra centre awoke Saturday morning realising his worst nightmare had in fact become reality, his late missed penalty goal from almost in front of the sticks costing the Raiders any chance of forcing golden point in their 26-24 semi-final loss to Wests Tigers on Friday night.

A week after celebrating his 20th birthday with a perfect four from four with the boot in the win over Penrith, the miss was a harsh end to what had been as breakout year, but to a man Raiders players and officials refused to attribute any blame to the Goulburn junior.

"His goalkicking put us in this position, he kicked all his goals (against Penrith), he's been winning some games for us where he's turning those four points into six points - no way that was his fault," Raiders coach David Furner said.

"He'll be stronger for that - he's a very good kid and he's a very good goalkicker."

Canberra co-captain Terry Campese, who handed over goalkicking duties top Croker mid-season, was equally supportive.

"Croaks is a bit disappointed but he's seriously won us the last four games, hasn't missed a goal," Campese said.

"That's just what happens in football and I think he's a great young player and he can definitely go forward."

Tigers skipper Robbie Farah, who missed three field goals that would have won his side's qualifying final epic against the Sydney Roosters, rushed to Croker after the game to offer words of encouragement.

For the Tigers it was an eerily similar ending to one they experienced last month, when Parramatta sharpshooter Luke Burt missed a penalty from an almost identical spot to kick-start the Tigers' charge to the finals.

"Obviously after last week I know what the kid was going through and that's going to hurt him a bit but I just told him to keep his head up," Farah said of his chat to Croker.

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