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Griffin: Cooper Cronk is ‘one of the all-time great halfbacks’

Former NRL coach Anthony Griffin says Cooper Cronk will go down as one of the great halfbacks of all-time.

The Sydney Roosters playmaker announced he will be retiring at the conclusion of his second season in Bondi as the Tricolours aim for back to back premierships this season.

After making his debut at the Storm in 2004, Cronk is one of the great of the game having won three premierships and played over 350 First Grade games for both clubs.

Cronk’s efforts in last year’s grand final which saw the Roosters demolish his former team Melbourne will go down in history as one of the most courageous, with the 35-year-old playing with a fractured scapula.

Griffin told Halftime Cronk has only gotten better with age.

“He’ll go down as one of the all-time great halfbacks at all levels at Origin, Test and club level,” Griffin said.

“What he’s been able to do like him, (Darren) Lockyer and (Johnathan) Thurston, those types of guys as they get older, they actually get better and have a bigger influence over the team.

“And what he’s been able to do since leaving Melbourne and coming to the Roosters and guide them to a premiership and probably looking at another one this year all things being equal has been outstanding.

“At the backend of their career and I experienced it as Brisbane with Darren Lockyer and I’ve seen it with Thurston and (Cameron) Smith and now Cronk, at the backend of their careers their IP is that good, they understand the game that well, that they can have an enormous influence over teams and that gives you an insight into how great a player they are.

“Cooper Cronk will go down as one of the greats, there’s no doubt.”

Cronk has played 357 First Grade for the Storm and the Roosters, 38 Tests for Australia and 22 Origins in Queensland’s decade of dominance.

He is also a two-time Dally M Medal winner, five-time Dally M Halfback of the Year, Clive Churchill Medallist and Golden Boot winner on top of winning three premierships.

The Roosters travel to Newcastle to play the Knights on Friday evening.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.