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SportCronk speaks out on Smith 'bad blood'

04:00  21 may  2019
04:00  21 may  2019 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

Cronk ponders landmark, NRL future

Cronk ponders landmark, NRL future Cooper Cronk has enjoyed a trip down memory lane before his landmark 356th NRL game but is yet to confirm whether he will draw the curtain on his career. Almost 20 years after running around for the Queensland Cup club, Cronk is primed to leapfrog Brisbane great Darren Lockyer (355 games) and trail just ex-Storm teammate Cameron Smith (392g) on the all-time appearance list. "To pass Darren's milestone in Queensland is fitting in a regard but I take 356 games like I did others," Cronk said. "But there are fond memories coming back here (Bishop Park). This is where it all started.

Cooper Cronk has spoken about claims of ' bad blood ' with Cameron Smith , after the champion pair traded glowing tributes.

Cooper Cronk has spoken out on persistent claims of a rift with former Melbourne Storm, Queensland and Australian teammate Cameron Smith . The retiring halfback has again denied any problem with Smith but admitted there may have been " bad blood " in the past, after reports that their friendship.

Cooper Cronk has spoken out on persistent claims of a rift with former Melbourne Storm, Queensland and Australian teammate Cameron Smith.

The retiring halfback has again denied any problem with Smith but admitted there may have been "bad blood" in the past, after reports that their friendship cooled when Cronk decided to join the Sydney Roosters.

The pair had a notable flashpoint in last year's Roosters vs Storm grand final, when Smith tackled Cronk after a kick, then Cronk grabbed Smith by the throat.

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Cooper Cronk has spoken out on persistent claims of a rift with former Melbourne Storm, Queensland and Australian teammate Cameron Smith . The retiring halfback has again denied any problem with Smith but admitted there may have been " bad blood " in the past

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Earlier this season, Cronk gave an interview where he spoke of his respect for Smith as a footballer but avoided talking about their relationship.

"There's conversations that happen, but our relationship is fine," Cronk said on NRL 360 on last night.

"I can only speak from my point of view. Sometimes when you're in rugby league, you hear stories about other stories and some them aren’t true. Some are and some aren't.

"But if we ever caught up, there’d be no hostility between us at all."

Cronk speaks out on Smith 'bad blood'© AAP Cooper Cronk grabs Cameron Smith's neck after a hit in the 2018 grand final.

The phrasing "if we ever caught up" was interesting. Smith did not attend Cronk's wedding to Fox Sports presenter Tara Rushton in December 2017 after his decision to join the Roosters and rumours of a fall-out have raged.

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Dan Smith of Bastille performs " Bad Blood " during a 101WKQX intimate session in The Sound Lounge. The Sound Lounge is Chicago's premiere music venue that hos Text "lounge" to 312-101 to find out how you can be a part of the next Sound Lounge session!

Cronk speaks out on Smith 'bad blood'
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Host Paul Kent, while watching footage of the grand final incident, put it to Cronk that: "There was certainly bad blood there at some point. Whether it's there now, there was certainly bad blood at some point."

Cronk replied: "There may have been, but not from my end of the bargain.

"That kick pressure could’ve been anyone. I’ve got a broken shoulder in that situation and I knew in that game they were coming for me. If it had been Cameron Munster, I’d have done exactly the same thing.”

Warmth and respect between the pair was in abundance on Monday. Smith paid a glowing social media tribute to Cronk, 35, after the champion halfback confirmed that he would retire at the end of this season.

In his retirement announcement, Cronk spoke emotionally about the impact that Smith, Billy Slater and Craig Bellamy had on his career during their time together at Melbourne. He spoke fondly of his partnership with Smith off the field as well as their playing exploits.

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“If I can highlight a few people it would be the real big three of Melbourne Storm in Craig Bellamy, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith,” Cronk said.

“To Billy and Cameron, I don’t think thanks cuts it. These two will go down in history as the two best players in their position as long as the game of rugby league is around.

“So that probably makes me the best third-wheel the game has ever seen, too, because I just jumped on the back of whatever they were doing.

“From the first day I met them at Brisbane Norths to our last game [together] on grand final day in 2017, my job was pretty easy. I would get the ball from one future Immortal and pass the ball to another future Immortal, so things were pretty cruisy.

Cronk speaks out on Smith 'bad blood' NRL guru Phil Gould is adamant Cooper Cronk will become an Immortal in the wake of his recent retirement.

“I really appreciate the things they did for me on the field, but it is also the moments on the field that are not seen by the cameras.

“The weddings, the births, the parties, the good times, and I will be forever grateful for what those two guys did for me both on and off the field.

“In 2001, when we met at Brisbane Norths, who would have thought we would have that journey together.

“I’m really pleased and humbled that my name gets spoken about in the same breath as those two.”

Pictures: 2018 Dally M red carpet

Cronk speaks out on Smith 'bad blood'
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