Cronk has Roosters poised for premiership

Cooper Cronk was brought to Bondi Junction to deliver one thing – an NRL title.

And now he’s threatening to lift the Provan Summons Trophy in his first year at the Sydney Roosters.

The Roosters have plenty to crow about after Cronk inspired them to a 21-12 defeat of Cronulla on Saturday which has them one game away from the grand final.

Trent Robinson’s side will have the week off although they have several potential headaches.

Prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho was sent for scans after coming from the field in just the seventh minute with an ankle injury.

As well, because they will have next weekend off, it means fellow front-rower Dylan Napa will also miss their qualifying final and his only hope of taking the field again this year is if they make the grand final.

Centre Latrell Mitchell will also come under the scrutiny of the match review committee for a crusher tackle on Josh Dugan.

For the moment, the Tri-Colours are flying high after Cronk turned in a masterful performance against the Sharks including delivering the coup de grace with a 73rd-minute field goal.

Should the Roosters make it through to the season decider, it will be the former Melbourne maestro’s third grand final in as many years.

The Roosters’ decision to pursue Cronk forced Mitchell Pearce out of the club, meaning the expectation within the club’s supporters was always going to be high.

And skipper Jake Friend marvelled at the way the former Queensland and Australian No.7 took the game by the scruff of the neck when it was in the balance.

“Cooper just controlled that whole second half really well,” Friend said.

“He was always in the background pushing guys into places and to kick the way he did, he applied plenty of pressure.

“He got whacked a few times there but he didn’t mind, he kept kicking it and kept getting up.

“He set up for the field goal and snapped that, it’s pretty classy. We’ve watched him for a long time and it’s pretty good to have him on our side.”

The Roosters were on Saturday night unsure of the nature or severity of Taukeiaho’s injury, however the fact he remained off the field for most of the game did not bode well.

He now has two weeks to recover and Robinson said having the bye next weekend was shaping as a chance to rest their wounded troops.

“It’s a pretty big bonus not having to play next week in a sudden death game,” Robinson said.

“It allows us to get some guys, who do a fair bit of work, to freshen them up.

“You can freshen up but you can’t miss a day so we’ll make sure we continue to prepare well, get fresh but also improve.”

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