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“Everything we spoke about came off”: Cronk reflects on 2012 GF win ahead of Storm vs Bulldogs


As the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs prepare to take on the Melbourne Storm tonight, NRL legend Cooper Cronk reflects on the 2012 Grand Final and what it meant to win following a tumultuous few years for the club.

Cronk was the Storm’s halfback in their 14-4 victory over the Bulldogs and recounted why this win meant more to the club.

“The emotion attached to that game was off the back of the salary cap in 2010, then we went close in 2011, and then ’12,” Cronk told The Run Home with Joel and Fletch.

“So as opposed to carrying on like a couple of pork chops at the Melbourne Storm, it was actually a bit more emotional for everyone back in the sheds.

“From a club perspective to bounce back to from the depths of what was a couple years earlier was the greatest enjoyment of that day.”

The Storm had their 2007 and 2009 premiership titles stripped in 2010 for breaching the salary cap, a year where they were also reduced to zero competition points for the entirety of the season.

Then, in 2011, the Storm fell agonisignly short of another grand final berth, upset 20-12 by the New Zealand Warriors in the preliminary final.

Cronk reflected on the perfectly executed game plan that won them redemption in 2012.

“The 2012 one, everything we spoke about came off,” Cronk said.

“The Bulldogs were playing a style where their forwards were passing a lot and Ben Barba was carving up teams at will, so we made the decision to treat the middle forwards like halfbacks and put a lot of pressure on them, and then have our outside backs rush up and shut down Barba.

“It forced middle forwards who weren’t used to pressure to throw a bad pass, then shut down Barba for space. They didn’t score many points that day.”

Cronk played in nine grand finals over his illustrious career, winning six, including two at the Sydney Roosters and four at the Storm, though two were discredited.

A win tonight would see the Storm be temporarily top of the NRL ladder, while the Bulldogs would remain in touch with the top eight.

Rugby League Melbourne Storm

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