Two deadly: Cronk, Thurston on the edge of Ori­gin his­tory

Full of shine in acid test

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TODD BA­LYM

It is a core strength of a game plan that Cronk con­tin­u­ally evolves to re­main among the best half­backs in the game.

“( Johns) taught me the sci­ence of half­back play – in­trin­sic parts of body po­si­tion, foot­work, tempo and things like that,” Cronk said.

“It was quite a coura­geous de­ci­sion on Craig’s be­half. Look­ing back – and I’ve never re­ally had this con­ver­sa­tion with any­one or with Craig – but I think he saw my work ethic op­posed to nat­u­ral flair or tal­ent that told him I could play there.

“He told me two things: I’ll pick you ev­ery week if you de­fend well and if you kick well.

“So I had to learn how to tackle and how to kick.

“The whole pre- sea­son of 2006 I worked on the craft of hav­ing to kick and hav­ing to de­fend.

“I had a solid start to my half­back ca­reer but it’s evolved. I’ve looked at ar­eas each year of where I can get bet­ter and im­prove. It def­i­nitely started with kick­ing and tack­ling.”

Thurston said the best as­set of Cronk is the fact he plays the game to bring out the best in oth­ers.

Qu e e n sland com­mit­ted 11 er­rors in the Ori­gin II de­feat in Mel­bourne, an un­usu­ally high num­ber for the well- drilled Ma­roons, which came back to a lack of flu­ency in at­tack.

“It helps the team hav­ing Coops back in. I wouldn’t say we were dis­jointed but we were mak­ing a lot of un­char­ac­teris- tic er­rors in Game Two which put our­selves un­der the pump,” Thurston said.

“Hav­ing Cooper back in the side will give us a bit more sta­bil­ity there.

“He has been an im­por­tant part of the team now for a num­ber of years. He works us around the park re­ally well.”

Pic­ture: ADAM HEAD

STAY­ING ALERT: Cow­boy Michael Mor­gan will play a vi­tal role in back­ing up Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston in tonight’s Ori­gin de­cider in Bris­bane.

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