How Buderus was simply blown away by Croft’s Cronk likeness
DANNY Buderus had heard all the comparisons. But even the Newcastle legend was blown away with just how much Brodie Croft reminded him of Cooper Cronk.
“I couldn’t believe the similarities and characteristics that I was watching,” Buderus said. “His physique and how professional he was. Even the way he spoke.
“He had the hat turned backwards at training — I’ve seen Cooper do that. Bro- die has taken everything that he has learnt from Cooper on board.”
Just last year Croft and Storm teammate Curtis Scott, plus the Sydney Roosters firebrand Victor Radley, were under the watchful eye of Buderus as part of the Junior Kangaroos. Buderus was the assistant coach which saw Croft win man the match honours with a 46-22 win.
“He always made the team go back to training with something to work on after a drinks break,” Buderus said. “He was well above his age with composure and
he was so comfortable leading the team around. I was impressed with how he communicated. The confidence he had to tell his teammate that ‘I’m your half, follow me’. I thought that was a big thing and he was going to make a huge impact in first grade.
Croft has said Cronk was his “idol” with the pair working closely together for two years before Cronk’s departure. Cronk lent Croft a helping hand this year even when his replacement was dropped from the Storm set-up. And providing Cronk is fit they will square off for the first time in the NRL today with Croft aiming to be the least experienced halfback in 71 years to win a grand final.
“I’ve loved the way Melbourne have handled Croft this year,” Buderus said. “At most clubs the way he played week in week out they would say great, but down in Melbourne they gave him a taste and then said come back we want you to work on a few things.”
Buderus said he enjoyed “everything about the way Radley plays”.
The Junior Kangaroos team with Curtis Scott, Victor Radley and Brodie Croft circled. Picture: Brendan Esposito/NRL Photos