Cronk not motivated by grand final defeat
RUGBY LEAGUE: Melbourne Storm and Queensland star Cooper Cronk says he will not be using the two-point NRL grand final loss to Cronulla as motivation for the upcoming season.
Cronk, 33, said experience had taught him there was no point dwelling on the past as he looked forward to another successful year.
"If we had have played the way we had in the grand final and got that result five years ago I probably would have locked myself in a padded room and not come out for three months and used it as motivation,” Cronk said.
"But with experience and old age you put things into perspective.
"It was disappointing but credit to Cronulla, they played well and deserved the victory and for me the inspiration this year is just doing my job and round one is round one.”
Other than the loss to the Sharks, Cronk had a season to remember, winning the Dally M Medal along with the Cowboys' Jason Taumalolo before crowning his year by taking out his first Golden Boot Award, voted the world's best player by the international media.
The Storm halfback said he was still shocked he was still able to win such accolades but added there were still things he could do better.
"I am surprised,” the Australian Test halfback said.
"If you had have told me that 2016 would reap the rewards that it did I wouldn't have believed it but that doesn't change that you don't strive for it.
"There's always another mountain to climb and something to improve on.”
Cronk, who got engaged to Fox Sports presenter Tara Rushton in the off-season, returned to Storm training this week along with the club's other Four Nations representatives.
His Queensland State of Origin teammate Billy Slater is also set to return to full-contact training, with Cronk saying the fullback would take his time as he attempts to make a comeback from shoulder problems.
"Billy will forge his own path this year and play when he's ready,” Cronk said.
"He's training the house down at the moment but I think he will play it down in his head.
"There's a few different circumstances this time around and he has confidence in his injury now.”