NRL: Cronk: We need a shake-up, pronto

By Greg Buckle

Cooper Cronk during the Queensland Maroons State of Origin Captain's Run. Photo / Getty Images
Cooper Cronk during the Queensland Maroons State of Origin Captain's Run. Photo / Getty Images

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk says the Storm can still threaten the top sides for the NRL premiership, but they'll need to shake things up in a hurry.

The courageous Cronk, who after breaking his arm in the State of Origin opener returned to star in Queensland's victory in the series finale, says a Storm side accustomed to success would not settle for mediocrity.

And it would take a lift from every player.

"This club doesn't settle for mediocrity," Cronk told reporters.

"Something needs to click. We can't continue on the way we are.

"I'm not pointing the finger at any individual or group of players.

"This football club from the coach down to the senior players to the rookies, need to apply themselves more than they have been."

Premiers in 2012 and semifinalists last season, the Storm are eighth after two consecutive losses. They host 15th-placed Canberra at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Cronk maintains a Storm team with five Origin players, including Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Will Chambers and Ryan Hoffman, can still have a huge impact.

All five stars backed up from Origin III to play for the Storm in their 6-4 loss to Canterbury three days later.

"In terms of an overall approach, we need to shake things up a bit and click and get into that Melbourne Storm mode of football," Cronk added.

"Performance-wise, this is the first time this club has been this position. But in saying that, I remember a few years ago losing five or six in a row.

"I have absolute faith we can turn it around. We've shown that in the past. We need to continually work hard on our defence and tinker with our attack."

While veterans such as Slater and Smith may be battling mental and physical fatigue, a refreshed Cronk has played less than one-and-a-half of three Origin games in 2014.

- NZ Herald

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