Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith during the 2018 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith during the 2018 NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello

Cronk grabs Smith by the throat in GF tussle

THE reported feud between Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk is well and truly alive, after the two clashed in the grand final.

Smith tried to put a hit on his injured former teammate after he kicked the ball and Cronk took exception to the tactics by grabbing his throat.

The incident in the 13th minute of the Roosters' 21-6 grand final victory over the Storm adds weight to the theory that the two just don't get on.

It may have only been for an instant, but the stills paint a picture of Cronk clearly not appreciating the tactics of the Storm skipper.

When the two clubs clashed earlier in the season, Cronk appeared to snub his former Storm skipper with an ice-cold handshake.

Cronk also paid tribute to two of his best friends after the grand final and notably left Smith out.

"I need to take this moment to thank the Melbourne Storm for everything they have done for me, in particular Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman," Cronk told Chanel Nine's Brad Fittler.

"They are two guys that have made me a better player and a better person."

Granted Slater and Hoffman were retiring, but given the amount of football Cronk has played with Smith for club, state and country, his omission from the speech was damning.

Smith has publicly denied there is a rift, but he also neglected to mention Cronk in his post match speech.

Cronk also brushed Smith after the game, when the two were in the same part of the field and they failed to embrace.

Clearly all is not well between the two greats.



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