Cooper Cronk on NRL 360.
Cooper Cronk on NRL 360.

Cronk’s eye-opening take on Storm tactics

Cooper Cronk has attempted to end the debate on the Melbourne Storm tackling tactics controversy with a composed explanation on NRL 360.

The former Storm star turned Roosters premiership hero said his old club wasn't teaching its players anything different to the rest of the league - or what's practised at Origin and international level.

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"It's a defensive mechanism in terms of training intensity and a pursuit of perfection on every tackle that they do better than most. Every team trains it, every team does it," Cronk told hosts Ben Ikin and Paul Kent.

"You talk about a tackle in terms of the wrestling technique, there are techniques to dominate - or get control of - a tackle, and every level of the game I've played at we've worked at it."

He said Storm players never tackled with intent to injure the opposition

"There's obviously conjecture about whether they do it beyond the rules, but there's officials out on the field that control if rules are broken or not, and they will determine if they have," he said.

"A Melbourne Storm player or a Wests Tigers player, or whoever, if they break the rules they get treated the same way.

"I've been part of the system, there's nothing different that they do to any other football club - Queensland or Australia level - that is different to any other club."

Cameron Smith tackles Bailey Simonsson by the ear. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)
Cameron Smith tackles Bailey Simonsson by the ear. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

Ikin listed the chicken wing, crusher, cannon ball and rolling pin as tackle variations the Storm had been accused of introducing.

"A crusher is performed by most players in most clubs and is one of the most officiated, or ruled, techniques in the game," Cronk replied.

"If you think a technique has been brought in to sit on the back of someone's neck, well then you obviously haven't been around rugby league for a long time because that just doesn't happen.

"If anyone wants to go down to Melbourne Storm and watch them train I'm sure they'd be more than happy."

Kent referenced Broncos star Tevita Pangai's tackle on James Maloney as a recent example of a player doing exactly what Cronk said wasn't happening.

But the halfback insisted, "you don't intentionally do it".

"There's no technique that trains you to do it. You are taught to release the head in our tackling sessions. That's a broken technique from the player," he added.

"The rules we are taught to tackle, if someone backs in - and I can tell you, this is what we do at the Roosters and at Storm - you use a technique to release the head down to the ground and then put your pressure on the top to control the tackle."