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Roosters coach hails Cronk as 'the greatest thinker' to ever play league as he turns his attention to three-peat

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson couldn't even wait 12 hours before turning his attention to an NRL three-peat following their historic grand-final win against Canberra on Sunday night.

There were more than 1000 Roosters fans at Moore Park on Monday to celebrate the Tricolours becoming the first club in the NRL era to win back-to-back titles.

It was the first double since Brisbane in 1992-93 and the Roosters' first since 1973-74. Now they want to become the first club to win three straight since Parramatta in 1981-83.

Robinson admitted on stage at the Roosters' fan day that he was already thinking about next season.

"The worst thing was is that you'd like to switch off for a few weeks, re- energise and get going again but the honest truth is you get up this morning and you start thinking about what's got to happen this week," Robinson said.

"What does pre-Christmas look like? What does the travel look like, are we going to England, are we not? All of that stuff starts going through your mind so you can't switch it off.

"But that's why we're standing here again, that's the group that we are."

Robinson must now contemplate life without nine-time grand finalist Cooper Cronk, who will now be discussed as a future Immortal after he secured his sixth grand-final win.

Cronk now sits equal third - only behind Norm Provan and Brian 'Poppa' Clay (10) - for most grand-final appearances.

And after winning in his last year with Melbourne in 2017, he became the first player since a host of Parramatta greats in 1983 to secure three straight grand- final victories.

Robinson praised Cronk as having changed the fortunes of the club after winning two titles in his two seasons at Bondi Junction.

"I think he is the greatest thinker ever to play rugby league," Robinson said.

"To walk on the field and do what he has done in our game. The guy is skilful, but my left-to-right (pass) is better than Cooper's.

"The man is a skilful player but he's not exceptional. But he's made every team better that he's played for.

"I have to give a big rap to Melbourne Storm. We're huge rivals with that club but I know we got to run off some of the fibres they've put into him.

"What he's done has changed the fortunes of this club. He's one of the greatest gentleman I've met in the game as well."

The Roosters have already been installed as $4 favourites for the 2020 title despite the impending departure of the Queensland and Australian great.

It remains to be seen who will wear the Roosters No.7 next year - Cronulla recruit Kyle Flanagan will be the favourite but he will be forced to battle it out with youngster Lachlan Lam in the pre-season.

The club has also signed highly-rated youngster Sam Walker - considered a future star of the game - but he won't be eligible to play first-grade until the middle of next year.

Robinson said he'll need to keep evolving his blueprint to continue their title- winning run.

"You don't have to work to make it different - life is different," Robinson said.

"One year to the next is different. You allow that to be the case, you don't search for the same.

"I'm not going to have to make it different, it just will be. Plan it and let it happen. It's what I'll do."

Cooper Cronk. Source: Photosport


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