Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk says a series of late hits on him this season are aimed at stopping him taking the ball into the line – meaning he'll just have to do it even more.
Warriors hooker Jazz Tevaga was the latest to inflict a shoulder into the back of the dual Dally M winner in the Roosters' big round 22 win, landing him with 10 minutes in the sin bin and a grade one charge from the Match Review Committee.
The shot stung Cronk at the time but at a team media day on Monday the eight-time grand finalist said he suffered no ill effects and had full faith in the officials and the job they had been doing.
"It is what it is; whether someone hits you hard or soft, it's never going to stop me from doing my job for the footy team," Cronk said.
"There's nothing in it as far as I'm concerned, the officials and match review panel will take care of it."
Cronk has seemingly copped more late shots than most playmakers this season. A huge blow from Tevita Pangai jnr early in the year was one of the catalysts for the current crackdown on such challenges.
He said it was a question for opposition coaches as to whether he was a particular target but if teams were going out of their way to try and stop him digging in the line that's a sign for him he's doing the right thing by his team.
"If I'm in the exact same position I'll do it exactly the same way and I'll probably go a metre further into the line because that's what my teammates need me to do," Cronk added.
"The reason why they do it is to stop me doing it (going deep in the line) to create space for [James] Tedesco, [Luke] Keary and the like. So what do I have to do? I have to lean in and get it done. It's as simple as that. I'm sure the officials will take care of it, I'm not worried about it."
Cronk wasn't asking or expecting harsh penalties for the late shots and was content with how the MRC and on-field officials had handled the issue to date.
"I think the officials do a tremendous job," he said.
"They have a thousand things to do in split seconds of every game and yeah they're humans. Like me, I get a couple of passes, a couple of kicks, a couple of tackles wrong but overall they do a tremendous job and I've got absolute faith whether it's referees during a game or the match review panel, they'll get the job done."
By Monday, Cronk had already turned his focus from the Warriors win to the challenge of toppling a desperate Dragons side at Kogarah on Saturday night.
"They've got a roster that can beat any team on their day," Cronk said.
"They've got individual talent across the field that we obviously need to be aware of then there's things that have hurt them this year in terms of the way they've played so we'll pick the eyes out of all that stuff, find out what's important.
"Their middle forward guys have been rock solid for them, James Graham, Paul Vaughan and Cam McInnes have done a good job, Frizell's there as well, [Korbin] Sims is doing a tremendous job. The spine is obviously back with Gareth Widdop who's a threat, an elite player across any level of football.
"Dragons versus the Roosters, it doesn't matter who's playing it's going to be a tough game. The best thing about this time of year is no matter the positions on the ladder, every team's got something to play for and that normally brings out the best football."