Michael Crocker

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Michael Crocker
Michael Crocker & Sally Carne 2013.jpg
Crocker and Sally Carne in 2013
Personal information
Born (1980-06-21) 21 June 1980 (age 36)
Auburn, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
Position Second-row, Lock, Hooker
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001–05 Sydney Roosters 92 20 75 0 230
2006–08 Melbourne Storm 44 7 0 0 28
2009–13 South Sydney Rabbitohs 68 5 0 0 20
Total 204 32 75 0 278
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2011 Prime Minister's XIII 1 0 1 0 2
2003–09 Queensland 13 3 0 0 12
2003–08 Australia 6 1 0 0 4
Source: NRL Stats, Daily Telegraph

Michael Crocker (born 21 June 1980 in Auburn, New South Wales)[1] is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s and 2010s. An Australia national and Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he played his club football in the National Rugby League for the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs. During his career with the Roosters, he made three consecutive Grand Final appearances between 2002 and 2004, including one victory in 2002. He was then a member of the Storm's 2009 NRL Grand final-winning team.

Playing career[edit]

Sydney Roosters[edit]

Having played in the Queensland Cup for the Redcliffe Dolphins, Crocker made his NRL debut in 2001 for the Sydney Roosters. In doing so, he became the 1,000th player to play for the Sydney eastern suburbs club.[2]

Crocker played for the Roosters from the interchange bench in their 2002 NRL Grand final victory over the New Zealand Warriors. Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters travelled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St Helens RLFC. Crocker played at hooker in Sydney's victory.

Crocker made his State of Origin debut for the Maroons whilst playing with the Sydney Roosters in 2003. He became the 136th player to represent Queensland in State of Origin and he scored a try on debut in the second match of the 2003 State of Origin series.[3] At the end of that season Crocker played in the 2003 NRL grand final which the Roosters lost to the Penrith Panthers. He was selected to go on the 2003 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, becoming the 714th player to represent his country in the green and gold,[4] as he helping Australia to victory over Great Britain in what would be the last time the two nations contested an Ashes series.

Crocker played for the Roosters at second-row forward in their 2004 NRL Grand Final loss against cross-Sydney rivals, the Bulldogs. Crocker was the last player to touch the ball in the game: trailing 16–13 and with less than seconds left on the game, Crocker appeared to make a break down the right-hand side of the field about 30 metres out from the Bulldogs line but lost control of the ball when Andrew Ryan made contact with his arms, dislodging the ball.

In 2005, Crocker was involved in an alcohol-fuelled disturbance outside The Palace Hotel in Sydney. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to affray and fined $10,000 by the Sydney Roosters.[5][6]

Melbourne Storm[edit]

After signing with the Melbourne Storm in 2006 he became the Storm's lucky charm; in the three years he was with Melbourne, he played in only three losing games, including the Storm's loss to Manly in the 2008 NRL Grand Final.

In the 2006 preliminary final match against the St George Illawarra Dragons Crocker injured his knee, forcing him to miss the Grand Final match against the Brisbane Broncos, which Melbourne lost.

He was part of the victorious Melbourne Storm 2007 NRL Grand Final team against Manly-Warringah.[7] His contribution to the win, was highlighted when he knocked out Manly fullback Brett Stewart with a ball and all tackle. Chasing a high bomb kicked by Greg Inglis, Crocker pursued the ball to make a tackle on Stewart alongside fellow Storm player Billy Slater. The play resulted in Brett Stewart leaving the field and being sidelined for the rest of the match. Several minutes later, Crocker went on and scored a decisive try.

Crocker's performance in the Grand Final earned him a position in the 2007 New Zealand v Australia Centenary Test, his first international selection since 2004. The Australian team went on to win this test by the biggest margin in history.

His representative career continued throughout 2008. Crocker played in all 3 games for Queensland in State of Origin, with Queensland winning the series. He also played for Australia in the Centenary Test winning 28–12 against New Zealand.[8][9]

Crocker was a member of the Melbourne team which was defeated by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the 2008 NRL Grand Final.[10]

At the end of the season, Crocker was named in the Australia team for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[11] and was due to play but had to withdraw through a rib injury sustained in the grand final.[12]

In an interview with media regarding players for the 2008 World Cup team Australian national coach Ricky Stuart declared English-bound forward Crocker had played his last game for Australia due to his pending defection to English club Hull.[13] However, in August 2008, Crocker was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup despite earlier comments by Kangaroos' coach, Ricky Stuart, that he would not select players leaving Australia to play in England in 2009.[14][15]

Crocker was contracted to Melbourne Storm for the 2009 NRL season but activated a clause in 2008 that allowed him to accept a lucrative contract with English club Hull.[citation needed]

South Sydney Rabbitohs[edit]

Crocker planned to join European Super League side Hull for the 2009 season on a three-year contract.[16][17][18] Hull confirmed they had signed Crocker on a three-year contract from the 2009 season with the club "delighted" with the signing,[19][20][21] although a visa application to work in the United Kingdom was rejected, in part due to a 2005 conviction for affray.[22]

Crocker at the 2012 Dally M Awards with wife Sally.

The British High Commission rejected Crocker's appeal to be allowed to work in the UK in May 2009, but did not give an official reason.[23] Crocker signed a contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for three and a half years, making an immediate start with the club.[24] Crocker's debut came in the round 10 NRL match against the West Tigers on 18 May 2009 played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

With a knee injury limiting him to three appearances in 2013, Crocker announced his retirement before the end of the season. Crocker said, "After undergoing surgery in April, my focus has been to get back on the field. Unfortunately, I have arrived at the point where my knee is unable to meet the demands of professional football. It has been an incredible 13 years playing in the NRL and my career has been blessed."[25]

Judiciary record[edit]

Notorious for his tough playing style combined with high and sometimes dangerous tackles, Crocker has missed a number of games through suspension. Between 2001 and 2007, Crocker faced ten judiciary charges, and been suspended for a total of 21 weeks.[26] By 2012, he had faced the NRL judiciary thirteen times, a record only equalled by Steve Matai.[27]

Off the field[edit]

Crocker married Sally Carne, the cousin of rugby league footballer Willie Carne, in 2008. The wedding party included his two best friends and fellow league players Clint Newton and Billy Slater.[28] Crocker studies real estate and property development in his spare time and enjoys reading the Harry Potter novels, surfing, and riding horses.[29][30]

Crocker is sponsored by American sportswear giant Under Armour and is one of the brand's key ambassadors in Australia, wearing Under Armour football boots and training apparel.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Ritchie, Dean (6 April 2011). "Not being from Queensland no bar to Cane Toad State of Origin selection". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Player List Archived 3 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Welcome to the Roosters 100 Year Celebrations. Retrieved on 5 October 2006.
  3. ^ Rugby League Tables / State Of Origin / Game 2, 2003 Rugby League Tables & Statistics. Retrieved on 5 October 2006.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 13 January 2006. "Crocker fined over pub brawl"
  6. ^ The Australian, 22 March 2005. "Roosters penalise Crocker $10,000"
  7. ^ "It was all wrapped up at half-time: Storm". Fairfax Digital. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2007. [dead link]
  8. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/crocker-cant-be-beaten/story-e6frf3yc-1111116395094
  9. ^ "Crocker can't be beaten". 20 May 2008 – via Fox News. 
  10. ^ "Grand final: As it happened". Fox Sports. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008. 
  11. ^ "Manly six win Australia call-up". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  12. ^ "Australia recall Tupou from Tonga". BBC. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008. 
  13. ^ "Crocker should pay national price". Fox Sports. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2008. 
  14. ^ Liam FitzGibbon (1 August 2008). "Surprises in Kangaroos squad". "Fox Sports News (Australia)". Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  15. ^ "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  16. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/hull-bound-crocker-denied-visa/story-e6frf3yc-1111118712185
  17. ^ "Forward Michael Crocker denied visa to join Hull in Super League". 30 January 2009 – via Fox Sport. 
  18. ^ "2009 NRL Player Movements". NRL Live. 4 October 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2008. 
  19. ^ "Hull snap up Crocker". Sky Sports. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008. 
  20. ^ "Crocker coup for Hull". Sportinglife. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008. 
  21. ^ "Hull FC sign Aussie star Crocker". BBC. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008. 
  22. ^ "Hull FC hit by Crocker visa blow". news.bbc.co.uk. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  23. ^ Clark, Laine (8 May 2009). "Michael Crocker set to join South Sydney with UK visa application denied". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 8 May 2009. 
  24. ^ Benuik, David (8 May 2009). "Michael Crocker joins South Sydney Rabbitohs until end of 2012". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  25. ^ "Michael Crocker announces retirement from NRL after 13-year career". ABC News. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "He was falling". The Daily Telegraph; Woods, M. 18 August 2007. 
  27. ^ Josh Massoud (1 June 2012). "Captains lose faith in Garnsey". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  28. ^ Mark Bode (14 December 2008). "Married life kicks off". Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  29. ^ http://www.fogs.com.au/index.cfm?MenuID=71&PlayerID=138
  30. ^ Dave Donaghy (11 April 2008). "Crocker reborn as a man". Fox Sports News. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 

External links[edit]