Rugby league fans have called out Melbourne Storm supporters for booing club legend Cooper Cronk during their Good Friday clash with the Sydney Roosters.
Cronk, who inked a two-year, $2 million deal with the Roosters at the end of 2017, was repeatedly booed by Storm fans in his first game at AAMI Park since he left Melbourne.
The superstar halfback’s decision to leave the Storm reportedly soured the relationship with fellow club legend Cameron Smith.
The two are rumoured to no longer be on speaking terms, despite enjoying years of success as teammates both in Melbourne and for Queensland in State of Origin.
The home crowd twice let the boos rain down on Cronk, first when he was collected by Nelson Asofa-Solomona as he got a kick away, the second time as he kicked for touch after a Storm penalty.
The boo birds caused a stir on social media, with many labelling them as ‘disappointing’.
Most notable was the contribution of Melbourne Storm player Christian Welch, who said fans should have shared the respect for Cronk the club still held.
Devastating loss last night but great to be back in front of a sea of purple. Very disappointed in the booing of Coops, 15 years of service not too many have given more to our club. Playing group respect everything he has done would love for our fans to aswell👍⚡️
— Christian Welch (@clwelch94) April 19, 2019
“Devastating loss last night but great to be back in front of a sea of purple,” Welch wrote on Twitter.
“Very disappointed in the booing of Coops, 15 years of service not too many have given more to our club.”
Wow the @storm fans booing Cooper Cronk. Sorry how many winning grand finals was he in for the Storm?
— Deb Kasmar (@debkasmar) April 19, 2019
Really disappointing that the Melbourne crowd are booing Cooper Cronk every time he touches the ball. Very disappointing #NRLStormRoosters
— Matthew Foreman🇦🇺 (@Matts_Sport) April 19, 2019
Storm fans showing their lack of class booing Cooper Cronk – probably in their top 3 greatest ever players & contributors to success #NRLStormRoosters
— ParraTillIDie 🏈 (@ParraTillIDie) April 19, 2019
Roosters get the last laugh
Latrell Mitchell has broken Melbourne hearts with a golden point field-goal to secure a 21-20 win for the Sydney Roosters over the Storm in their NRL grand final rematch on Good Friday.
In the second minute of extra time all eyes were on Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk, who was playing in his first game back at AAMI Park since his 2017 departure from the Storm.
But the premiers turned to Mitchell, who slotted over the match-winner from 40m out to end Melbourne’s unbeaten start to the season.
Rookie forward Sitili Tupouniua set up the play with a big run through the middle, before Victor Radley sent the ball wide to Mitchell for his field goal after Cooper Cronk was used as a decoy.
“They reckon I’m option two,” Mitchell told Channel Nine after the game.
His field goal ended an epic comeback for the Storm, who trailed 20-0 after 32 minutes and were down 20-8 at half-time.
Squaring off for the first time since last year’s title decider, the home side failed to keep pace with the champions.
But they roared back to life in the second half to take the game into extra time.
The ill-feeling between the two teams came to a head in the 68th minute when the game exploded in a melee although no players were sin-binned by referee Ashley Klein.