Melbourne Storm know their clash with the Sydney Roosters in Adelaide on Friday night could be the final time they facetheir former star Cooper Cronk.
But with both clubs on track for a top-four finish, they also both know that is unlikely, as both clubs look destined to face off deep in the finals.
Storm half-back Brodie Croft developed under Cronk's tutelage during his first couple of years in Melbourne, before taking over the starting role when Cronk moved to the Roosters at the start of last season to join wife Tara in Sydney.
Cronk will retire at the end of the season, ending his 16-year career, the bulk of which was spent at the Storm.
But Croft still rates Cronk as the class half-back in the game, despite Cronk being in the twilight of his career.
"Certainly Cooper is the benchmark," Croft said this week.
"He's been the player he is for 10-plus years now and someone I looked up to and still look up to now.
"I take in tips where I can and watch footage of him. It's always a good challenge to come up against him. I'm looking forward to it."
Croft faced some frustration last season when he was dropped from the side midway through the campaign, but he battled through it and regained his place ahead of the finals.
This campaign he has played every game so far, so he enjoyed the chance to recharge in Noosa last week as one of the few Storm players not on representative duties.
The rest also came just a couple of games after he suffered a concussion during the win over the New Zealand Warriors.
"I don't recall much of the match but my recovery was real good, I didn't have symptoms afterwards which helped me get to play the next week," Croft said.
"Certainly anytime you get concussion it's not the greatest. I was on the phone to my mum and my partner quickly after the match to reassure them that everything was all good."
This week has been a disjointed one for the Storm, with 14 players returning from either State of Origin or international dutyRead More – Source