Rugby League


Canberra Raiders keen to re-sign Jarrod Croker

The Canberra Raiders are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon, but sharpshooter Jarrod Croker is on record-breaking pace to overtake club legend Mal Meninga and leads the NRL's points-scoring tally.

The Raiders have made re-signing Croker, 23, beyond the end of his 2015 contract a priority.

Despite the Raiders' disappointing season - they've won just five games and are 15th on the ladder - Croker (134 points) sits ahead of New Zealand Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson (133) and Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards (129) on the NRL's points-scoring list

He has scored 13 tries in 16 games and was drafted into the NSW squad for State of Origin III. 

He is just 40 points behind Meninga's third place on the Raiders' all-time scoring tally.

But he said he would trade it all for more Canberra wins, starting with a road trip to Melbourne on Saturday.


"I honestly didn't know I was on top [in the NRL] ... but I'd give it all back for a win,'' he said. 

"It [points records] is not something you set as a goal. I can't break that record if I don't play well and sign more contracts to stay here. 

"It's something you might look back on when you're a bit older.''

Rival clubs can begin negotiating with him from November 1 if he has not re-signed by then, but Raiders chief executive Don Furner said they were keen to offer him a new deal.

"Croker is a priority, but [we] haven't started any talks as yet,'' he said. "[We] will any time he feels ready.''

Croker has been a shining light for the Raiders this season. He has 824 career points in his 132 games for the club at an average of 6.24 a game.

At his present  rate, he would need another 63 games to surpass David Furner's club record of 1218 points, with Clinton Schifcofske second on 1052.

Croker was outstanding in last Sunday's 36-20 win against Gold Coast.

He said he had moved on from his missed late goal that  could have stolen victory in a 19-18 loss to Wests Tigers in round 16. 

"I thought in the past I've had some good kicks and won a few games with goals,'' Croker said. 

"Unfortunately I couldn't knock that one over on the night. Obviously it wasn't as big a game as a few years ago [in the semi-final against Wests Tigers in 2010].

''People only remember the bad ones, but I don't take it personally at all.''

Dual international Wendell Sailor said Croker was finally getting the recognition he has deserved for several years.

"Croker has got some just desserts this year,'' he said. "The last couple of years he's been so consistent.

''Myself and Andrew Johns have had a massive rap on him, and Joey has said that Croker wouldn't look out of place in an Origin team."


1218: David Furner in 200 games (49 tries, 511 goals)

1052: Clinton Schifcofske in 139 games (44 tries, 432 goals, 12 field goals)

864: Mal Meninga in 166 games (74 tries, 283 goals, 2 field goals)

824: Jarrod Croker in 132 games (63 tries, 286 goals)