Rugby League

Hazem El Masri says Raiders captain Jarrod Croker can reach NRL record

Canberra's club records are seemingly at his mercy, but the game's all-time leading point-scorer, Hazem El Masri, says Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker has time to give his NRL record a shake. 

El Masri, known as El Magic for his goal-kicking wizardry, retired in 2009 with an NRL record 2418 points, but he believes Croker could be the man to break it.

Raiders captain Jarrod Croker is kicking towards 1000 career points.
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker is kicking towards 1000 career points. Photo: Jay Cronan

Only 24, Croker will play his 150th NRL game against St George Illawarra at Wollongong on Sunday, needing 22 points to become just the 50th NRL player to reach 1000 career points. 

The durable Croker has missed only seven NRL games since making his debut in 2009 and is already the third leading point-scorer in Raiders history - behind only David Furner (1218) and Clinton Schifcofske 1052).

Croker is on track to surpass Furner's record well before his next contract expires, at the end of 2018, but El Masri says he has the opportunity to kick-on towards the NRL record.

"Hopefully he stays injury free, that's the major thing which has stopped blokes like Joey [Andrew Johns with 2176 points]," El Masri said.


"If he stays consistent he'll go really close, there's always going to be someone who will come along and break the record.

"It always helps to be an outside back as well, and get over the line a few times. 

"I've played against Jarrod and watched him kick and he seems like he's got a very level head. He strikes the ball well and there's an opportunity there to make a name for himself."

Croker is already equal-fifth on Canberra's try-scoring list too, his 73 tries just one shy of Mal Meninga. Jason Croker, no relation, holds Canberra's records for first grade games (318) and tries (120).

He is only the 19th player to reach the 150-game milestone.

Croker downplayed his achievements to date or any talk of impending records.

"I've just been lucky," Croker said. I'm very grateful for it and hopeful I can keep doing it for a number of years to come. 

"It's nice to hear those stats but it's not something I go out there to achieve. I don't play footy to score tries or break records."

Croker has a career kicking strike rate of 80.33 per cent. just below El Masri's 81.97. Matthew Ridge (80.22), James Maloney (80.45) and Michael Gordon (82.30) are the only other players to reach 1000 points and kick at better than 80 per cent.

Croker also became the youngest captain in Raiders history this year and said he was enjoying the extra responsibility.

"As a junior I always wanted to be the goal-kicker and as soon as I took over in 2010 I knew it was what I wanted to do.

"All the extra stuff with captaincy, I don't think it affects me at all. 

Asked what his reaction would be if told he'd play 150 games for the team he supported as a Goulburn junior, Croker said: "I probably would have laughed at them.

"It's obviously a dream come true to play just one game for the club I love, but to play 150 and captain it is a massive honour. 

"I'd like to think I have a lot more to give and my best footy is still in front of me."



1218: David Furner (200 games)

1052: Clinton Schifcofske (139 games)

978: Jarrod Croker (149 games*)


120: Jason Croker (318 games)

105: Brett Mullins (183 games)

87: Laurie Daley (244 games)

74: Mal Meninga (166 games)

73: Noa Nadruku (92 games), Jarrod Croker (149 games*)


NRL round 10: St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium, 2pm

TV: Live on Fox Sports 1