Rugby League

Canberra Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker unfazed by lack of drinks breaks

Canberra Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker insists he isn't fussed if drinks breaks aren't introduced for Saturday's clash with the Sydney Roosters, but felt it would be clearer for players if the NRL adopted a blanket heat policy.

Some eyebrows were raised when drinks breaks weren't taken midway through last week's 30-22 win over Penrith, played in 35-degree heat.

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Croker and Penrith captain Jamie Soward queried why there wasn't a drinks breaks after they were put in place for Sunday's Roosters-Souths match, played in far cooler temperatures.

Asked about the situation on Friday, Croker said he was unaware of the heat policy details and backed his team to survive without breaks, despite players shedding several kilograms in the Panthers win. 

The club medical officers of both clubs opted not to have drinks breaks, and under the policy if they disagree, the NRL medical officer decides. 

Some past players have called for the NRL to emulate other codes like AFL and soccer and implement a policy where breaks are mandatory when certain weather indicators are reached. 

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"I didn't really know the rules [last week] and I think if they did have something like that it would be a lot clearer, it wouldn't be a grey line," Croker said. "But our boys aren't concerned about it if we don't have a break, we handled it last week."

Exhausted Raiders forwards Sia Soliola, Shannon Boyd and Jeff Lima during Saturday's win over Penrith.
Exhausted Raiders forwards Sia Soliola, Shannon Boyd and Jeff Lima during Saturday's win over Penrith.  Photo: Getty Images

"Like I said in the [post-match] press conference it would be more for the big boys in the middle doing all the hard work.

"I stood out there and didn't do much, and when we scored tries I got a drink anyway.

"I'm comfortable to not have one, our big boys handled it fine last week."

Croker expects former Raiders teammate Blake Ferguson to improve on his first-up showing at fullback in the Roosters' 42-10 loss to Souths.

"I watched the first half and the Roosters didn't have much choice but to do anything but tackle in the first half, you can't take much out of that," Croker said.  "Fergo's the type of player wherever you stick him, he's going to excel at some stage.

"Whether it takes a few weeks for him to find his feet, he's definitely got the skill and he's an athlete in general. 

"We all know how good he is and how he can break a game open." 

SATURDAY

NRL round two: Canberra Raiders v Sydney Roosters at Canberra Stadium, 3pm

Tickets available from Ticketek 

TV: Live on Fox Sports 1