Canberra Raiders centre Jarrod Croker is not focused on his milestone of becoming the NRL's third best point-scorer in history. His eyes are firmly honed in on finals footy.
The 30-year-old headed into Canberra's 34-24 loss to the Newcastle Knights on Sunday tied with Jonathan Thurston on the all-time points leaderboard, before his conversion 28 minutes in pushed him into third.
He now sits on 2230 points heading into the final rounds of the season, behind former Melbourne Storm player Cameron Smith (2786) and former Bulldogs great Hazem El Masri (2418).
But Croker is firmly focused on his side's game plan.
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"It wasn't really on the front of my mind. It's nice to go past someone but it's not really something that even now is really on my mind, to be honest," he said.
"I'm sort of trying to put yesterday [Sunday] behind us pretty quickly ... because it's a pretty short week going into the next game."
The Raiders had the opportunity to further secure their spot in the top eight with a win against the Knights. Instead they sit in eighth on equal points with the Sharks, Dragons and the Knights with five more rounds before finals. The Sharks were set to play Manly in Monday's rescheduled late game.
"It was very much a missed opportunity," Croker said.
"We had the chance to go clear of those couple of teams at around 18 points there and then. Obviously we play the Dragons this week. So it could have been an opportunity there to take four points.
"We are our own victims at that, so we just need to adjust and fix it and just turn it around and win again. As tough as it has been, it's really all we can do."
The Raiders faced a 20-hour delay in their round 20 fixture after the Queensland government forced the NRL to shift Saturday's three games to Sunday.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart denied the disruption had anything to do with their loss, and the side's captain agreed.
Croker thought the Canberra side handled it really well but after conceding three early tries, giving away penalties was something they could not afford.
"Every team would be able to find an excuse around all this Covid stuff at some point if they wanted to," Croker said.
"We wanted to make sure that we didn't look for an excuse and I felt like we handled it really well. There was no problem with our energy, our mood or our attitude pre-game.
"We obviously didn't start the way we wanted to but I feel like we were handling the situation very well, but we didn't convert that to the start of the game, unfortunately."
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