Storm have plans for ex-champion Cronk
Cooper Cronk of the Roosters passes the ball during the Round 13 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Wests Tigers at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AAP Image/Daniel Munoz)
Cooper Cronk's expectation that his former Melbourne teammates will "smash" him is on the money, with Storm coach Craig Bellamy plotting to keep the master halfback quiet on Friday night.
After 14 seasons in Melbourne - including four grand final wins - Cronk joined the Sydney Roosters this year and the two sides are set to square off at Adelaide Oval.
Cronk can expect some special attention.
"S*** yeah - he's got to pay the price," Bellamy joked.
The coach, who recently re-signed with Melbourne for another three years, said despite knowing Cronk's strengths and weaknesses intimately, he had done his homework.
"We've got a bit of a plan on how we want to handle him, and how we handle his strengths," Bellamy said.
"Hopefully we can put that plan into action ... he might have something in store for us too."
Bellamy said preparing to play against Cronk had been "unusual", given he had built such a tight relationship with the Storm over the years.
"I've been watching videos to prepare for the game and just trying to blank his face out," Bellamy said.
"It was going to happen and now it's getting close but he'll just be another player for 80 minutes and I'm sure we'll all be friends after."
He felt Cronk had tweaked his game to fit best with the Roosters but would still be a major threat.
"He's doing a couple of little things to work in with what the Roosters want to do which is a little bit different to us," Bellamy said.
"We'll have a couple of things we need to keep an eye on and hopefully he doesn't get away from us too often."
© AAP 2018