Former teammates Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith resume their rivalry when the Storm host the Roosters on Friday night.
The pair have been engaged in a reported feud since Cronk left the Storm to join the Tri-colours in 2017 and there is a strong possibility the two may never repair their relationship, according to Paul Kent.
“Rugby league is a soap opera for men lets be honest about it and you don’t even need games anymore,” Kent told NRL 360.
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Cronk and Smith feud1:08
NRL: Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith's fractured relationship will once again add another sub plot to this weekend's Grand Final rematch.
“This has been a back story to the entire season last year.
“They haven’t broken bread and to be honest I doubt they ever will.
“They are pretty strong characters and they are pretty resolute on where they stand.
“I think it will be on again and they are men and they can handle it.”
The breakdown of their relationship was reportedly over Smith’s lack of support for Cronk when he decided to move to Sydney to be by his partner Tara Rushton’s side.
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The feud reached fever pitch in the 2018 Grand Final, when Cronk took exception to a Smith tackle on the Roosters halfback after he kicked the ball.
Cronk, who was later revealed to be carrying a broken scapula into the game, grabbed Smith by the throat as he got to his feet.
Despite denials from both camps, the pair are clearly not the friends they once were as teammates for the Storm, Maroons and Australia for the bulk of their NRL careers, according to veteran journalist Brent Read.
“I don’t think all is well there at all,” Read said.
“They haven’t got much longer to play against each other. They have maybe two meetings this year and maybe a grand final.
“It might be a great way to send them both out.
“But they are not on the best of terms still and it should make for an interesting subplot on Friday night.”
Cronk is yet to confirm if he will retire at the end of his current contract, which finishes at the end of the 2019 season.
Smith has set his sights on playing on until the end of the 2020 season, but it is clear that the on-field rivalry is coming to an end sooner rather than later.
The off-field feud may last a long while yet.
Originally published as 广东时时彩11选五