Michael Crocker could prove to be the ultimate weapon for Queensland in their quest for State of Origin glory this year, looking at the current statistics it seems he could be Rugby League’s all-time best sequential winner.
While many talk about Crocker’s impressive run of wins in the NRL for the Melbourne Storm – which is a staggering 28 victories from 28 starts – few know that the 27-year-old second rowers coukd be on the biggest ever victory run in 100 years of League.
He’s won the NRL premiership twice – initially with the Sydney Roosters in 2003 and then last year with Melbourne in 2007 – Michael Crocker hasn’t dropped even one NRL match for club, state or country in almost three years.
The last time he tasted defeat was back in 2005 playing for the Roosters.
That was a tight 17-16 loss to South Sydney some 1005 days ago.
On top of his hot run of wins for the Melbourne Storm, Michael Crocker’s 32-game victory run also covers wins in his final 2 games at the Roosters plus 2 recent Tests for Australia – the 2007 win to the tune of 58-0 over Kiwi Test Side and the 28-12 Centenary Test romp also over the Kiwi side.
Crocker’s dream run is believed to be unequalled in the 100-history of Rugby League, even the master of all records in NRL and Rugby League – David Middleton at odds to name another player that has gone close to achieving such a hot-streak of wins.
It makes for even more impressive reading when you consider the legendary St George side who won an Australian sporting record of 11 straight Rugby League premierships during 1956-66 era, even this memorable squad could not secure back-to-back seasons without a loss.
7 teams in Rugby League history have gone through a single season without losing a game, Balmain achieved this first in 1915 and then St George years later in 1959.
Its worth noting though, in the early days the Rugby League seasons – with only 10 or 12 teams competing – were much shorter than today.
The Roosters hold the all-time Rugby League record for most back to back victories by a club side with 19 wins in 1975, but there has been zero records kept regarding a single players winning run.
Middleton, the NRL’s most recognisable historian was truly at odds to come up with a comparison to Crocker when asked to come up with someone with comparable stats in terms of running wins.
“Crocker’s record of 32 consecutive victories may well be an all-time record,” said Middleton.
“It is, of course, a difficult thing to run down but I have checked the records of St George players in 1959 and none of them had a winning run to compare with Crocker’s.
“It is possible that an Easts player of the 1930s put together a long winning run (Easts were undefeated in 1935-36-37) but many of their leading players experienced defeats at Test or interstate level.
“It is a bit of a needle in a haystack job to find someone who has sidestepped defeat for so long.”
To make the achievement even more potent, just look at Crocker’s importance to Melbourne Storm. The fact is, the Storm’s win ration without him dips to 68 per cent – which is 24 wins from 35 games.
Melbourne looked certain to take out the NRL Premiership in Crocker’s first year for the Storm in 2006 before their new recruit sustained a knee injury in the preliminary final win against St George Illawarra and had to miss the Storm’s grand final defeat to Brisbane.
Having achieved this huge feat for his club sides and the Australian Kangaroo sides, State of Origin remains Crocker’s last Bastian.
Taking home a series win in rugby league’s most demanding face-off is the only achievement Crocker is yet to secure.
The Sydney-born hard man has won only 2 Origin matches in 7 games.
“Being a passionate Queenslander it’s definitely something I’d like to achieve,” said Crocker, a member of losing Queensland teams in 2003-05.
“Origin has been a bit disappointing for me in that I’ve never won a series.
“It’s definitely something I’d like to do before I finish playing.”