Cooper Cronk lives just up the road from the MCG and would love nothing more than to close out the State of Origin series there in three weeks.
Cronk, who made his NRL debut for Melbourne in 2004, scored a try and kicked the match-winning field goal for Queensland in the 11-10 victory over NSW in the Origin opener at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night and the Storm halfback can’t wait to tackle the Blues in his backyard on June 17.
“Rugby league should be spread in Victoria and there’s no better place to do it than at the MCG in a State of Origin match,” the 31-year-old halfback said.
“It’s a pretty cool venue … I’ve been playing in Melbourne for a long time. I live just up the road and I’ve been to it on a number of occasions for different sporting events.
“Taking Origin there, rugby league’s showpiece, I’m really excited and I hope it’s a sell-out.”
The veteran, who broke his arm in last year’s season opener and was sidelined as NSW broke Queensland’s eight-year Origin streak a few weeks later, admits the Maroons weren’t at their best in Sydney after trailing 10-6 at halftime but sorted things out during the break.
“We turned over a bit of possession in that first half which gave NSW opportunities to score points,” he said.
“We came in here (to the dressing room) … we just knew we had to stick to it and give ourselves an opportunity and field position to come up with points and we did.”
Meanwhile, Cronk’s Melbourne and Maroons teammate Billy Slater is also looking forward to the MCG clash.
“I’ve been there (Storm) for 13 years. I’m only 31, so it’s more than a third of my life I’ve been in Melbourne, so it’s going to be a home game for a few of us,” Slater said.