When I called Jarrod Croker to congratulate him on breaking the 800 career point barrier the strike centre was blissfully unaware of his remarkable accomplishment. Truth be told he was still filthy on the two points he missed from a penalty goal attempt that could have snared victory over the Wests Tigers in Round 16.
And that is just a testament to the man.
Despite the hordes of tries he has scored and goals he has kicked throughout his impressive six year career in the NRL, it has always been a ‘team first’ mentality for Croker.
“That’s the way it’s always been for Crokes, he’s a very team orientated player and has been like that ever since he came into the side,” Captain Terry Campese said.
“He’s a very talented individual player but he’s not about the individual accolades, he’s more concerned about the team succeeding.
“I’m not surprised at all that he’s more concerned about the two points that he missed which may have won us the game but to score 800 career points at just 24 years of age is an unbelievable achievement. If he keeps going this way and stays injury free he’s well in line to become the club’s highest ever points scorer.”
Croker was on 796 points heading into that game before his try and three goals transcended him over the 800 point barrier. After the win over the Titans, Croker now sits on 824 points.
The Goulburn Stockmen junior is also currently the NRL’s leading top point scorer with 134.
“It’s a nice accomplishment to have but I’d much prefer to be getting some wins for the Raiders,” Croker said. “I didn’t even know I was top point scorer in the NRL until a minute ago when you mentioned it.
"The Tigers game was somethign that I wanted to forget about anyway given that I had an opportunity to win the game but missed with my penalty goal attempt. I’ve put that behind me now but that's all I was concerned with after the match.
“Personal milestones like getting over 800 career points is not something I look too closely at, I’m more focused on the team and winning games.”
Currently, Croker sits in fourth spot on the Raiders all-time points scoring chart behind club legends:
- David Furner on 1218 points (49 tries, 511 goals)
- Clinton Schifcosfske 1052 points (44 tries, 432 goals, 12 field goals)
- Mal Meninga 864 points (74 tries, 283 goals, 2 field goals)
Still just 24 years of age, Croker is well on track to surpass Furner as the club's leading point scorer if major injuries remain at bay and his current form continues.
Since taking over the kicking reigns in 2010, following 21 appearances in his debut year in 2009 in which he did not kick, Croker has averaged 161 points per year (not including 2014).
“When you have a look at the names in front of me at the moment it’s pretty daunting, they’re some of the greatest names in the history of the Raiders,” Croker said.
“It would be pretty humbling to be on top of that list and a great honour but that will be something that I’ll look back on at the end of my career and think about.
“Right now, all I’m focused on getting a win for the Raiders over the Storm this Saturday.”