Lee Gaskin -Apr 9, 2012
Canberra's Jarrod Croker after missing yet another conversion. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
He blitzed them on the ground, but Jarrod Croker's normally reliable left boot went missing on a mixed day for the Raiders centre.
Croker had a day every goalkicker dreads, slotting just two from seven in his team's 32-12 thumping of the New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium yesterday.
At the same time his footwork and finishing was on song as he crossed for two of his side's seven tries.
Had Croker's goal kicking been up at its usual 80 per cent range, the scoreboard would have been much uglier for last year's grand finalists.
''It was one of those days, I suppose,'' Croker said. ''I'm just very thankful the boys kept scoring tries and it didn't come down to goalkicking because I was hitting them very ordinary.''
Croker missed just three of his previous 16 shots at goal in the opening five rounds of the competition.
He doubled his tally inside 26 minutes, shanking his opening three attempts before his fourth hit the post and bounced away.
It wasn't until Josh Papalii sliced through in the 57th minute that Croker was able to add the extras.
Croker took half-a-dozen shots at goal before the game with his only miss coming off the post.
Croker works with former Bulldogs sharpshooter Daryl Halligan, and expected to get some advice when the pair caught up during the week.
''He'll be down here to give me a spray,'' Croker laughed. ''I'd say he's had a bad day every now and then.
''There's going to be a time when it's going to come down to goalkicking, and hopefully I'm hitting well enough to get us over the line.''
Croker is the leading point scorer in the NRL with 58, and his seven tries leaves him behind only Melbourne's Billy Slater in that category.