Monday 18 December 2017 / 04:49 AM

CRONK WINS GOLDEN BOOT

Via Melbourne Storm media

An incredible year from Cooper Cronk has been capped off with the champion halfback being named the winner of the 2016 Rugby League World Golden Boot.

Cronk edged out Storm teammate Cameron Smith, Darius Boyd and Jason Taumalolo to be crowned the world’s best rugby league player.

It is the first time in Cronk’s career he has won the Golden Boot award and follows his second Dally M Player of the Year honour, won jointly this year with Taumalolo.

The 33-year-old took his game to a new level in 2016, ticking every box at club, Origin and international level this season.

Cronk led Storm in try and line break assists and ranked third for tries scored.

The proven match-winner also kicked three field goals to get Storm over the line throughout the season, helping to lead the men in purple to the NRL Grand Final.

Cronk also reached the illustrious 300-game milestone, becoming just the 25th player in NRL history to do so.

He once again played a pivotal role for Queensland in yet another State of Origin series triumph and proved he was in a class of his own during November’s Four Nations in the UK.

The mercurial No.7 put in dazzling displays for the Kangaroos on his way to being named the Four Nations player of the tournament.

The Golden Boot is decided by a panel of experts including former winner Darren Lockyer.

Cronk is just the fourth player to win the Dally M Medal and the Golden Boot in the same year, after Peter Sterling (1987), Andrew Johns (1999) and Johnathan Thurston (2015).

[YouTube – JBP SPORTS EDITS]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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