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NSW True Blue Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach has thrown his support behind Sydney Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce, in the wake of Cooper Cronk signing his services to the Bondi-based club for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Roach – who played alongside Pearce’s father Wayne throughout his career at Balmain – has been a strong backer of the often-maligned half, since he made his NRL debut as an 18-year-old in 2007.

“He’s got every right to be filthy … Mitchell Pearce has been there for a decade, he’s on the verge of playing the most club games for an individual at the one club if he stays there,” Roach told Fox Sports News 500 on Wednesday.

“I don’t think [Pearce] will stay there, to bring in Cooper Cronk – who’s a great player, there’s no doubt about it – but he’s untried without Cameron Smith and also Billy Slater.

“Mitchell Pearce is a wonderful player … I reckon it’s a knee-jerk reaction to say, ‘oh well we’ve only won one Premiership (2013). What the Roosters are saying to Mitchell Pearce is, ‘we don’t think you can get the job done,’.

“Mitchell has been affected by State of Origin, I’m sure that he would say that. But as far as club football goes, I think he’s a better club footballer than Cooper Cronk.”



Mitchell Pearce

Cooper Cronk

NRL Matches



NRL Wins (%)

125 (53%)

229 (71%)

NRL Premierships



NRL Tries (Strike Rate)

62 (0.26)

92 (0.28)

State of Origin Matches



State of Origin Wins (%)

5 (28%)

16 (73%)

State of Origin Tries (S/R)

3 (0.17)

3 (0.14)

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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