Canberra Raiders centre Jarrod Croker won’t pass Cameron Smith, says Andrew Johns

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Rugby league immortal Andrew Johns said that Jarrod Croker may struggle to hold down his spot in the Canberra Raiders team in the future, harming his chances of finishing his career as the game’s greatest-ever scorer.

Croker was perfect with the boot on Saturday night and drew level with Johns for fourth on the all-time point-scorers list on the weekend, at 2176, but still trails leader Cameron Smith by 610.

The Storm hooker finished his career with 2786 points.

“I don’t think he’ll reach him,” Johns said on Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth.

“A lot of shoulder problems for Jarrod, numerous operations on his shoulder. Ricky might have a tough call to make soonish.”

Brad Fittler interjected, saying: “Sebastian Kris is going very well.”

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Croker debuted in 2009 and has had very few injury problems in that time, before his recent shoulder issues. He is one of only seven players to have scored more than 2000 points.

Much like Smith, Croker’s availability has been one of his greatest strengths, only failing to play 20 games in a season once in his career to date.

“Cameron never got injured,” Fittler added.

The 30-year-old Raiders centre is likely to pass Johnathan Thurston for third place in a few weeks, with the Cowboys legend on 2222 points.

Only three other current players have reached the 1000-point milestone in their careers, and two will play together in the halves tonight, in Benji Marshall and Adam Reynolds. The third is injured Sharks half Shaun Johnson.

But Johns said if any current player could catch Smith, it would be Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary who is only 23 and should pass 1000 points by the end of the season.

“Nathan may play 400 games, he might be the next one,” Johns said.

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