Croker joins Johns, more records ahead

Jarrod Croker has moved level with Andrew Johns into equal-fourth on the NRL point-scoring lists, and Canberra's captain remains on track to one day go top.

JARROD CROKER
JARROD CROKER Picture: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Jarrod Croker could surpass greats Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston in the space of weeks to enter the NRL's top three all-time point scorers.

The Canberra captain climbed further up the record books on Saturday night, going level with Johns' career tally of 2,176 with eight points against Gold Coast.

The straight-shooting goalkicker should pass Johns into clear fourth on Friday night against Penrith, with Thurston just 46 points further ahead on 2,222.

Croker has repeatedly said he has no interest in the records, but the 30-year-old has averaged around 185 points per season in recent years, with Hazem El Masri's second-place in the standings with 2,418 on target to be toppled next year.

Cameron Smith's record of 2,786 is far further down the road, but Croker could be on track to challenge it by the time his current deal ends in 2024 if he holds his fitness and scoring rate.

"We get a guy with 290-odd games of football experience, and he's a leader the boys love having around - and I do too," coach Ricky Stuart said.

"Outside of being a great Raider, he is a wonderful bloke."

Working in Croker's favour in the pursuit of the record is his age, having only celebrated his 30th birthday last September.

Johns was 33 when he retired on 2,176 points, while Thurston was aged 35 at that mark, El Masri 32 and Smith 34.

Adam Reynolds (1,674), Benji Marshall (1,220) and Shaun Johnson (1,139) are the only other current players to be in four figures, but none look like challenging Croker.

Croker's eight points to take him equal with Johns came on an impressive night for the centre, who set up Jordan Rapana for the Raiders' first try in the 20-4 win.

"It was difficult conditions out there (against Gold Coast)."

"When you're outside back in those slippery conditions defending a lot of shape that came at him and we did a good job.

Meanwhile Rapana's try also took him level with Mal Meninga's haul of 74 at the Raiders, and lifted him to equal-fifth on Canberra's all-time lists.

LEADING NRL POINT SCORERS

Cameron Smith: 2,786

Hazem El Masri: 2,418

Johnathan Thurston: 2,222

Andrew Johnson: 2,176

Jarrod Croker: 2,176

Jason Taylor: 2,107