The simmering feud between former NRL teammates Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk has continued as they attempt to leave recent hostilities behind.
The couple shared a few words and a tense hug after the Sydney Roosters beat 14-6 at the SCG on Saturday night to book a place in next week's NRL grand final.
Allegedly the relationships between the couple have been sour since Cronk Storm left two years ago, and escalated further after his notorious chokehold around Smith's neck in last year's NRL final.
Tensions seemed to have eased when the pair shook hands and shared a short hug and smile after the preliminary final on Saturday night.
While some say Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk have buried the hatchet, others disagree
But the recently retired Cronulla Sharks legend Paul Gallen said he was not convinced after the uncomfortable encounter.
Embracing the Cooper Cronk-Cameron Smith at the end of the game – it was very short. Very briefly, as far as I can say, Gallen said on Channel Nine & # 39; s Sports Sunday.
& # 39; I saw them coming together and I thought: & # 39; Here we go, this is good, the cameras & # 39; s will get this and they will sit there and have a five-second conversation.
& # 39; It was a hand movement, a tap on the back and they were gone. I don't know what the problem is, but something is wrong. & # 39;
Fellow panel member and former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis agreed and described the Cronk-Smith moment as & # 39; very cold & # 39 ;.
Talking about a rumor break escalated after Cronk & # 39; s chokehold (photo) on his former teammate Cameron Smith during last year's NRL grand finale
Cronk shared a much warmer embrace with his former coach, Craig Bellamy, Melbourne Storm as he prepares for his 375th and final NRL next Sunday.
& # 39; Although I have this moment, I should probably thank Melbourne Storm for all they did for me & # 39 ;, Cronk told Channel Nine after Saturday night's win.
& # 39; Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman in particular, are two guys who have made me a better player and a better person. & # 39;
He and Smith are reportedly embroiled in a constant gap since Cronk Storm left the Sydney Roosters at the end of the 2017 season.
Both camps have repeatedly denied bad blood between them.
The rumor allegedly began after Cronk left Storm two years ago to move to Sydney to be closer to his wife Tara Rushton (pictured together)
The tensions between the couple took to the field last year, culminating in Cronk's notorious chokehold around Smith's neck during the great final victory of the Rooster.
& # 39; There may have been (bad blood). But not from my end of the bargain. That kicking pressure could have been anyone, I have a broken shoulder and I knew they came for me in that game … If it had been Cameron Munster, I would have done exactly the same, & Cronk told Fox Footy & # 39; s NRL 360 earlier this year.
& # 39; Conversations have happened. Our relationship is good. I can only speak from my point of view … If we ever caught up, there would be no hostilities between us. & # 39;
A rumor about a rumor break originated when Cronk left Melbourne to move to Sydney after 14 seasons after the big final win of Storm 2017.
Tensions reached several months later when Smith was reportedly a no-show at Cronk & # 39; s wedding with Tara Rushton on Sydney's northern beaches.
Cronk and Smith (depicted with wife Barb) have repeatedly denied rumors about a reported feud
Earlier this year, Cronk told FoxFooty & # 39; s NRL360 that his relationship with Smith was fine, but this moment from the 2018 grand final shows was different
Smith & # 39; s broken relationship with Cronk and teammate Billy Slater was published last year when it was reported that his wife, Barb, had a fight with Slater & # 39; s wife, Nicole.
Their broken friendship was apparently visible to everyone when Cronk first took on his old club last July.
He warmly embraced all his former teammates, but only offered a short handshake and minimal eye contact with Smith after the match in Adelaide.
A few months later, the tensions went back to the grand finale of the NRL, where Cronk Smith grabbed the neck after taking exceptional crunch equipment.
The former teammates and one-time close friends tried to bury the hatchet on Saturday
Smith & # 39; s broken relationship with Cronk and teammate Billy Slater was published last year when it was reported that his wife, Barb, had a (photo) fight with Slater's wife
The former best friends then avoided each other after the game with reports that Cronk abruptly changed direction to prevent him from coming face to face with his former captain.
They added fuel to the fire and sniffed each other in interviews after the game and speeches.
Cronk threw Smith again as he thanked his former club and picked some of his former teammates to play their last NRL game.
There are also reports that he hugged every Storm player after the game except Smith.
Smith also did not mention Cronk in his second speech, despite the selection of different rooster players.
The relationships between Cronk and former coach Craig Bellamy were much friendlier on Saturday
Smith seemed to have expanded the olive branch earlier this year when he congratulated Cronk when he announced that he would retire at the end of this season
& # 39; Congratulations to Coops on an incredible career so far! Not too long ago, as teens, we raced around old Kingswood, & Smith tweeted at the time.
But again in July tensions arose after Cronk's management claimed that he had not received an invitation to a dinner in honor of Smith's 400th first-class game.
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