December 2014B

BONDI BEAT: December 2014

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S not overstating things that there has been something of a paradigm shift in out game as a result of the recently-completed Four Nations. I have a favourite saying about the warring factions within our game: the parochial populists and the outward-looking anoraks: if the meek are to inherit the earth, then the geeks will get rugby league. And with Jarryd Hayne, Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Burgess walking out on us all at the same time, the non-geeks are finally starting to get it. Fencing ourselves off and resigning ourselves to always being a regional sport just isn’t an option. It never has been, but they couldn’t see that. It works like this: the NFL and Major League Baseball and European soccer bring their teams to our doorsteps and try to make money from us. The money we usually give them would otherwise have gone to sports that were locally traditional, like rugby league. As globalisation steps up a gear and networked media becomes the norm. those traditional local sports will either continue to lose bigger slices of their market share, or they can go into the markets of other sports and steal something back. There will eventually be no local sports, local music or local arts. There will just be sport, music and art. The very real long-term choice rugby league has is to be a sport, or be nothing. That rugby union international between the United States and New Zealand recently was astonishing: 65,000 people watching something that has no history in that society was a watershed moment, up there with the NFL at Wembley. Sonny Bill Williams went straight from our loving embraced to playing before 140,000 on successive weekends in Chicago and London. Wow. The ignoramuses can no longer deny that expansion is essential for our game’s survival, and that international competition provides us with the best vehicle to carry us down that road. Now. Plenty of people commenting on rugby league in Australia and New Zealand are general sports followers rather than devotees of our game. Normally, they should be summarily ignored in talking about our battles with other sports, because it’s a war in which they have invested nothing. But even some of these cynics are finally admitting that the club season is too long, that international football has enormous potential and that – God forbid – Australia should actually be playing next year. We have Samoa to thank for this breakthrough. We have been searching for a credible fourth nation for a generation. Eligibility laws should naturally accommodate Samoa as a result, allowing State of Origin players to represent them. That’s the plan: for Origin players to be free to represent tier two countries, but not New Zealand or England. Secondly, the Four Nations was on the way out with one – at most – planned between 2017 and 2021. We may have to rethink that now. And what happens when the invited country finishes above one of the big three – and we kick them out of the next Four Nations anyway? Thirdly, it would seem we don’t need big stars to successfully promote an international series any longer. Australia were missing 12 World Cup stars and still attract great crowds in Brisbane, Melbourne and Wollongong. The Geek Revolution has begun. THIS column is called Bondi Beat, which means it is supposed to be about Australian rugby league. From time to time we write about how British rugby league looks from Bondi (like, you really have to squint to see it). Taking those parameters into account, writing about England’s Four Nations campaign may seem a bit of a stretch. For a start, the closest game to Bondi was in Wollongong, which for the hipsters around the seaside suburb may as well be Sierra Leone. But what the heck. We’re going to make some observations anyway. England were probably the best team to watch in the tournament, just edging Samoa. They played with daring and skill and speed and seemed to create overlaps on the fringes of opposition defences with ease. They have solved their problems in the halves. Matty Smith and Gareth Widdop are an accomplished pairing. Kallum Watkins is all class, Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall were outstanding and the Burgess boys plus Jason Graham make for a ferocious pack. Daryl Clark enhanced his reputation. They lost for the same reasons all emerging teams at any level do so. You have to pay your dues to rugby league karma. Good, emerging teams, always hit a “luck wall”. If they stick at what they’re doing, they burst through the other side. With Josh Hodgson in mind, maybe we should call it a “luck door”. I’ve thought long and hard about Steve McNamara’s claims to keep his post. I’ve come to this conclusion: they had want to have someone very good lined up as a replacement if they are going to punt him. I didn’t agree with much of what he did from a PR point of view at the World Cup but there is ample evidence his team is building up to … [Read More...]

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World Cup third quarter-final: ENGLAND 34 FRANCE 6 at DW Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD ENGLAND showed more willingness to admit problems on the field than they previousy had off it after a deeply unconvincing quarter-final win over France. While New Zealand and Australia crushed their first opponents in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the English were fortunate not to have conceded more than one try in their 34-6 win over a plucky France at DW Stadium. England coach Steve McNamara has refused to discuss the banishment of Gareth Hock and Zak Hardaker and suspension of James Graham for disciplinary reasons earier in the tournament but was far more forthcoming in discussing his disappointment at the showing. "Scratchy, very scratching - probably our worse … [Read More...]

WLF TV!

Danko Jones - Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue

DANKO JONES – Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue

Album review: DANKO JONES – Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue By STEVE MASCORD THIS reviewer first saw Danko Jones opening for Hardcore Superstar in Manchester a decade ago. It was spellbinding, this swaggering braggart sweating all over the first 10 rows as he tore through impossibly catchy tales of road life. It was […]

Slash

SLASH, Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, 2012

Live review: SLASH at Thebarton Theatre, August 28 2012 By STEVE MASCORD NEW Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. A Tuesday night in Adelaide. After just three songs, they are neck-and-neck. This reviewer did not set out to compare the Slash show at Thebarton Theatre last night to Guns N’Roses all-bells-and-whistles outing at the Hard Rock Hotel […]

Video: Eleven-year-old drummer nails “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)”

WHITE LINE FEVER Podcast: Episode 68

LOUDMOUTH: January 2013

@Loudmouthcolumn DRUMMER Brian Tichy and guitarist Rob Caggiano have quit Whitesnake and Anthrax respectively on a seismic news day for hard rock and heavy metal. Tichy, who dislocated a shoulder in a mountain biking accident before New Years, wants to devote more time to his Something Unto Nothing (SUN) project with Sass Jordan – but […]

Janes Addiction - Perry Farrell

JANE’S ADDICTION: Something’s Shocking (1989)

By STEVE MASCORD “Camera’s got them images, Camera’s got them all, Showed me everybody, naked and disfigured, Nothing’s Shocking.” – From “Ted, Just Admit It”, Jane’s Addiction PERRY Farrell may not be a weirdo. He may  not be a freak, a pseud, a genius, a madman or a lunatic. By his own admission, he may […]

Hoad brothers

Kings Of The Sun Hit Back At Axl Rose, Search For New Singer

By STEVE MASCORD AFTER finally responding to Axl Rose 24 years after the Gunners front-man kicked him out of the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Kings Of The Sun drummer Cliff Hoad is looking for a new singer – to replace his brother. The Gold Coast rockers wrote themselves a little piece of Oz Rock history in […]

WLF TV: The Union – Luke Morley and Pete Shoulder interview

Rugby_league_world_cup_logo

World Cup third quarter-final: ENGLAND 34 FRANCE 6 at DW Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD ENGLAND showed more willingness to admit problems on the field than they previousy had off it after a deeply unconvincing quarter-final win over France. While New Zealand and Australia crushed their first opponents in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the English were fortunate not to have conceded more than one […]

Discord

DISCORD 2009: Edition 6

By STEVE MASCORD A COUPLE of weeks ago, British league legend Mike Stephenson let a pretty staggering development seep out onto the world, in the middle of his weekly magazine column. Stevo wrote in Rugby League Express that he knew of two Leeds businessmen who wanted to enter a team in the NRL. Not a […]

December 2014B

BONDI BEAT: December 2014

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S not overstating things that there has been something of a paradigm shift in out game as a result of the recently-completed Four Nations. I have a favourite saying about the warring factions within our game: the parochial populists and the outward-looking anoraks: if the meek are to inherit the earth, then […]

Discord

DISCORD 2009: Edition 6

By STEVE MASCORD A COUPLE of weeks ago, British league legend Mike Stephenson let a pretty staggering development seep out onto the world, in the middle of his weekly magazine column. Stevo wrote in Rugby League Express that he knew of two Leeds businessmen who wanted to enter a team in the NRL. Not a […]

Jarryd Hayne

The A-List: JARRYD HAYNE (Parramatta, NSW, NRL All Stars & Australia)

He’s the current joint Dally M winner and he’s leaving for the NFL. But who is Jarryd Hayne, really?

Rugby_league_world_cup_logo

World Cup third quarter-final: ENGLAND 34 FRANCE 6 at DW Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD ENGLAND showed more willingness to admit problems on the field than they previousy had off it after a deeply unconvincing quarter-final win over France. While New Zealand and Australia crushed their first opponents in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the English were fortunate not to have conceded more than one […]

Dorn, Luke

Australia Needs A Challenge Cup, Says Luke Dorn

By STEVE MASCORD OK, the NRL schedule is already so full that we didn’t even have a room for the All Stars game this season. But according to former Northern Eagles, Manly and Sydney Roosters utility back Luke Dorn, what it really needs is not more games, but more occasions. Standing in the players’ race […]

P1070312

Live Blog: SOUTH SYDNEY v SYDNEY ROOSTERS at ANZ Stadium

Fulltime: SOUTH SYDNEY 28 SYDNEY ROOSTERS 8 SOUTH Sydney overpowered their mortal enemies in a sizzling, incident-packed opening to the 2014 NRL season. Broadcaster Channel Nine reported the NRL launched an investigation while the match was still in progress into a tackle by Sydney Roosters’ Sonny Bill Williams and Aiden Guerra on Rabbitoh Ben Lowe, […]

Jarryd Hayne

The A-List: JARRYD HAYNE (Parramatta, NSW, NRL All Stars & Australia)

He’s the current joint Dally M winner and he’s leaving for the NFL. But who is Jarryd Hayne, really?

Discord

DISCORD 2009: Edition 6

By STEVE MASCORD A COUPLE of weeks ago, British league legend Mike Stephenson let a pretty staggering development seep out onto the world, in the middle of his weekly magazine column. Stevo wrote in Rugby League Express that he knew of two Leeds businessmen who wanted to enter a team in the NRL. Not a […]

December 2014B

BONDI BEAT: December 2014

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S not overstating things that there has been something of a paradigm shift in out game as a result of the recently-completed Four Nations. I have a favourite saying about the warring factions within our game: the parochial populists and the outward-looking anoraks: if the meek are to inherit the earth, then […]

New_NRL_logo

THE WRAP: NRL Finals Week One

By STEVE MASCORD MY furry colleague at Rugby League Week, the Mole, last week wrote that Greg Inglis was unlikely to play in the World Cup due to his ongoing knee problem. So when the finals series kicked off on Friday night, a couple of hours before kick-off between South Sydney and Melbourne at ANZ […]

RLW 19 2012

RLW MEDIA RELEASE: Issue 19

POORE OUT, RAP FOR JT AND MANGO, DEFIANT SEARLE, STUART LINKED TO DRAGONS, TARIQ DETERMINATION, AGENTS OF CHANGE PARRAMATTA prop Justin Poore is set to leave the club before the June 30 deadline, the Mole reports in today’s Rugby League Week. Canberra are favourites to sign Poore, who hasn’t really settled in since moving from […]

The Big Issue

THE BIG ISSUE: #60

By STEVE MASCORD EVERY year, around this time, a column like this appears that critiques the NRL finals format. This year, the concerns are not on the field. Sydney Roosters and South Sydney have been the best sides all year and they are facing opposition this weekend in the preliminary finals that most people expect […]

The Big Issue

THE BIG ISSUE: #60

By STEVE MASCORD EVERY year, around this time, a column like this appears that critiques the NRL finals format. This year, the concerns are not on the field. Sydney Roosters and South Sydney have been the best sides all year and they are facing opposition this weekend in the preliminary finals that most people expect […]

Far & Wide

FAR & WIDE: Number One 2015

By STEVE MASCORD TOP flight rugby league is kicking off early, and in unusual surrounds, this Sunday when Leeds play the United States Pioneers at the University of Northern Florida in Jacksonville. The Rhinos have been to Florida for pre-season camps three times previously. On this occasion, they have brought in several players from their […]

therealsteavis - View my recent photos on Flickriver
Thompson, Corey

Corey Thompson’s Had A Bad Run In Grand Finals

By STEVE MASCORD TRY-HUNGRY winger Corey Thompson has revealed how joining Canterbury cost him a grand final– and a missed plane denied him the chance to celebrate with his team-mates. Thompson has bagged 11 first grade touch downs since transferring from Brisbane Easts on a modest contract in the middle of last season. The Tigers […]

Rugby_league_world_cup_logo

World Cup third quarter-final: ENGLAND 34 FRANCE 6 at DW Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD ENGLAND showed more willingness to admit problems on the field than they previousy had off it after a deeply unconvincing quarter-final win over France. While New Zealand and Australia crushed their first opponents in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the English were fortunate not to have conceded more than one […]

Rugby_league_world_cup_logo

World Cup first quarter-final: NEW ZEALAND 40 SCOTLAND 4 at Headingley

By STEVE MASCORD SCOTLAND deliberately maximised the embarassment of rugby league officials by announcing as the most important game in their history kicked off that their funding had been completely withdrawn. New Zealand cruised through the World Cup quarter-final at Headingley as expected, winning 40-4 to set up a semi-final appearance with England with centre […]

NRLmelsgi

NRL round six: MELBOURNE 28 ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 24 at AAMI Park

By STEVE MASCORD VICTORIAN junior Young Tonumapea called it dream-like experience while St George Illawarra coach Steve Price immediately started asking why his own nightmare was allowed to happen. Melbourne Storm produced the season’s greatest escape when Tonumaipea scored after the siren, with the ball swept from sideline to sideline, to beat the Dragons 28-24 […]

Melbourne - Craig Bellamy

Bellamy Says Some Aussie Clubs Still Don’t Take WCC Seriously

AS the World Club Challenge looks to return to Australia and then expand, victorious Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy last night admitted some NRL premiers still don’t take the concept seriously. Bellamy was speaking after the Storm held off Leeds 18-14 at Headingley, making them the first Australian club to win a WCC decider three times […]

December 2014B

BONDI BEAT: December 2014

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S not overstating things that there has been something of a paradigm shift in out game as a result of the recently-completed Four Nations. I have a favourite saying about the warring factions within our game: the parochial populists and the outward-looking anoraks: if the meek are to inherit the earth, then […]

US Tomahawks

American Civil War Wages On

By STEVE MASCORD YOU know how it was supposed to happen. The United States Tomahawks would shrug off criticism that they were just a bunch of Aussies who went to a bucks weekend in Vegas, capture the hearts of everyone at the World Cup, make the quarter-finals and with the glow of their success still […]

KC Stadium, 4.45pm

Four Nations: ENGLAND 28 NEW ZEALAND 6 at KC Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD THE Kiwis’ Four Nations title defence finished prematurely yesterday with no regrets but coach Stephen Kearney issued a stern warning to errant hooker Issac Luke and utility Thomas Leuluai admitted some of his team-mates may have resented Rangi Chase chosing to play for England. The World Cup holders were comprehensively beaten, 28-6, […]

Aerosmith

AEROSMITH: About To Get A Grip (1991)

By STEVE MASCORD WE HAD to break the ice, so we DID it,” a buoyant Steven Tyler explains, when asked how he spent his first night in Australia. The pretty blonde make-up woman next to him doesn’t bat an eyelid. “Yeah, we did it… and, boy was it good,” she says with an unmistakably sordid […]

WLF TV: The Union – Luke Morley and Pete Shoulder interview

Loudmouth masthead

LOUDMOUTH: July 26, 1989

Compiled by STEVE MASCORD DIESEL will drive your dollar twice as far next month following the announcement of a second show on the Rock N Roll Tour for the Hordem Pavilion on Wednesday August 16. What’s more, lasi time we looked there was still a cuppla seats left for the first gig on August 15. So […]

KISS 3

ROCK CRUISING: Going Overboard (2012)

By STEVE MASCORD ON the final night of Vince Neil’s Motley Cruise in 2008, shortly before the aforementioned peroxide imp was about to go on in front of a raucous crowd of heartland head-bangers, a representative of Carnival Cruise lines approached the stage manager. “I’d like to make an announcement,” said the uniformed official, smiling. “Sure,” […]

Motley Crue

MOTLEY CRUE: Feeling Minnesota (1990)

By STEVE MASCORD THE mercury in Minneapolis is plunging mercilessly past zero as Middle America wallows in snow. Vince Neil, however, is waltzing down the hotel corridor towards his multi-room penthouse in a sleeveless v-neck shirt and blue boxer shorts. His dirty blonde hair spews out from under a neatly reversed baseball cap, just like […]

Slash

SLASH, Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, 2012

Live review: SLASH at Thebarton Theatre, August 28 2012 By STEVE MASCORD NEW Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. A Tuesday night in Adelaide. After just three songs, they are neck-and-neck. This reviewer did not set out to compare the Slash show at Thebarton Theatre last night to Guns N’Roses all-bells-and-whistles outing at the Hard Rock Hotel […]

Danko Jones - Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue

DANKO JONES – Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue

Album review: DANKO JONES – Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue By STEVE MASCORD THIS reviewer first saw Danko Jones opening for Hardcore Superstar in Manchester a decade ago. It was spellbinding, this swaggering braggart sweating all over the first 10 rows as he tore through impossibly catchy tales of road life. It was […]

P1040238

MICHAEL MONROE: Finnish But Just Starting (2011)

By STEVE MASCORD THERE’s a neat news angle from this chat with Michael Monroe. But it’s only a fraction of the actual story. Read the full story at sludgefactory.com.au

Acapulco? Copacabana? Waikiki?  Try Brighton Le Sands
WLF dinkus

WHITE LINE FEVER Column: Four

By STEVE MASCORD THIS time last year, Darren Lockyer and Jamie Peacock were tackling each other in the Four Nations. Yesterday, they met in London to tackle the vexed issue of rugby league’s eligibility rules. Of course, the retired captains of Australia and England (Peacock is still playing for Leeds) had a little prompting from […]

Travels

TRAVELS: XXVI

By STEVE MASCORD AS you might imagine, after five weeks attending matches, dinners and media events in Britain, one gains a few extra pounds – and a better understanding of the challenges facing rugby league here. What I am about to offer are a bunch of assumptions based on conversations with all manner of people […]

Puig Aubert

The Year Players And Referees Walked Off Mid-Game – Repeatedly

By LYLE BEATON A REVIEW of the French sporting press out of Paris during the early 1950s reveals an interesting story about rugby league and one of the strongest French club teams of the day, Marseille. The 1952-1953 season saw Marseille involved in something of a running battle with the French Rugby League hierarchy, as […]

Canterbury - logo

2013 Season Review: CANTERBURY BULLDOGS

By STEVE MASCORD IN a way, these Rugby League Week year-enders can serve as historical records. You can leaf through old dog eared copies of the The Bible and relive what went right – and wrong – for your favourite team. But in the case of 2012 grand finalists, the Canterbury Bulldogs, the full story […]

retired - Phil McKenzie

Legend Q&A: PHIL McKENZIE

By STEVE MASCORD More than 20 years before Rangi Chase, Jack Reed and Chris Heighington, you were an Australian picked in a Great Britain squad.. “Yeah, way back in 1990, I was approached by the Rugby League over here and asked if I’d make myself available. I think that was before they even realised I […]

Hamish Neal

FIVE METRE GAP: Round Six & Rep Weekend

By HAMISH NEAL Like the way of the five metre gap in defence, reviewing the points from the NRL you may have missed from round six and the representative weekend. WITH the representative weekend taking centre stage last weekend, Five Metre Gap, will take this chance to assess some of the season’s action to date, […]

McCarthy, Tyrone

Fullblood: An Englishman Who Plays For Ireland & Lives In Queensland

By STEVE MASCORD PROFESSIONAL rugby league players get a bad rap. At best, they are seen as mindless automatons, oblivous to the nuances of life around them, trained wholely to run at brick walls and tackle semi-trailers. At worse, our football stars are portrayed as oafish, neanderthal hoons with no regard for anyone but themselves. […]

P1020444

M3: The Last Of The Great Hair Metal Festivals? (2011)

By STEVE MASCORD TED Poley has a sportscar. I can only assume he wants you to know this, since the lead singer of Danger Danger has insisted he be interviewed by Classic Rock standing behind it, with the motor running. We had encountered Poley after his band’s set at M3, arguably the last pure hair […]

Donor's Column

Protected: DONORS’ COLUMN: Number Three

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Canterbury - logo

2013 Season Review: CANTERBURY BULLDOGS

By STEVE MASCORD IN a way, these Rugby League Week year-enders can serve as historical records. You can leaf through old dog eared copies of the The Bible and relive what went right – and wrong – for your favourite team. But in the case of 2012 grand finalists, the Canterbury Bulldogs, the full story […]

Don Furner/ABC

Raiders’ Complaints ‘Irrelevant’, Says Slater

By STEVE MASCORD MELBOURNE fullback Billy Slater has dismissed Canberra’s complaints about his involvement in a trial match as “irrelevant” while coach Craig Bellamy says he “can’t understand” his former club’s complaint to the NRL over the issue. A joust between the Raiders and Storm has erupted over Slater playing in a trial between the […]

Hamish Neal

FIVE METRE GAP: NRL Finals Week One

By HAMISH NEAL Like the way of the five metre gap in defence, reviewing the points from the NRL you may have missed from the first week of the finals. The now-legendary Geoff Toovey blow-up over penalty counts which earned the Manly mentor a $10,000 fine wasn’t needed despite the Silvertails narrow 4-0 loss to […]

sinbinsign1

SIN BIN: October 25 2013

By STEVE MASCORD THE most embarrassing bombed try in international rugby league history? Not according to those who saw Martin Offiah’s clanger 23 years ago. “Embarrassed to not score, but nothing wrong with a lil humble pie,” Sonny Bill Williams tweeted after his left foot slipped over the dead ball line as he attempted to […]

The Joy Of Six

THE JOY OF SIX: International Season Week Seven

By STEVE MASCORD McNAMARA STAYS ENGLAND coach Steve McNamara has been retained. When asked by Set of Six what process would determine who has the job next year, Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood told us: “There is no process because there is no vacancy. Steve is 12 months into a two year contract.” […]

Gold Coast - Luke Bailey

Getting The Journalism Wooden Spoon

By STEVE MASCORD COVERING a footy match seems a pretty straightforward task. I remember a Julia Roberts movie where the main male love interest was a sportswriter, depicted in the press box with a beer in hand and not a notebook in sight. Read the full story at footyalmanac.com.au

retired - Phil McKenzie

Legend Q&A: PHIL McKENZIE

By STEVE MASCORD More than 20 years before Rangi Chase, Jack Reed and Chris Heighington, you were an Australian picked in a Great Britain squad.. “Yeah, way back in 1990, I was approached by the Rugby League over here and asked if I’d make myself available. I think that was before they even realised I […]

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