WHITE LINE FEVER Column: December 2016/January 2017

By STEVE MASCORD THE real question in the current imbroglio between the NRL and its clubs is not who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. It’s which group is worse. Firstly, the basics. The clubs are trying have Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant ousted. They have the required votes. What they […]

White Line Fever column: December 2016

By STEVE MASCORD OVER the next four months, I have a book to finish. It’s working title is Fifty-two and the kind folk here at Scratching Shed have agreed to publish it. To those of you who pledged your support on Kickstarter, I thank you. Now, fifty-two is about to expose me to something of […]

White Line Fever column: Toronto Wolfpack

By STEVE MASCORD THE things that stuck out were the names. Young trialist Bomaly Costanby. Local NRL and Super League-savvy photographer Marvin Dangerfield. We’re not at Leichhardt Oval or the DW, Toto. When I first heard the Toronto Wolfpack were holding open trials (‘tryouts’ in the North American lexicon) across the continent, I was desperate […]

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 […]

Kiwis To Leave No Stone Unturned

By STEVE MASCORD SYDNEY Roosters started this season with banners festooned around Allianz Stadium bearing the rather ostentatious slogan “we play for premierships”. On the surface of it, this is a pretty straightforward pronouncement. Who, in the NRL, does not? But it carries a certain arrogance with it – the implication that others might think […]

Shopping At ASDA And Forgetting ASADA

By STEVE MASCORD THERE is a history of Australia sending teams to World Cups in Britain with controversy swirling at home. In 1995, it was the Super League War. The courts had ordered the Australians to consider players who had signed for the breakaway league. They were considered – and left out. Heading to a […]

Original Sins

By STEVE MASCORD YOU’D imagine after 27 years writing stories like this (but better) that this hack had done everything in the boutique-sized universe of rugby league media duties. True, I have covered games by battling tear gas in the Papua New Guinea highlands, electrical blackouts in Lebanon and hangovers in Keighley. I even once […]

Taking Out The Burgess Brothers

By STEVE MASCORD WHEN Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson saw Steve McNamara at Allianz Stadium on July 1, he had a proposal for the visiting England coach. “Trent here was hoping I could go to as many Souths games and do him a favour by taking out a few Burgess boys,” McNamara told Forty20 in […]

Why Is Melbourne Storm Successful But London Broncos Aren’t?

By STEVE MASCORD OF all the Brits who might one day end up running an NRL club, it’s fair to say Mark Evans would have been a long way down the list just 12 months ago. Best known for his work with Saracens and Harlequins in the other code, Evans had played a role in […]