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 […]

The A-List: KEVIN PROCTOR (Melbourne, New Zealand Maori, New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD  ON May 27, 2014, the Canberra times breathlessly reported that the Raiders “sign James Tedesco and miss out on Kevin Proctor”. Subsequently, of course, the Wests Tigers and Italy fullback reneged on that contract with the Green Machine – thereby guaranteeing himself a lifetime’s worth of jeers every time the road gets smoother […]

BONDI BEAT: October 2016

By STEVE MASCORD THE departure of Stephen Kearney as coach of our number one ranked nation, just weeks before the Four Nations, raises a host of intriguing questions. One must be the inescapable conclusion that coaching a tier one Test team is a post with decisively less prestige than heading up an NRL franchise. Wayne […]

BONDI BEAT: September 2016

By STEVE MASCORD BECAUSE next year’s World Cup is in Australia, expect officials to pull out all the stops to have as many NRL stars sprinked across the teams as possible. The new CEO of the tournament, Andrew Hill, has been working on eligibility rules for years and walking a diplomatic tightrope in his dual […]

The A-List: JEREMY SMITH (Newcastle & New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S the most obvious question to ask any retiring player, a clichéd query that invites a clichéd response, asked more out of obligation than anything else. And it’s usually saved until last: “what was your career highlight?”. Jeremy Smith, 36, has more than a few clichés from which to choose: the 2008 […]

BONDI BEAT: July 2016

By STEVE MASCORD I FEEL sorry for Andrew Johns. Unless you live under a rock or follow rugby union (give me a rock any day), you’ll be aware that there’s a match fixing ‘scandal’ taking place in Sydney right now. Two matches last year involving Manly are alleged to have been manipulated by players involved […]

Castle: Is Origin A Defacto Salary Cap?

By STEVE MASCORD  CANTERBURY chief executive Raelene Castle has blasted the 11th hour call-up of Josh Morris as “not very reasonable” and suggested split rounds now operate as a de facto salary cap. Nineteen-year-old Reimis Smith – with an entire match the day before under his belt – had to drive to Canberra to make […]

Barba Now The ‘Complete Footballer’ Says Ennis

By STEVE MASCORD THE star of the 2012 season who crashed and burned is now back as a “complete footballer”, according to a man who’s had a front row seat all along Cronulla fullback Ben Barba was Dally M medallist as Canterbury fullback that year, only for off-field dramas to see him leave the club […]

The A-List: MICHAEL MORGAN (North Queensland, Queensland & Australia)

By STEVE MASCORD “YOU mean THE tackle?” Michael Morgan says, raising an eyebrow. A-List has just pointed out to the 24-year-old Townsvillian that in sports, you can trade on one thing for your entire life. Exhibit A: Scott Sattler. Exhibit B: the 2003 grand final. Michael Morgan hasn’t thought about that way before. He hasn’t […]