Rankin: I Could Have Been Washed Up At 21

By STEVE MASCORD BOOM Wests Tigers winger Jordan Rankin says he could have been washed up barely into his 20s if not for a career-saving two-year stint with Hull. In 2008, Rankin became the third youngest debutant in Australian first class rugby league history when he made his debut for Gold Coast at the age […]

Fittler Endorses Maloney For NSW Job

By STEVE MASCORD JAMES Maloney says the endorsement of Brad Fittler as NSW Origin I five-eighth is no consolation for Country’s poor showing in what will probably be the second-last match ever against City. Fittler, who represented the Blues 31 times, reckons Cronulla’s Maloney is the stand-out candidate to wear the six jersey on June […]

Are St George Illawarra the fittest team in the NRL?

By STEVE MASCORD “The fittest side in the comp” – that’s the mantra that St George Illawarra players use when the blow torch is applied to them, it’s been revealed. The Dragons’ world look like it had fallen in on them when Jarrod Croker scored with three minutes left in regulation time at Jubilee Oval […]

Fittler Responds To Grant’s Barb

By STEVE MASCORD BRAD Fittler has responded to suggestions from ARLC chairman John Grant it was City Origin’s fault stars didn’t want to play for them. City coach Fittler lost a dozen players including Matt Moylan, James Tedesco, Adam Reynolds, Lachlan Coote, Blake Austin and Josh Reynolds from the side that beat Country 44-30 in […]

BONDI BEAT: April 2016

By STEVE MASCORD THE clubs may not like it but do we now have enough English players in the NRL to revive a mid-season Test? There is absolutely no reason why the Kiwis should not play while Origin is on, aside from the fact clubs would declare war if they had to stand down their […]

The A-List: Jason Taumalalo (North Queensland & New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD JASON Taumalolo is no expert on the ‘pathways’ paper that earned former NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson a little bit of derision and almost no thanks. The uber-destructive North Queensland and New Zealand back rower doesn’t know how the document was going to achieve its aim of keeping youngsters at home […]

How Cronulla’s Jack Bird Smashed A Footy Taboo

By STEVE MASCORD AS if we needed further proof rugby league culture is changing quickly, Cronulla star Jack Bird has sparked stunned looks from team-mates by inviting his girlfriend into the sheds for the victory song. Just eight days after the NRL entered a float in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, 20-year-old Bird […]

Rugby League’s Resolutions For 2016

By STEVE MASCORD WHEN News Corporation gave up its first and last rights over NRL satellite TV, we heard the expression that rugby league was “in control of its own destiny”. The decision to surrender those rights supposedly cost Rupert Murdoch’s righthand man in Australia, Kim Williams, his job. We had heard the same thing […]

The A-List: Josh Hodgson (Canberra & England)

By STEVE MASCORD HAD Hull Kingston Rovers not tried to extend their contract with hooker Josh Hodgson some 18 months ago, he might be still playing for them. You read that right. The 26-year-old returns to Canberra this month for his second season a player transformed. From a solid first-teamer in Humberside who’d had a […]