World Cup final: AUSTRALIA 34 NEW ZEALAND 2 at Old Trafford, Manchester

By STEVE MASCORD AUSTRALIAN players repeatedly claimed before the World Cup final that revenge was not a motivation. “Probably told a little white lie,” captain Cameron Smith admitted after his men reclaimed in ruthless fashion the trophy lost to New Zealand five years ago. Tim Sheens’ men brought their total minutes at the World Cup […]

World Cup first semi-final: NEW ZEALAND 20 ENGLAND 18 at Wembley Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD HE scored arguably the greatest ever World Cup try in one of the competition’s most epic contests, he is just out of his teens – and he played on with a suspected broken leg. Shaun Johnson broke 67,000 hearts by dashing over to the left of the posts with just 20 second […]

World Cup fourth quarter-final: FIJI 22 SAMOA 4 at Halliwell Jones Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD FIJIAN players are no longer star-struck by Australia and will come up with some trick shots for their World Cup semi-final at Wembley, the Bati’s coach and captain say. It’s believed the rugby league team will be the first in any sport to represent the Pacific nation at arguably the world’s most […]

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 […]

World Cup second quarter-final: AUSTRALIA 62 UNITED STATES 0 at Racecourse Ground, Wrexham

By STEVE MASCORD IF injury realistically presented a bigger hurdle at this World Cup than many of Australia’s opponents, then it is becoming an increasingly vengeful foe. Two weeks after back rower Luke Lewis’ tournament ended in a collision with an advertising hoarding, fullback Billy Slater’s recent off-field misfortune following him onto the Racecourse Ground […]

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officials by announcing as the most important game in their history kicked off that their funding had been completely withdrawn.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 […]

World Cup: SAMOA 22 FRANCE 6 at Stade Gilbert Brutus

By STEVE MASCORD FRANCE coach Richard Agar accused NRL referee Henry Perenara of being “weak” and jokingly questioned whether he was a New Zealander or a Samoan following a rugged end to the group stages of the World Cup. The Samoans had three players reported a total of four times and one of them – […]

World Cup: ITALY 16 TONGA 0 at The New Shay

By STEVE MASCORD IT’s likely the first time in any World Cup, in any sport, that players from one nation’s team donned the uniform of another, presented jerseys before kick-off and cheered a “rival” country from the dugout. Fresh off the plane from Ireland after their final pool match, Australia’s Michael Jennings and Andrew Fifita […]

World Cup: SCOTLAND 22 UNITED STATES 8 at Salford City Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD CAPTAIN Joseph Paulo says the United States just scoring against Australia in the World Cup quarter-finals next Saturday might be as good as victory in another game. The Tomahawks completed the pool stage of the tournament with their first defeat, 22-8 to a Scotland side inspired by a man injured in the […]