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 […]

Bondi Beat: January 2016

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S a rather strange dichotomy: players in Australia have never been better paid yet nor have they ever been more militant. Since the last Bondi Beat, the National Rugby League has secured a satellite TV deal with Rupert Murdoch’s FOX Sports which has taken the total television rights contract to A$1.8 billion […]

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 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: AUSTRALIA 50 IRELAND 0 at Thomond Park, Limerick

By STEVE MASCORD WITH the talismanic Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston rested, Australia deliberately ignored some attacking opportunites to practice their structures ahead of the World Cup knock-out stages. The 5212 crowd – poor by World Cup standards but a record high for an international in Ireland – probably didn’t hold out much hope for […]

FIVE LESSONS FROM THE 2014 FOUR NATIONS

By STEVE MASCORD SAM Devereux was a referee. He would wear a cap during matches, which made him look almost exactly like AC/DC singer Brian Johnson, fresh out of a time machine. In 1928, the expatriot Englishman controlled a rugby league Test at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin. Until the just-completed Four Nations, it was […]

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 […]

The Amazing Rise Of Ben Hunt

By STEVE MASCORD BEN Hunt has read too much negativity about a particular subject to really enjoy talking about it. So when he is asked about it, he tends to give short, polite, somewhat defensive answers. That subject is: himself. “Before the season started, a lot of people wrote me off,” the Brisbane Broncos player […]

World Cup: AUSTRALIA 34 FIJI 2 at Langtree Park

By STEVE MASCORD AUSTRALIA second rower Luke Lewis, one of rugby league’s most durably and decorated forwards, suffered a dislocated shoulder colliding with an advertising hoarding as the World Cup favourites wore down Fiji. Defenders showed immediate concern for the Cronulla Sharks star after he chased a kick with 15 minutes left in the 34-2 […]