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 […]


By STEVE MASCORD IN a way, these Rugby League Week year-enders can serve as historical records. You can leaf through old dog eared copies of the The Bible and relive what went right – and wrong – for your favourite team. But in the case of 2012 grand finalists, the Canterbury Bulldogs, the full story […]

THE JOY OF SIX: Finals Week Two

By STEVE MASCORD WAYNES WORLD VIII? ASKED on Saturday night why his Newcastle side was coming good in the finals, coach Wayne Bennett replied: “It’s spring”. Then quizzed if that was the reason just for him, he replied: “For all of us, that’s the time you want it to happen”. On the eve of the […]


By STEVE MASCORD SOME people don’t seem to mind being lied to. When the photo of a woman’s bloodied lip appeared in News Limited Sunday papers, along with the revelation that the person depicted had complained to the Bulldogs in February she had been hit by Ben Barba, the implications seemed to take a long […]

Bulldogs CEO Makes Early Return To Sydney

By STEVE MASCORD CANTERBURY chief executive Raelene Castle has cancelled a media conference in Brisbane so she can return to Sydney on Saturday and attend to urgent business in the wake of Ben Barba’s return to rugby league. Barba, who has been the subject of a week-long media storm since photos emerged of his former […]

NRL round 26: BRISBANE 16 CANTERBURY 11 at Suncorp Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD BEN Barba played, his 2014 selection rival Josh Hoffman was gone by the time he came off the bench, and his new Brisbane team-mates secured a last-ditch victory over finals bound Canterbury. On the opening night of round 26, former Dally M medallist made his comeback from ankle injury against the team […]

DISCORD 2013: Edition 36

By STEVE MASCORD TRADITIONAL media has clearly become so discredited among many people that even on the occasions it does its job, the default reaction from readers is distrust. The Ben Barba imbroglio is the classic example of what the press ‘roundsman’ is there to do – find out stuff people don’t want him or […]


By STEVE MASCORD WE are one week away from the play-offs in the NRL and have two major controversies hanging over rugby league. Both of them had their origins in the pre-season. Call them slow-burners. The announcement in February that Australian sport had been infiltrated by organised crime and performance-enhancing drug use shocked everyone. But […]

THE JOY OF SIX: Round 25

By STEVE MASCORD BARBA QUESTIONS QUESTIONS prompted by the emergence of a photo of a woman who claimed to have been punched by Ben Barba: How was this not a cover-up, given that the highest profile NRL player at the time was suspended by his club and we weren’t told why? If this allegation was […]