THE JOY OF SIX: Round 23

1. WHAT PRICE COMPASSION? SHOULD a player who gains compassionate leave profit financially from it? According to NRL head of football operations Todd Greenberg, capping payments made to a player released on compassionate grounds – perhaps for the term of the original contract he escaped – will be discussed as part of the salary cap […]

Storm Could Start Doubting Themselves, Says Campese

By STEVE MASCORD CANBERRA captain Terry Campese has predicted self-doubt could creep in for the out-of-sorts Melbourne Storm if the Raiders hold them out for the opening 20 minutes of their crucial clash. The Storm arrived in the capital late Saturday hoping to end a two match losing streak and right their premiership defence. While […]

DISCORD 2013: Edition 26

By STEVE MASCORD LET’S start this item about the $15,000 fine meted out to Ricky Stuart on Monday by saying we understand what the NRL is trying to achieve. Yes, respect for referees is paramount and yes, there is culture of criticism – some would say attempted manipulation – in our competition which is probably […]

DISCORD 2013: Edition 25

By STEVE MASCORD LAST week Discord was rightly criticised for posting yet another column on the Origin I biff, a couple of readers pointing out that they’d already read much more than enough on the subject. Fair cop. But sometimes, when the current debate on a footy-relate issue seems to be missing something, Discord feels […]

Players In NSW And Queensland Don’t Understand Damage To Game’s Image

By STEVE MASCORD MELBOURNE and Australia captain Cameron Smith has lashed out at misbehaving players who live in cocoon in rugby league’s heartlands and don’t understand how much they are hurting the game in its frontiers. In an eight-day period which has seen NSW prop James Tamou, would-be team-mate Blake Ferguson and South Sydney prop […]

THE WRAP: NRL Round 14

By STEVE MASCORD “As scandals go, it certainly has the potential to be the worst in Origin’s tumultuous 33 years – and that’s saying something” It’s the view of the doyen of State of Origin reporters in the wake of news NSW winger Blake Ferguson has been charged with indecent assault and kicked out of […]

NRL round 13: CANBERRA 30 BRISBANE 18 at Canberra Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD BLAKE Ferguson promised to stay off the roof of the NSW team hotel if he is reunited with Josh Dugan for Origin II after the Canberra centre made a booming return to club football in the Raiders’ big win over Brisbane. The Broncos’ premiership campaign is on life support after a 30-18 […]

Ferguson Doesn’t Rue Lost Time

By STEVE MASCORD HE’S been suspended and sidelined by injury but Canberra centre Blake Ferguson doesn’t believe he’s given his rivals for a NSW berth any head start. Ferguson has dramatically reversed his fortunes since being suspended on March 12 for drinking with Josh Dugan instead of training. He returned from a fractured cheekbone in […]

Blake Ferguson: I Really Did Go To Townsville To Visit Relatives

By STEVE MASCORD CANBERRA star Blake Ferguson insists he wasn’t telling fibs when he claimed he was only in Townsville at the weekend to visit family. After team-mate Brett White posted online a picture of Ferguson on the plane north, the man who was supposed to be out for another week with a facial injury […]