DISCORD 2013: Edition 47

By STEVE MASCORD YOUR correspondent has a tough decision to make before Christmas – how to vote in the Golden Boot poll. The nominees for that gong that goes to the best player in the world have been released today: Johnathan Thurston, Sonny Bill Williams, Danny Brough, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Sam Burgess. It seems […]

Rabbitohs Prepare For Aerial Storm

By STEVE MASCORD SOUTH Sydney’s left side defence is bracing itself for a Cooper Cronk air raid in Friday night’s qualifying final, with Melbourne winger Justin O’Neill on the way to becoming rugby league’s most dangerous bomb chaser since Israel Folau. Halfback Cronk kicking for O’Neill, with fullback Billy Slater racing through to capitalise, was […]

THE WRAP: NRL Round 23

By STEVE MASCORD IF rugby league is good at anything, it’s internal fighting. But if it has a second forte, it’s slang and jargon. Where else could you have the squirrel grip, the prowler tackle, the grapple tackle, the bomb and the chicken wing? So when Wayne Bennett accused Melbourne and Sydney Roosters on Sunday […]

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 […]

Cooper Cronk’s Origin Advice To Daly Cherry-Evans

By STEVE MASCORD QUEENSLAND halfback Cooper Cronk has made public the advice he will give Daly Cherry-Evans about filling the fraught interchange utility role in Origin II. Melbourne’s Cronk started his Origin career as an interchange specialist behind Darren Lockyer and Johnathan Thurston, only gaining a starting place upon Lockyer’s retirement. Manly’s Cherry Evans comes […]

NRL round 13: MELBOURNE 38 CRONULLA 6 at AAMI Park

By STEVE MASCORD ON his own website, Cooper Cronk denies being Superman. But last night he even had an ‘S’ on his chest as he pummeled Cronulla during team-mate Cameron Smith’s 250th NRL game. Cronk’s kicks and passes were responsible for every one of Melbourne’s five first half tries in a 38-6 win at AAMI […]

How Australia Turned The Anzac Test

By STEVE MASCORD COOPER Cronk has revealed the tactical change that turned a 6-6 halftime deadlock into a handsome 20-point Australian ANZAC Test victory. “We definitely readjusted our gameplan in that second half,” the Australia halfback tells League Week. “The conditions play a part in terms of New Zealand playing field position and (being) camped […]

Tohu Talks More Than Smith Realises

By STEVE MASCORD AUSTRALIA and Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says clubmate Tohu Harris is so quiet his own parents probably only found out about his Test debut when they sat in front of the television on Friday night. But the 21-year-old, a late inclusion in New Zealand’s Test team in Canberra on Friday night, […]

Storm Wary Of Mental Letdown

By STEVE MASCORD MELBOURNE stars have spoken of their fear that that a mental let down after Thursday’s grand final rematch will undo all the good work of their amazing start to the season. Faced with playing in Leeds, Melbourne (twice) and Townsville in the space of five weeks, the premiers have been in outstanding […]