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 […]

Fittler Endorses Maloney For NSW Job

By STEVE MASCORD JAMES Maloney says the endorsement of Brad Fittler as NSW Origin I five-eighth is no consolation for Country’s poor showing in what will probably be the second-last match ever against City. Fittler, who represented the Blues 31 times, reckons Cronulla’s Maloney is the stand-out candidate to wear the six jersey on June […]

How Cronulla’s Jack Bird Smashed A Footy Taboo

By STEVE MASCORD AS if we needed further proof rugby league culture is changing quickly, Cronulla star Jack Bird has sparked stunned looks from team-mates by inviting his girlfriend into the sheds for the victory song. Just eight days after the NRL entered a float in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, 20-year-old Bird […]

The Eight Most Intriguing Players In The NRL

By STEVE MASCORD WE are constantly told that rugby league players have become vanilla, clichéd, boring. Either that, or that they are uneducated hoodlums. The idea that they can be engaging, interesting, intriguing people is something that rarely enters the public imagination. There could be a number of reasons for this. Current NRL media guidelines […]

The Biggest Season-to-season Form Reversals In Premiership History

By STEVE MASCORD (with research by David Middleton) THE salary cap is often given credit for the fact we have had 10 different premiers since 1998 – but you can’t thank the salary cap for what Cronulla have done this year. Maybe you can blame ASADA. From wooden spooners in 2014 to eliminating the reigning […]

JOY OF SIX: round one 2015

By STEVE MASCORD SEEING RED OVER MOSES WHAT if Dallas Donnelly pulled up outside an NRL ground in his time travelling Delorian and went inside for a gander? What would he make of a competition where you are sent to the sin bin for punching someone but stay on the field for a deadset coat-hanger? […]

Five Things We Learned: 2015 NRL Nines

By STEVE MASCORD SOUTH SYDNEY CAN SURVIVE THE DEPARTURE OF SAM BURGESS IT’S hazardous to make judgments on premiership candidacy in February and bordering on delusional to do so after a nines tournament. But it wasn’t so much South Sydney’s 18-14 win over Cronulla in a wonderfully offbeat final as little pieces of body language […]

THE JOY OF SIX: 2015 NRL Nines

By STEVE MASCORD THIS COULD BE MAGIC, SAY NINES ORGANISERS COUNTING their dollars after a second wildly successful NRL Nines, the promoters have set their sites on a “Magic Weekend”, with an entire round of matches played at Eden Park. St George Illawarra hooker Heath L’Estrange, who has played in the British equivalent, pushed the […]

Six Highlights Of The 2014 NRL Regular Season

By STEVE MASCORD THERE Is something unnatural – even mean-spirited – about the finals. For 26 weeks, rugby league is just THERE. Some weekends, there aren’t eight NRL games but no matter how well or otherwise your team plays, there’ll be a match to watch again in a minimum of a fortnight That’s 24 matches […]