BONDI BEAT: December 2016

By STEVE MASCORD LETTNG Australian NRL players playing a role in determining the next 10 years of international matches might sound daft – but there could be method in the madness. The NRL itself will play a huge role, of course, in determining what is played – and where – between the 207 World Cup […]

The A-List: Josh Hodgson (Canberra & England)

By STEVE MASCORD HAD Hull Kingston Rovers not tried to extend their contract with hooker Josh Hodgson some 18 months ago, he might be still playing for them. You read that right. The 26-year-old returns to Canberra this month for his second season a player transformed. From a solid first-teamer in Humberside who’d had a […]

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 […]

No McNamara Decision Likely Until 2016

By STEVE MASCORD ENGLAND coach Steve McNamara is likely to be left waiting until early next year before he learns if he has kept his job. Players rallied behind McNamara after he enjoyed his biggest triumph in the role on Saturday with a series-deciding 20-14 win over New Zealand at Wigan’s DW Stadium. His contract […]

FAR & WIDE: July 2015

By STEVE MASCORD GAMES, dates and venues have been confirmed for this year’s European Championships. It all starts on October 16 when Scotland plays Wales at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. The next day, France takes on Ireland at Albi. There’ll be only one game the following weekend, with Scotland hosting Ireland in Galshiels. That’s […]

World Cup first semi-final: NEW ZEALAND 20 ENGLAND 18 at Wembley Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD HE scored arguably the greatest ever World Cup try in one of the competition’s most epic contests, he is just out of his teens – and he played on with a suspected broken leg. Shaun Johnson broke 67,000 hearts by dashing over to the left of the posts with just 20 second […]

World Cup third quarter-final: ENGLAND 34 FRANCE 6 at DW Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD ENGLAND showed more willingness to admit problems on the field than they previousy had off it after a deeply unconvincing quarter-final win over France. While New Zealand and Australia crushed their first opponents in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the English were fortunate not to have conceded more than one […]

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 […]

THE JOY OF SIX: International Season Week Seven

By STEVE MASCORD McNAMARA STAYS ENGLAND coach Steve McNamara has been retained. When asked by Set of Six what process would determine who has the job next year, Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood told us: “There is no process because there is no vacancy. Steve is 12 months into a two year contract.” […]