The A-List: FRANK PRITCHARD (Hull, New Zealand & Samoa)

By STEVE MASCORD “WHEN he walked into training, the session stopped,” Hull coach Lee Radford says. “That doesn’t happen for me, I can’t do that.” It’s early in the season. The wind howls in off the North Sea. It’s pretty much dark by 5.30pm. Not far from the front door of Hull FC’s striking KC […]

Rankin: I Could Have Been Washed Up At 21

By STEVE MASCORD BOOM Wests Tigers winger Jordan Rankin says he could have been washed up barely into his 20s if not for a career-saving two-year stint with Hull. In 2008, Rankin became the third youngest debutant in Australian first class rugby league history when he made his debut for Gold Coast at the age […]

DISCORD 2014: Can Duncan Thompson’s ‘Contract Football’ Save Rugby League?

By STEVE MASCORD EARLY in a recent Super League game, commentator Paul Cullen remarked: “We’ve been going for 10 minutes and there’s not a blade of grass that’s not been stood on”. Leaving aside the double negative, you can picture the sort of game Cullen was describing – touchline to touchline attack, from the outset. […]

Renewing Your Vows With Rugby League

By STEVE MASCORD RUGBY league is beginning to engage in what high school economics taught us to call “vertical integration”. We have bought out a participant sport that provides us with players and fans, and gives our own participants somewhere to go when the bones creak too much: touch football. The NRL no longer just […]

THE JOY OF SIX: Round 24

By STEVE MASCORD TOMKINS GOING NOWHERE WE long ago just started assuming that Sam Tomkins is joining the New Zealand Warriors next year. But at one point, his coach at Wigan Shaun Wane was supposed to be going as well. Wane has now extended his tenure at DW Stadium – and had it extended by […]

Challenge Cup final: WIGAN 16 HULL 0 at Wembley Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD FORMER Wests Tigers assistant Peter Gentle referred to a reporter as a “boofhead” for suggesting he was about to be sacked after seeing his Hull side pummelled in the Challenge Cup final. Coaching intrigue at the joint venture extends even to former employees, with Gentle – who was scathing in his assessment […]

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 […]


By STEVE MASCORD THE old ‘Aussie take on the British game” routine has been done to death over the years – but I’m sure it’s what you’re expecting from me this week. Since about 1970, Australian media types have been talking down their noses at British players, administrators and supporters about what has to be […]

Super League round one: LEEDS 36 HULL 6 at Headingley

By STEVE MASCORD FORMER Wests Tigers star Gareth Ellis didn’t even make it to kick-off in his Super League return, with fears a broken foot suffered in the warm-up before a loss to Leeds last night will rule out the Hull captain for up to six months. And Gold Coast youngster Joe Vickery’s hopes of […]