The A-List: KEVIN PROCTOR (Melbourne, New Zealand Maori, New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD  ON May 27, 2014, the Canberra times breathlessly reported that the Raiders “sign James Tedesco and miss out on Kevin Proctor”. Subsequently, of course, the Wests Tigers and Italy fullback reneged on that contract with the Green Machine – thereby guaranteeing himself a lifetime’s worth of jeers every time the road gets smoother […]

The A-List: JEREMY SMITH (Newcastle & New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S the most obvious question to ask any retiring player, a clichéd query that invites a clichéd response, asked more out of obligation than anything else. And it’s usually saved until last: “what was your career highlight?”. Jeremy Smith, 36, has more than a few clichés from which to choose: the 2008 […]

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 […]

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 […]

NRL round six: MELBOURNE 28 ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 24 at AAMI Park

By STEVE MASCORD VICTORIAN junior Young Tonumapea called it dream-like experience while St George Illawarra coach Steve Price immediately started asking why his own nightmare was allowed to happen. Melbourne Storm produced the season’s greatest escape when Tonumaipea scored after the siren, with the ball swept from sideline to sideline, to beat the Dragons 28-24 […]

THE JOY OF SIX: NRL Round One 2014

1. REMEMBER THIS A CONCUSSION expert from Melbourne spoke to NRL chief executives in Auckland last month and spelt out the cold, hard facts of legal action from former players over concussion. The cost to the game, he warned, would be $3 billion. This would close the doors of Rugby League Central indefinitely. Sunday’s comments […]

NRL round one: MELBOURNE 23 MANLY 22 in golden point time at Brookvale Oval

By STEVE MASCORD MELBOURNE coach Craig Bellamy revealed he would have given the job of kicking the winning field goal in an amazing comeback win over Manly to someone else if he’d known captain Cameron Smith had not booted one in his NRL career. The Storm trailed 20-0 eight minutes before halftime, levelled the scores […]

Pre-season: CANTERBURY 20 MELBOURNE 10 at Suncorp Stadium

By STEVE MASCORD COACH Des Hasler pleaded with reporters not to praise rookie Moses Mbye after the 20-year-old helped Canterbury for a scrappy victory over Melbourne. Hasler said the Bulldogs would go into the 2014 season in a much better position to how they started last year after Mbye starred in a 20-10 win at […]

2013 Season Review: MELBOURNE STORM

By STEVE MASCORD CAMERON Smith is standing in the middle of AAMI Park, trying to explain a premiership defence that fell a fortnight short. “It wasn’t enough right from the start,” the Australia captain says with a shake of the head. “It’s pretty much been the story of the second half of our season, really. […]