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: 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 […]

BONDI BEAT: October 2016

By STEVE MASCORD THE departure of Stephen Kearney as coach of our number one ranked nation, just weeks before the Four Nations, raises a host of intriguing questions. One must be the inescapable conclusion that coaching a tier one Test team is a post with decisively less prestige than heading up an NRL franchise. Wayne […]

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 […]

BONDI BEAT: April 2016

By STEVE MASCORD THE clubs may not like it but do we now have enough English players in the NRL to revive a mid-season Test? There is absolutely no reason why the Kiwis should not play while Origin is on, aside from the fact clubs would declare war if they had to stand down their […]

The A-List: Jason Taumalalo (North Queensland & New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD JASON Taumalolo is no expert on the ‘pathways’ paper that earned former NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson a little bit of derision and almost no thanks. The uber-destructive North Queensland and New Zealand back rower doesn’t know how the document was going to achieve its aim of keeping youngsters at home […]

The A-List: JOSH HOFFMAN (Gold Coast, Indigenous All Stars & New Zealand)

By STEVE MASCORD JOSH Hoffman is said to have greeted reporters for his first media opportunity this year by saying “haven’t seen you guys for a while”. The smiling 27-year-old Titans fullback was a favourite of reporters during his six years at the Broncos. The Mackay product was always co-operative and good for a quote […]

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 final: AUSTRALIA 34 NEW ZEALAND 2 at Old Trafford, Manchester

By STEVE MASCORD AUSTRALIAN players repeatedly claimed before the World Cup final that revenge was not a motivation. “Probably told a little white lie,” captain Cameron Smith admitted after his men reclaimed in ruthless fashion the trophy lost to New Zealand five years ago. Tim Sheens’ men brought their total minutes at the World Cup […]