FAR & WIDE: Number 43

By STEVE MASCORD BUMMED out because you’re not going to the World Cup? Never fear: there is a big day of international footy coming up in Sydney, with seven games at the same venue on the same day! Lebanon will take on a Fijian combination made up of non-RLWC players at Club Italia, Lansvale, on […]

FAR & WIDE: Number 40

By STEVE MASCORD SYDNEY Roosters utility Daniel Mortimer has pulled out of the Welsh World Cup squad for a very straightforward reason – he doesn’t qualify. “(My grandmother) always told me she was Welsh but she was born in England and moved there when she was six months old,” Mortimer tells Far & Wide. “She […]

FAR & WIDE: Number 28

By STEVE MASCORD AN interesting and mysterious yarn popped up in the wake of the United States-Samoa Test in Hawaii a couple of weekends back. Ten members of the Samoan side, all picked from the domestic competition, failed to board the plane home. Initially, there were fears they had deliberately gone AWOL in America but […]

THE JOY OF SIX: Round 12

By STEVE MASCORD 1. STATE OF CHAOS THE ARLC probably doesn’t appreciate what a challenge it faces as it prepares to take control of its first State Of Origin series. We use the term “take control” advisedly – because for 33 years, Origin has been uncontrollable. It’s been run by the teams in it. We’ve […]

FAR & WIDE: Number 22

By STEVE MASCORD ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA’S Steve Price has been confirmed as coach of the Samoan side to play Tonga on Saturday week at Centrebet Stadium. Steve Matai has also chosen Samoa over New Zealand, but Sonny Bill Williams has gone the other way. The squads will be named on April 14. Others to commit […]

“Rugby Is Not Something You Sniff”

By STEVE MASCORD “LOOK at him – he’s barely said ‘boo’ the whole tour and now he’s got a big smile on his face and you can’t shut him up.” A member of the Philippines team management is pointing at Sam Bernstrom, Sydney Roosters’ 198cm back rower. We are at the Nayon ng Kabataan Welfareville […]


By STEVE MASCORD WHEN children at a Manila orphanage were told yesterday that the men in front of them did not represent “the rugby you know about”, it seemed par for the course. Outside of Australia, New Zealand and Britain, it’s an achievement if people know there is just one form the game, let alone […]

DISCORD 2012: Edition 40

By STEVE MASCORD FURTHER to our treatise last week on international eligibility, and thanks to several readers, Discord has come up with a formula that would strengthen Origin’s integrity and that of international football – at the same time. The only reason we have residency allowing players to turn out for Queensland and NSW is […]


By STEVE MASCORD ‘NEXT try wins!” came the call from the Philippines side as a scrum packed near the end of the first ever rugby league international in Asia yesterday. The scene was the Royal Thai Police Stadium, Bangkok, on a sweltering Sunday afternoon. The score? Philippines 80 Thailand 0. In front of a crowd […]