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 […]

Bennett Laments Broncos’ Loss Of Mojo

By STEVE MASCORD FOUNDATION Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett expressed disappointment the Broncos had missed the finals for only the second time in 21 years. Bennett’s Newcastle consigned the current Broncos to that ignominy, coming back from 14-0 down to score a 26-18 victory at Suncorp Stadium with Darius Boyd and Joey Leilua each scoring try […]


By STEVE MASCORD DIVING and deliberately conceding penalties. As we head into the finals, these are pressing on-field issues for our game. Debate about the practice of “staying down” to attract as video review has been around for about a decade. So far, players and coaches publicly decry the act, but below the surface there […]

THE WRAP: NRL Round 23

By STEVE MASCORD IF rugby league is good at anything, it’s internal fighting. But if it has a second forte, it’s slang and jargon. Where else could you have the squirrel grip, the prowler tackle, the grapple tackle, the bomb and the chicken wing? So when Wayne Bennett accused Melbourne and Sydney Roosters on Sunday […]

THE JOY OF SIX: Round 20

By STEVE MASCORD 1. SHOOT THE (DALLY) MESSENGER LAST week’s tiff between Wayne Bennett and Ivan Cleary over comments at a press conference highlighted a persistent cultural problem in rugby league which was further exemplified when Sonny Bill Williams took Willie Mason high at Hunter Stadium on Sunday. For all the progress the game has […]


By STEVE MASCORD WE certainly picked the right time to kick off our World Rugby League Power List in 2012 – if only because it bore little resemblance to rankings we now present to you 12 months later. Last June, the game had just lost NRL chief executive David Gallop, who went to the FFA, […]


By HAMISH NEAL Like the way of the five metre gap in defence, reviewing the points from the NRL you may have missed from round 13. Steve Price’s voodoo hex over Wayne Bennett-coached sides continued on Saturday in Newcastle as St George Illawarra beat the Knights. Many of the plaudits were focused on the individual […]


By STEVE MASCORD IN last week’s Rugby League Week, Nate Myles raised the spectre of the “prowler” or “cannonball” tackle. During the round 11 game between his Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta, he had appealed to the referees to do something about the practice. During a remarkably civil on-field debate with rival captain Tim Mannah, […]

DISCORD 2013: Edition 15

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S now common for clubs to put media conferences up on their websites. You won’t get any print journalists asking good questions at morning recovery sessions as a result – but that’s not what I want to talk about here. The interview marked “Round Five recovery” on the Newcastle Knights website features […]