The Roar
The Roar

Steve Mascord

Expert

Joined October 2009

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Steve Mascord has covered rugby league in 15 countries and worked for most media organisations that regularly feature the sport, on both sides of the globe. He started off as an 18-year-old cadet at Australian Associated Press, transferring to the Sydney Morning Herald just in time to go on the last full Kangaroos Tour in 1994. He spent three years at Sydney's Daily Telegraph from 2006 before going freelance at the conclusion of the 2008 World Cup. Steve is the author of the book Touchstones, host of the White Line Fever podcast, partner in international rugby league merchandise start-up Mascord Brownz, and proprietor of rugbyleaguehub.com, hardrockhub.com and hotmetalonline.com. He is married to Sarah and splits his time between London and Sydney.

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Imagine that Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Brisbane don’t exist. There’s just Sydney. The AFL would even taken a big final to Sydney every year! Wembley is a tradition that goes back to 1928. Three generations of families have made the trek once a year – it’s unofficial Northerners Day in the capital, for 90 years with a few breaks! It’s almost an assertion that the country belongs to them as much as it does to southerners and they have as much right to the capital’s facilities as the people with the posh accents do. So that’s why they persist! But changes in media, pop culture, rugby league’s structure and popularity and many other things have left it in danger…

English rugby league grapples at Wembley with the impact of expansion

People watch Lacrosse and ten pin bowling in America. You think it has to be massive to “work”. We don’t want or need to be any bigger than, say, Major League Eating. Or Dodgeball. Rugby league’s ambition in America should be to be tiny. That would still be enough to poach players away from the NRL.

English rugby league grapples at Wembley with the impact of expansion

Yes, I was part of a group of journalists who spoke to Jason Moore straight after the game. Absolutely keen to continue and even add teams next year.

Singapore mud slinging shows rugby league's international imbalance

I am, in fact, extremely lame so yes – you’re right!

Are Super League really going to refuse entry to Toronto?

They’re talking about the owner, not the former CEO who is still a shareholder.

Are Super League really going to refuse entry to Toronto?

When a Premier League player represents his country during a Fifa window, do premier league clubs have a say in who is paying for the hire of the stadium or what the TV deal is? No. Releasing a player for international duty is a requirement of being a club in an international sport.

Rugby league is snubbing the entrepreneurs and chancers who created it

I went to Twickenham on Saturday for the Sevens. Great day!

Don't worry about rugby league's big issues - just read the tea leaves

I live in the equivalent – you were using Outer Mongolia in the figurative sense I guess. The capital city of the country where the sport was born, where the sport is pretty much invisible. So I have a personal interest in it expanding … because I don’t actually have access to a fulltime professional team in a city of almost 9 million. And it’s a team from Toronto, not the north or Sydney, who seem most interested in bringing it here.

A rugby league postcard from the edge

Obviously an issue for those of us who live in Outer Mongolia, though…

A rugby league postcard from the edge

So what I’m saying is Super League need to be a bit more like the NRL and the NRL need to be a bit more like Super League – show leadership that is independent of media coverage to a greater degree than is currently the case. Good leadership on the part of the Sydney rugby union when Joe Bloggs abuses Sheila at Coogee McDonalds would be to suspend or fine him even if no-one particularly cares. And if the Sydney rugby union podcast was to call them for comment, to say Joe Bloggs has been stood down. I think this Albert Kelly example is helpful in exposing the over-reach in the southern hemisphere and the under-reach in the northern. That’s my point, put another way. Cheers.

If a tree abuses someone at McDonald's and no-one is there to see it...

I think one way is this: he’s gonna do a deal with the Super League clubs – he doesn’t want a share of the TV money. But when the TV money comes in from the US and Canada, he gets the first X million. If the New Zealand Warriors had done a deal like that, they’d be rolling in cash now. He’s not gonna make a profit unless he makes a series of genius moves that set the standards for team owners to follow.

An Easter Monday resurrection for rugby league expansion?

Jamaica? No. Aruba and Bahamas? Yes…

State of the (league) nation address

None if it is going to work. You’re right. It’s just better than nothing. In rugby league, we’re used to nothing.

The compelling evidence that rugby league is going backwards

Here’s the link http://www.rlwc2017.com/news/england-and-nz-set-play-annual-mid-season-test

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

They don’t have to care. They just have to observe the convention of releasing players for internationals.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

It’s not an exhibition because as soon as the Anzac Test died, England and New Zealand announced they would play on the Origin weekend for as long as there was an origin weekend. The 2025 World Cup is in the US and Canada. The consortium then bid a million bucks, one tenth of what they are paying for the entire world cup, to host this pre-arranged international. The event was conceived long before the venue. Two sovereign rugby league nations – one in the northern hemisphere – should be able to play an international where they chose during an international window.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

Soccer clubs do it regularly. The Socceroos fly in one day, play, fly out the next? Yet our tiny sport, which SHOULD be desperate to for the slightest foothold in a new market, is too big and professional to let players go to the international terminal. Please.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

What makes it an exhibition? We have three other internationals on the same day at Campbelltown. Does the NRL market them as exhibitions? England is where the game was born and New Zealand invented international rugby league. Yet clubs in a third country stop them playing in a fourth country on a weekend where those clubs have no competition. It’s friggin outrageous!

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

Nat, many, many soccer clubs are much bigger businesses than NRL clubs. They realise their own players aren’t theirs during a fifa window. They realise that if you’re a serious sport those players leave on a Monday and can go anywhere in the world during that FIFA window. Yet piss-in-the-ocean rugby league clubs in Australia think they can dictate where internationals are played….

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

Plenty of people in the south of England … people who have no idea what a Castleford or a Leigh are. If you spent any time in London you’d realise why international footy is so important here. Rugby league is utterly invisible except when it’s on, when miraculously 15,000 or 20,000 people will show up to an event in one of the world’s great cities and broadsheet newspapers give it half a page.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

In any real sense, there is no RLIF because they only get the players once every four years. They have one full time employee in an office below street level in Fitzrovia. The clubs and the national federations don’t want a tangible RLIF so there isn’t one. Forget them.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

I don’t understand your obsession with club games.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

I think Jarryd is facing the media today at training.

Did Jarryd Hayne warrant a side-door exit from Sydney Airport?

I would. Honestly. I would not take the side door.

Did Jarryd Hayne warrant a side-door exit from Sydney Airport?

correct!

Did Jarryd Hayne warrant a side-door exit from Sydney Airport?