The Roar
The Roar

Steve Mascord

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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 and hotmetalonline.com. He is married to Sarah and spends most of his time in London.

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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?

I admit I may over-rely on this churlish line to respond to criticism BUT here is what I believe to be a valid distinction: some weeks I can’t wait to sit down and bash out a comment on something or other and I’m grateful for the platform. The money is not in my head at all. Others, I have to search around for a topic because I don’t really have any ideas. You are aware of lacklustre records being called “contract fillers”? This column was more of a contract filler than a passionate monologue. So it is actually not true that collecting some pocket money is my motivation every week …

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

I am being challenged over my motivation for writing a column. My motivation was that it was the first issue this week that elicited a cogent opinion in me and that if I didn’t write about it I would not get paid. That is the most honest answer I can provide. I don’t know what else to say. That’s the reason I did it. I try to be honest in the columns and honest here. What else CAN I say without being dishonest?

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

Simple. I realise I am in the minority in the way I feel about Australian sports teams. Having spent a lot of time in the UK I realise the opportunities and exposure international competition provides for rugby league there. It’s invisible without it. I don’t cheer for a team or a country but I cheer rugby league against other sports and international competition helps rugby league climb the “competition table” of sports. Appealing to the likes of me won’t help rugby league at all.

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

Why not? I work for money like you do.

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

You might find this interesting http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/06/08/eddie-jones-outdoes-himself-with-sam-burgess-rugby-league-slur/

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

I don’t mind being called un-Australian. Not at all. On the occasions that I feel patriotism, it has rarely has anything to do with sport. I just can’t make the emotional leap towards letting any pride I have in where I’m from put itself on the line for the result of a game. I identify more with those of similar interests than those with the same nationality.

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

I like to let people win. I like to fall for whatever they throw out. As long as I get a result from it as well and I don’t have to be dishonest, all is good. I had nothing to write about – then I did. So this was a case of write about Eddie Jones or be out-of-pocket. I’m happy.

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?