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

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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?

It’s our job to fall for things. We know Wayne Bennett is manipulating us at press conferences. We do it willingly. As an old rugby league writer once said to me ‘if you never wrote stories in which you were being used by someone, you’d never write a story’

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

I care because it gave me something to write about. I didn’t file on time this week because I was bereft of ideas on Thursday.

Who cares what Eddie Jones thinks?

There’s a weekend Origin in the next TV deal

Origin is great - it's also a crass sell-out

The commercialisation as it relates to scheduling affects Origin most. If they pause the comp and put it on weekends, I’l cop all the other indignities.

Origin is great - it's also a crass sell-out

Sure it’s my problem. I write about my problems. I get paid. It’s awesome.

Origin is great - it's also a crass sell-out

The point was to keep pushing for the NRL to be paused and for Origin to be played on weekends and to highlight the folly of this not happening.

Origin is great - it's also a crass sell-out

And how do you suggest I write a 500 word column about it being a “good, tough game”. Write that over and over again 30 times? The Roar will not pay me for a match report, I’m afraid. This column is about the issues surrounding football not football itself. Match reports on here come from AAP. PS: It might have been “tough” but it wasn’t “good”.

De-Bunked: Ricky Stuart shows unusual restraint after golden point loss

But what do you think of Radradra? Because either “rules are rules” or rules aren’t rules The rules say Radradra can play for Australia and they say Milford can play for Samoa. David Mead played Country less than 12 months ago and is now playing for PNG, proving the “two year period” is hogwash. The RLIF does not recognise NSW, Queensland, City, Country, state under 20s or the Beralla Old Boys rep teams as committing you to Australia – full stop.

Bennett proves rugby league is not ready to join the international family of real sports

No. Anthony Milford has played three times previously for Samoa. He has not played any Test football since the last World Cup. Therefore he is completely eligible for Samoa. The RLIF does not recognise provincial under 20 appearances. He could play for Samoa, change his country of election before next year and then make his Queensland debut. That’s why Bennett was forced to take responsibility for his absence. Even the expiration of a two-year period following his last Qld Under 20s appearances is irrelevant.

Bennett proves rugby league is not ready to join the international family of real sports

One, I can’t proceed on the basis someone ‘might” have this or that disability. You give me evidence Pat Gibson has a learning disability and I’ll stop telling those stories, which first appeared in the SMH Sin Bin column years ago. Two, sometimes to communicate in a compelling way that resonates with people, you have to be a not-very-nice person. So be it.

Parramatta's board candidates for a Darwin Award

Yes, you are right. And I am speaking from the perspective of that small boy.

MASCORD: Is patriotism compulsory?

I got interested in rugby league from swapping footy cards as a kid and from the crumpled old Rugby League Weeks my uncle used to have in his bedroom. It was the iconography, the colour….

MASCORD: Is patriotism compulsory?