Wallabies buggered without Beale

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    Kurtley Beale’s torn hamstring stands to cripple Australia’s chances as much as his own for the defining Rugby World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand.

    A back three without king Kurtley might hold its own, at best.

    But that’s not good enough for this do-or-die encounter.

    Beale’s blessing is his capacity to ask the hard questions of the best defenses, and to penetrate with clinical proficiency. It’s also fair to say that on every occasion the Wallabies have failed to fire, Beale has been the exception.

    But Beale is out after failing to recover in time. Coach Robbie Deans gave Beale maximum recovery time, knowing how critical Beale’s presence is in this sudden-death playoff.

    Deans said at the time: “It will be tough on Kurtley if he has to miss this one, but we will take no chances. If he can’t play, he will contribute off the field as he always does. Adam and Ant are both good men.”

    “Good men” is a fair description of Ashley-Cooper and Anthony Faingaa. But Robbie needs “great men”, not “good men” for the pending assignment. Because their opposites are on par with greatness and come in the form of Israel Dagg, Richard Kahui and Cory Jane.

    Robbie’s outlook for Kurtley wasn’t particularly hopeful and all hope was extinguished this morning. The ‘slight hamstring tear’ takes requires more than a week to mend and not the kind of ailment that can be played around, as it would have limited Beale’s radical range of motion, which is what sets him apart from most rugby mortals.

    Anthony Faingaa comes into the backline while Ashley-Cooper drops back to No15. And with that arrangement, Australia’s threat level from the rear drops from ‘serious’ to ‘medium’ at best.

    Fortunately for Australia, the mad musing around giving Quade Cooper license in the No15 jersey has been wisely discounted.

    Notwithstanding, the heat goes on super Cooper to significantly up his game, which to this point, has been rather underwhelming.

    The problem for Australia though, is if it hits the fan in the caldron of RWC headquarters Eden Park, Quade won’t have Beale to bail him out.

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • October 15th 2011 @ 2:20pm
      Nicol'arse said | October 15th 2011 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

      Its not only the ‘rear’ that our threat level drops from serious to ‘meduim’ at best… its in the centre as well. I don’t reckon this backline arrangement is going to ask too many questions of the AB’s at all. It will all be about QC looking for inside passes to Digby & JOC coming off blind wings and/or long cut out balls on the open side. It will all be quite predictable me thinks. I don’t like it.

      I hope I’m wrong but if we think we can sneak our way past the AB’s playing like we did last week, we are very wrong. The ONLY way we ever beat NZ is when we attack relentlessly. And I don’t mean fancy backline plays all game. I mean when the forwards go nuts and we get the upper hand at the breakdown, and we just launch wave after wave of attack. Whether it be forwards running on to the ball from deep with quick clearance from the breakdown to wide expansive backline plays that ask plenty of the defense.

      But it is NOT by playing a conservative crash & bash game that relies on just solid defense alone. Does anybody remember the 1st & 2nd halves in Brisbane? We will not win playing a tight, conservative game. It might work for England and the Yarpies sometime… but it does NOt work for us.

      Poor selection and tactics IMO.

    • October 15th 2011 @ 2:22pm
      Bazza All Black said | October 15th 2011 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

      You never want to see a player injured but this is good news for the ABs…it might not matter if Public Enemy #1 has a scorcher but if does not….

      • October 15th 2011 @ 4:39pm
        Emric said | October 15th 2011 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

        it does even the odds a tad bit but a full strength wallabie side should be able to take a half strength all blacks side – makes me sad both sides are not field their top teams

    • October 15th 2011 @ 2:32pm
      Republican said | October 15th 2011 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      The Wallas are buggered anyway, with or without Beale since it’s going to be wet.

      Austrlian sides play a more backs orintated game and this is because our dry condition are conducive to this style.

      The Kiwis are without exception better in the wet. On a heavy Eden Pk track the All Blacks forwards will dominate in a yawn of a spectacle, to be sure.

      • October 15th 2011 @ 2:43pm
        Paul_From_Melbourne said | October 15th 2011 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

        Not only Beal has x factor. He is also good under the high ball. ASC is adequate but he was not assertive under the high ball in the past and hasn’t played in that position for a long time. AB should pressure him with high ball just outside the 22 with chasers running after their kicks.
        Of course all blacks would have to kick well especially if it is going to be wet. Is that the current forecast for tomorrow?

      • October 15th 2011 @ 3:59pm
        Stin said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

        Fine and sunny forecast tomorrow. Ne’er know….! Reckon we’ll see JOC up the back a fair bit.

    • Roar Guru

      October 15th 2011 @ 2:39pm
      Jiggles said | October 15th 2011 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

      This is being blown out of proportion way too much.

      Beale has had a very indifferent year.

      AAC slots straight into fullback with Faingaa going into 13. Its almost the same back-line as Brisbane but swapping JOC and Beale. JOC has been producing this year, Beale hasn’t.

      In terms of players the Wallabies “must have” on the pitch, he is down the list.

      • October 15th 2011 @ 3:11pm
        Frank O'Keeffe said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

        Because Faiinga is such a good replacement? Did you see the Ireland game? Fidgeting around with that backline is terrible. He’s a good tackler, but his passing is atrocious.

        • Roar Guru

          October 15th 2011 @ 3:42pm
          Jiggles said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

          He did the job well enough in Brisbane. he isn’t spectacular, but for a 13 the first thing you want is a rock in defence who can read the opposition lines and keep the structure. He does this very well. anything on top of that for a 13 is just gravy in my opinion, thats why Smith is the best, amazing in defence, positionally and when executing tackles, plus has the ability to spark outside plays.

      • October 15th 2011 @ 3:14pm
        Pierce said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

        Absolutely agree, the only ‘disaster’ for Wallabies would be 7.

      • October 15th 2011 @ 3:49pm
        peterlala said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        True Jiggles, but he does have the ability and the X-factor.

      • October 15th 2011 @ 4:39pm
        mark said | October 15th 2011 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

        “Beale has had a very indifferent year” would n’t that make him the barometer for the wallabies – if he does n’t show then neither do the wallabies?

    • October 15th 2011 @ 3:04pm
      Mtrain63 said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

      Yes Jiggles You are quite right, Although Kurtley Beale is a great loss i believe AAC is more then adequate to slot into fullback, as for the centres they will not stop tackling and running the ball hard.

    • October 15th 2011 @ 3:08pm
      sheek said | October 15th 2011 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

      Forget Beale for the moment.

      The Wallabies will be more buggered if they don’t get their scrum, lineout & breakdown right first…..

      • October 15th 2011 @ 7:52pm
        Touko said | October 15th 2011 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

        Ain’t that the truth.

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