Beale could offer Waratahs a ray of hope


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    Kurtley Beale could hold the key to a last-ditch Super Rugby finals bid by the embattled NSW Waratahs.

    Another humbling home defeat – a 40-33 loss to the Blues on Saturday night – after they’d trailed by 28 points with never enough time to overhaul the Aucklanders – leaves the Waratahs with a miserable 3-7 record and 13th overall .

    But they are still just a win behind Australian conference leaders the Brumbies with six rounds remaining.

    The Brumbies could stretch that advantage with a home win next weekend, when the Waratahs have a bye before resuming against the Melbourne Rebels.

    However, the Brumbies face a rampant Lions outfit, runners-up last year and chasing an eighth straight victory, and should they lose to the South Africans the Waratahs would remain very much in the playoffs chase.

    Even more so with Beale back in a sky blue jumper following his season in England.

    Beale starred overnight as Wasps clinched top spot and and a home semi-final in the English Premiership with a 35-15 victory over Saracens, leaving his London side on track to make the title match on May 27.

    Such a scenario would rule the classy playmaker out of the Waratahs’ hosting of the Rebels and the round-15 trip to Hamilton to tackle the Chiefs on June 3.

    But he could conceivably be available to play the Jaguares in Sydney and Western Force in Perth in the final two rounds, matches that could prove decisive in the battle for Australian conference honours.

    Tellingly, both fixtures aren’t scheduled until July, after a break in the competition for the June Test matches, by which time Beale should be well settled back in Sydney.

    Beale wouldn’t be eligible for the finals, should the Waratahs scrape in, and coach Daryl Gibson has previously said he was “unlikely” to feature in this campaign.

    That could all change, though, if his side’s season is on the line heading into last two home-and-away rounds.

    Gibson on Saturday said he hadn’t given any more thought to trying to coax Beale into returning for the Tahs before next season.

    “I’m unaware of his situation and whether that’s changed,” he said.

    The coach was considerably more forthright when asked if the Waratahs even deserved to be still in the finals mix.

    “We’re certainly in the fight for it. Whether we’re worthy is up to the next five games,” Gibson said.

    “And certainly we haven’t given up, if that’s what you’re suggesting.

    “There’s enough fight in this team to know we’re still in it and we’re going to approach it that way and keep playing that way.”

    While bewildered about the Waratahs continually giving sides big head starts in matches, skipper Michael Hooper is also keeping the faith.

    “We’re able to play some really good rugby against top sides and we’ve done that in a couple of games this season,” Hooper said.

    “So it’s frustrating, and even more frustrating when you go to the review room and you see players doing great things and the team working together and then, on the flip side of that, the total opposite.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (47)

    • May 7th 2017 @ 3:39pm
      Jock Cornet said | May 7th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

      Beale receives a huge check but offers little. The ARU should freeze all pay to the players. They are taking th pi$$. Do you really expect spectators to watch this.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 8th 2017 @ 3:20pm
        Kirky said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

        Jock. Personally I wouldn’t have Beale near a Super team, he’s a very ordinary player who like Cooper likes to dance around on the spot for a while then heads usually sideways towards touch!

    • Roar Guru

      May 7th 2017 @ 3:43pm
      Fionn said | May 7th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

      Here we go, yet another big name player going to the Waratahs and the Reds. Salary caps for teams, not for countries, please. It should be an even playing field, and each team should have exactly the same cap on how much they can pay out in salaries.

      • May 8th 2017 @ 5:25am
        P2R2 said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:25am | ! Report

        I get the impression that the Tahs franchise and HOPING and HOPING again that Beale will be some kind of saviour, 1 man does not a team make, and the Blues showed that against the Tahs…..Beale wont make a difference and if the ARU give him a HUGE contract….then they have lost the plot..

      • May 8th 2017 @ 6:53am
        Rt said | May 8th 2017 @ 6:53am | ! Report

        Beale is born and bred in Sydney. He went to the rebels with an ARU top up and went to wasps for big dollars. He will take a 50% pay cut to come home. Wasps love him and want him to stay and he is ripping it up over there. Get your facts straight.

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2017 @ 10:59am
          Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Champ, that has literally nothing to do with what I said. Did I ever mention where Beale was from? I complained that the way the salary cap works is inherently unfair, and serves to benefit QLD and NSW.

          What sort of salary cap works by country rather than by team? Every team should have access to exactly the same amount of funds.

          • May 8th 2017 @ 11:29am
            Rebellion said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:29am | ! Report

            The only fair way to run the provinces is for players to only play for the states in which they were raised during their formative rugby years like State of Origin.
            That will be a true reflection of grass roots contribution from each province and bring much needed passion to the interstate derbys.

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2017 @ 11:34am
              Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

              Sorry, I don’t think that is fair. That is ‘fair’ in the sense that teams reap the benefits of the players who come from their states, but it is not fair in the sense that it benefits QLD and NSW.

              Rebellion, I empathise with the frustration that some QLD and NSW fans have when they see so many of the top players from the other teams coming from QLD and NSW, but we are all Australians first and foremost; and if Australian rugby is to be strong then it needs all the provinces to be supported and strong. Take a leaf out of the Kiwi’s books.

              I think this trumps the claim that players should play in the states they are from.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 8th 2017 @ 11:41am
                piru said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

                yeah that works Rebellion

                So all those players the Waratahs won’t look at because they went to the wrong school will go overseas.


        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2017 @ 2:02pm
          Train Without A Station said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

          That all may be true but he will waltz straight into a Wallaby top up and I think it’s fair to say that will be at the expense of a player from another state.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 8th 2017 @ 3:26pm
          Kirky said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

          RT-I watch most of the games in the Aviva and I’ve seen Beale play a few times and I have no recollection of him ever as you say ripping it up!

          He’s very, very, lucky to even be playing rugby at all and anywhere else he wouldn’t be!

    • May 7th 2017 @ 3:45pm
      zubrick said | May 7th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

      seems to me izzies game has deterioated since KB departed
      these two add a massive spark when playing together that motivates the tahs
      number one priority for the ARU should be getting kurtley home ASAP
      ive never seen australian rugby in such a mess and have to admit i now prefer
      watching AFL
      pulver and co must admit responsibility for wrecking our WA and victorian teams
      cutting one or both is a major step backwards for our code…these idiots let the decision making regarding aussie teams slip…. for what
      is it time to seek a new CEO from across the ditch….at least the kiwis appear to care for players and franchises

      • May 8th 2017 @ 6:55am
        Rt said | May 8th 2017 @ 6:55am | ! Report

        What he said!

        Or the modern day equivalent: +1

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2017 @ 2:04pm
        Train Without A Station said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

        is it time to seek a new CEO from across the ditch….at least the kiwis appear to care for players and franchises

        Easier to do so with $80M in the bank and a game where everybody knows there place though.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 8th 2017 @ 3:33pm
          Kirky said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          TWAS, I agree with you for a change but a few days ago I advocated that very commonsense notion and got vilified by some on here who suggested that the idea of that happening just isn’t and never ever will be happening anytime whatsoever!

          • Roar Guru

            May 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm
            Train Without A Station said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

            You’ve missed the entire point of what I said Kirky.

            It’s easier to perform well in that environment.

            The Waratahs have Andrew Hore, an experienced Kiwi administrator as CEO.

            He appears to be an unmitigated disaster when you look at how the Waratahs are going as an organisation. I’ll give you a hint though, it’s probably not all his fault…

            • May 9th 2017 @ 1:42am
              Jock Cornet said | May 9th 2017 @ 1:42am | ! Report

              The ARU gets a heap of money then they blow it. It’s called mismanagement . The amount they wasted on the three amigos. Qc still can’t tackle or play, Beale the same. We could have had a vibrant club/ national comp based on these idiots pay packets alone .

      • May 8th 2017 @ 3:54pm
        Sportscrazy said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

        Yes Pulver and coy have plenty to blame for…. including allowing Beale, Hooper and AAC put the Aussies back 5 years when they destroyed the career of the Wallaby coach. This was handled in the most cowardly fashion by all.

        Let’s have Beale back…like hell.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 7th 2017 @ 4:05pm
      cinque said | May 7th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

      Yeah. As if Beale will stop them leaking first half tries.

      • May 7th 2017 @ 5:15pm
        realist said | May 7th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

        Agreed……and we all know what a fearsome defender he is.

      • May 7th 2017 @ 5:21pm
        englishbob said | May 7th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

        Well no obviously he wont do that, that’s more down to the players and current management which even KB’s most strident critics couldn’t argue he is at fault for. This is good news, KB is playing in the league leaders team in the premiership, he was mesmeric at time yesterdays against Saracens, he’s playing with good players, in good form and standing out at a higher level than this current Aussie conference. He may be a catalyst for improvement

        • May 7th 2017 @ 5:58pm
          cuw said | May 7th 2017 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

          cant see how he can improve an auzzy team , given the thrashing they got from the english team in tests. LOL

          he playsin a good team in a different competition – but not super rugger.. wasps will get thrashed by crusaders (just like biulls ) if the two were to play this weekend.

          the problems of Waratahs cannot be solved by a single player , who at his best has been average – mainly against NZ teams. if everyone dont row insync , still the boat goes forwards but not as fast as the others 🙂

          • May 8th 2017 @ 3:01am
            englishbob said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:01am | ! Report

            I didn’t say the tahs problems would be solved, only that he’d help them with a bit of spark.
            He’s genuine world class player at 10/12/13/15, compared to what any of the aussie teams have been putting out this season he’ll be an improvement.
            The NZ teams are incredible for club sides, 3/4 of them would be decent level international sides, BUT the aussie teams aren’t competing in any way shape or form against the NZ and barely against the SA teams.
            The good teams of SR (4 NZ + Lions) are the best club sides in the world, but this aussie conference is among the worst domestic conferences of any tier one nation and certainly not playing at anything like the level of Saracens/Wasps/Exeter. Don’t believe me, trying watching a bit

            • May 8th 2017 @ 7:01am
              Rt said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:01am | ! Report

              Hi englishbob I watch a lot of the AVIVA premiership and I completely agree with you. The standard of ball handling and kicking is very high. It is played and refers a lot differently but on the whole I think the top 6 premiership teams would hold their own. I really enjoyed the sarries v wasps game and I love the fact they play the games in the afternoon. Great crowds and great theatre. We’ve lost a lot of that in Australia.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 4:12pm
              cuw said | May 8th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

              Beale is as world class as Q cooper is – talented but unpredictable ; skilled but inconsistent.

              and both have not had any good outing against NZ.

    • May 7th 2017 @ 6:01pm
      Rhys Bosley said | May 7th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

      As much as I am a bit sussed about this bloke being publicly guaranteed a Wallabies jersey to come home and play for a provincial team, he is good enough to be virtually guaranteed the jersey anyway so it will be good to have him back. He combines well with Foley and Folau, being able to do the long field and goal kicking that Foley can’t and leading Folau around the park and putting him into space, which he can’t seem to work out how to do himself. Having those three at the core of the attacking strategy for the first tier games would work, so long as they have another three more balanced players to defend.

      For mine Kuridrani and Speight should be shoe ins for the solid defence they have done with the Brumbies this year, and we would give up nothing in attack by playing them either. The last spot being a toss up between Hodge and Hunt. Hodge has tackled better and worked harder in defence than Hunt this season, though Hunt appears to thrive on responsibility and I think he could be backed to step up in the Wallabies environment. In particular the Wallabies are really missing a defensive leader in the back line, the role that Giteau took in the World Cup and which Toomua was able to do as well, had he not left for England. I reckon Hunt would be just the player for that job.

      So perhaps Cheika could make Beale Vice-Captain (Attack) and Hunt Vice-Captain (Defence)?

      • May 7th 2017 @ 6:16pm
        Fionn said | May 7th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

        Make the guys who brought the game into disrepute vice captains?

        You’d play TK over Sami?

        • May 7th 2017 @ 8:25pm
          Rhys Bosley said | May 7th 2017 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

          Seems appropriate doesn’t it? You know …. VICE captains …

          Yes, I would play TK over Kerevi this season. His defence is much better and while his attacking plays are more limited, his ability to score tries from 15 or so metres out has won us a number of tests at the death.

          • May 7th 2017 @ 9:39pm
            riddler said | May 7th 2017 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

            i agree with bosley on this one.. tk for me..



            gordon & hodge if a 6/2 bench.. which i hope we don’t have..

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2017 @ 9:51am
              Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

              Really? Even as a Reds man? TK is solid and Kerevi has more “X-Factor”, so I guess it depends what you are after.

              My problem is that I don’t want two of Foley, Cooper and Beale starting on the field. I would be happy with any one, but I fear that two weakens our defence too much, especially as Folau is not a great defender either.

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2017 @ 9:57am
              Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              Riddler, in your team Hunt will cover for one of Foley and/or Beale in defence. Who covers for the other, or does one defend in the front line?

              I like your team on attack but am concerned with our defence, that was the major problem last year also, and we have Nathan Gray as defence coach still.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 10:16am
                Rhys Bosley said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                Hunt to 10, TK to 12, Speight to 13 and the other three covering wings and fullback. No worries.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 11:02am
                Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

                I think you’re grossly overestimating Speight’s defence, Rhys. He’s okay, but not fantastic. Perhaps he could defend at 12, but would not want him at 13. He never goes missing on defence, always tries his all, but he makes some poor defensive reads/decisions.

                I’m just sick of all this stupid shuffling. It means we are out of position on attack when we turn the ball over and have the opportunity to counter attack.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 11:08am
                Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                I, personally, would prefer the following:

                9. Genia
                10. Foley/Cooper/Beale
                11. Speight
                12. Kerevi
                13. TK
                14. Haylett-Petty
                15. Hunt/Beale

                I actually think DHP is the best fullback in Aus by far, but I think he does well in the dual wing-fullback hybrid role. I would also behappy with

                9. Genia
                10. Foley/Beale/Cooper
                11. Speight
                12. Kerevi
                13. TK
                14. Naivalu (I don’t think his form has been as poor as you seem to, and his defence is not as poor as it has seemed at the rebels – he covered brilliantly for the Wallabies last year)/Folau
                15. DHP

                I’m just so concerned with fielding a defensively weak team. At the moment the Aussie SR teams are conceding way too many tries; the Wallabies did the same last year. I think sometimes we get so fixated on attacking flair that we forget that defence is as important as attack.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 5:12pm
                Rugnut said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

                Against Italy/Fiji (whoever is first) my backs would be:

                9. Genia
                10. Foley
                11. Hodge
                12. Hunt
                13. Kerevi
                14. Folau
                15. DHP

                I reckon Hunt would make a terrific 12. The 10/12 would always be on the lookout for his hits.

                Hooper and Genia always defend shallow to protect Foley. Like some others …. don’t fiddle with the backs positions when defending.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 5:24pm
                Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

                I reckon Hunt would make a terrific 12. The 10/12 would always be on the lookout for his hits.

                I absolutely agree with you, but I think he should probably play some Super Rugby there before he is tried there. Perhaps Fiji is an easy enough match that he should be able to try it out there though.

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2017 @ 9:57am
              Fionn said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              Riddler, in your team Hunt will cover for one of Foley and/or Beale in defence. Who covers for the other, or does one defend in the front line?

              I like your team on attack but am concerned with our defence, that was the major problem last year also, and we have Nathan Gray as defence coach still.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 10th 2017 @ 8:53am
                eeds said | May 10th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

                I have to say I completely disagree with this Beale defense bashing. I’ll concede historically his defense was pretty ordinary, and that I haven’t watched anything but the highlights of his season so far this year. But his last full season as a tah I thought his defense was excellent as it was before he got injured at the start of last season. In fact I can’t remember the last time we had a fly half defend at 10 for the tahs with the exception of Beale when foley was out at the start of last season. Something I thought he did a fantastic job at.

    • May 7th 2017 @ 8:39pm
      Adrian Denyer said | May 7th 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

      Even though the won again last night, I hope Wasps get knocked out, and Beale comes early to Tahs and plays enough games to qualify for finals. If he plays, they’ll win games and qualify!

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