Beale back to brilliant best for Waratahs


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    NSW Waratahs five-eighth Bernard Foley wants his side to capitalise more on the “electric and special” skills of returning fellow playmaker Kurtley Beale.

    The pair were an integral part of the Waratahs’ 2014 Super Rugby title win and the Wallabies’ performance improved noticeably when Beale returned to the side in mid-2017 at inside centre.

    Beale started his third stint with NSW in a 47-5 trial win over the Melbourne Rebels on Thursday night in Sydney.

    “We saw some glimpses of his brilliance at the start of the second half,” Foley said.

    “When he’s got that sparkle in his eye and when he wants the ball, he’s really something electric.

    “That’s something we’re going to have to do, try and get him involved in games and get guys to react off him, because he is a special player to play with.”

    Foley’s combination with another Wallaby star, fullback Israel Folau, is clearly still in good order.

    Folau, who was playing his first game since October, scored a trademark try on Thursday after catching a Foley crossfield kick, a tactic which also produced several five-pointers last year.

    “It’s tough to defend, isn’t it?” Foley said.

    NSW begin their Super Rugby campaign on February 24 against the Stormers in Sydney.

    Foley is confident NSW have enough attacking artillery in their backline to cause problems for the Stormers, who are normally a tough defensive outfit.

    “I’ll back our attack every day of the week and there’s some world-class players in our backline,” Foley said.

    “But in saying that, we can only do that if we get the momentum and the gain line early on in the phases.

    “The Stormers present a real big physical pack. They like to really defend up in your face, so it’s going to be a good challenge.”

    While NSW piled on seven tries against Melbourne, it was some of their less flashy work that most pleased Foley.

    “The most-pleasing thing is the work rate – guys were up for repeat efforts,” Foley said.

    He was pleased with the impact the Tahs’ bench had against the Rebels.

    “They really added the intensity and maintained that foot on the throat,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • February 19th 2018 @ 12:18am
      Rhys Bosley said | February 19th 2018 @ 12:18am | ! Report

      With Beale back the Tahs are certainly going to be a handful to defend when those backs get ball. Phipps, Foley, Beale, Folau make a lethal attacking axis, with Rona and the wingers they have being well able to contribute. Their loosies are bloody good too and I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Holloway bring back some of his outstanding 2016 form, with a view to providing another tall option at 8 for the Wallabies.

      The big question marks for me though are their tight five and back line defence. The tight five should be good at lineout time with Simmons, so long as the hooker is ok, and Robertson and Kepu should equal a good scrum, but they are missing a 120kg plus lock or two to make the metres and dominant tackles in tight.

      As for the defence, Rona will be a godsend for them with Horne gone, but one man can’t do it all the others are going to have to step up compared to last year or they will leak tries big time. I would like to see Foley and Beale defending in position like they did in Bledisloe 2 last year, they did a bloody good job and the Super Rugby season would be an excellent opportunity for them to get used to it.

      Really if they defence has improved a lot they could be a force, if not a farce. It should be interesting to see.

    • February 20th 2018 @ 9:44pm
      CJ said | February 20th 2018 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

      Beale and Folau are world class on their day. Give them enough time and space and the rest will come.

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