Tah-dah! Beale the magic man for NSW

Will Knight Columnist

By Will Knight, Will Knight is a Roar Expert

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    The game moves quicker when Beauden Barrett is playing. Billy Slater can spark something from nothing. Things happen around Dustin Martin. And add Kurtley Beale to a small group of players who, with most touches of the ball, gives you the feeling that a linebreak is brewing.

    They not only move faster in attack but get their teammates going with greater speed and precision.

    The Waratahs look a different side when Beale gets the ball at first receiver.

    It’s become more evident over the past fortnight, as the NSW No.12 has asserted himself more and the Tahs look to build momentum heading into the Super Rugby finals.

    Bernard Foley has been solid captaining the side in Michael Hooper’s absence, but the five-eighth looks more robotic and less influential in general play the more Beale gets the ball as first receiver.

    Beale is a class act, even when there’s not much forward momentum. Ball in two hands, mixing angled runs and flat passing with changes of direction behind the advantage line – he has been able to get the defensive line back on their heels.

    The space that Foley has found recently often comes when Beale links with him in the midfield; it happened numerous times against the Sunwolves last Saturday night.

    NSW have now found a nice balance, with Beale the No.1 playmaker from phase play, but Foley still being first receiver from the set piece. It hasn’t always happened this season, with Foley earlier in the year often being the main man one-out from most parts of the field.

    The interim skipper’s long passing is a big asset too, especially when Beale has dragged defenders in close.

    Foley was relatively quiet during the Wallabies’ Test series loss to Ireland, but some nice touches over the past fortnight have come at a good time. He’s off contract at the end of this season and aiming to impress the money men at the Waratahs and Wallabies, and land a big deal.

    There’s talk that Matt Toomua is close to signing a contract to return to Australia with the Melbourne Rebels next year, and if he puts pen to paper soon, he will likely be available to join the Wallabies for the November Tests in Europe.

    Foley has arguably been coasting at international level recently, with no genuine pressure on his position as Wallabies No.10. Quade Cooper has been brushed by Queensland and Rebels utility Reece Hodge has been used as a back-up five-eighth. Toomua’s presence could give Foley a lift as the World Cup approaches.

    But for now, the Waratahs look best when Beale gets more touches at first receiver from broken play and hopefully we see more of it when they take on the Brumbies on Saturday night.

    However – as we all know – the effectiveness of this separation of power between Beale and Foley will only be judged when the Tahs face a New Zealand side.

    Will Knight
    Will Knight

    An AAP writer for more than a decade, Will Knight does his best to make sense of all things cricket, rugby union and rugby league, all while trying to have a laugh along the way. You can find him on Twitter @WKnightrider.

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    The Crowd Says (140)

    • July 13th 2018 @ 7:54am
      BBA said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      For what its worth as a Kiwi I think Foley and Beale will go alright against Kiwi opposition but the difference will not be them but more likely the issue with how they go may be in the quality and frequency of the ball that they will get. And if both sides get good ball then it may be a straight shootout between the offences.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 9:10am
        jameswm said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        I think the Tahs issue is forward runners. We’ll be relying on Kepu and Holloway to a large extent.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 7:08pm
          riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

          like all 10/12s.. depends on the front foot ball..

          much easier game with it than without it..

    • July 13th 2018 @ 7:54am
      Cynical Play said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      Beale and Hegarty together ignite the Tahs backline. Hegarty is an intuitive and skilled link man who plays well with Beale. I hope Hegarty gets a run against the Brums. 50:50 game I feel given the way the Brums played in NZ last week. Could have won it.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 8:47am
        Highlander said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        Intuitive is a good word for Hegerty, seems to be in the right place more often than not and the Tahs have a better balance when he plays – under rated footballer

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 10:04am
          jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          I’ve really liked the side with Hegarty in it this season. Gibson and the team have surprised me with how well they have gone but I do have to say they are still missing a couple of tricks.

          Vui has been better than Ryan in his limited appearances. Not sure why after he finally cracked the side he got dropped during the international break – Ryan must be doing something at training the coaches like but I’m not seeing it on the pitch.

          I like Clarke but the set up with Folau on the wing and Hegarty at FB looked more dangerous to me.

          They got a few other options right – finally brought Latu back in, settled on Rona at 13 over Foketi and got Holloway in to second row.

          Just two final tweaks and I think the team will be the best it can.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 10:17am
          The Sheriff said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          Hegarty has more skills than any other Waratah, except for Beale.
          Pity he is off to japan.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 11:06am
            Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Where did you hear this? For how long?

            Given that the Japanese top league is off in 2019 I imagine he will be back and looking for work. Maybe the Brumbies can nab him. That would mean the flyhalf situation would be much improved across the Aussie teams with Toomua going to Melbourne.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 11:54am
              jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

              Ricoh Black Rams made an announcement in May – hoping just a one year contract.

              Becomes fairly unsurprising when he has come in and played as well as he has and then not getting match time.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:16pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                It is not an issue really.

                That comp is running from aug 31 to jan 19.

                So he misses NRC and the off season training.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:19pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

                If it is just a one season deal, sure. But this will be his second stint with them, hopefully we don’t lose him

              • July 13th 2018 @ 12:22pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

                Jez, given that the Top League is not running next year you would assume it would only be a one year deal.

                I think that best case scenario is that he goes to the Reds or (even better) the Brumbies.

                We need the distributors/playmakers like he, Toomua, Beale, Foley and Paia’aua getting as much game time as possible.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:00pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                How long will Foley and Beale be there at the Tahs for though? If we look ahead two seasons, post RWC, there will need to playmakers there as well.

                Mason is signed but as yet unsighted.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:11pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                So sign Hegarty for 1-2 seasons.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:26pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

                Fully agree – was responding to your comment that you think the Reds and Brumbies have need. I believe the Tahs will as well.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:33pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                In two years time either Hansen or Goddard should have developed enough to play 10 for the Brumbies anyway.

                I think that, rather like Hooper did, Hegarty should make the trip to Canberra with the aim of getting more game time and honing his skills. Then, after the RWC when I assume Beale and/or Foley will head overseas, he can slot in at 10. It looks like he will get limited game time next year at the Tahs based on 2018.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:59pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                I do worry about players not getting an off-season but given his light usage this year am sure he can handle August – May in Top League and then back up in Super if he gets game time.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 2:15pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                It’s a huge issue.

                That’s why I read somebody refer to all these Japanese contracts for Wallaby players as “fools gold”. The lack of time off catches up with players.

                Pocock actually did it the right way by not playing for a good chunk.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 5:29pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                TWAS – It isn’t a huge issue at all for Hegarty.

                It is only from Aug to Jan.

                He has played minimal minutes for the tahs this year.

                This gives him much needed game time at a good level.

      • Roar Guru

        July 13th 2018 @ 9:05am
        Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Good call Cynical… agree about Hegarty.

        For mine Foley is the structure, Beale is the free-form from his reads, and Hegarty just slots accordingly.

        Then add in Izzy et al… it’s pretty tasty, let alone effective!

        Tahs must beat da Brums… must beat. Must be upbeat on da downbeat to beat da bleedin’ Brums!

        • July 13th 2018 @ 9:12am
          jameswm said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          Yeah win that and finish 2nd. Jags are on a bit of a downward spiral I feel, then play Lions/Highlanders in the semi, who will have returned from SA.

          Must beat the Brums. Set piece should go ok, forwards know what they’re doing, and backs can light it up. I don’t think it’s a 50/50 game, more like 65/35. But Brums are certainly dangerous and Tahs will have to play well.

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 9:40am
            Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

            Brums have a game that can save the Tahs of ball… although, in saying that, they appear to be playing a more expansive game at da mo.

            Eitherway, they are more than capable of playing the spoiler for this match-up.

            I think home ground for the Tahs will be an advantage… just!

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:02pm
              PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

              If rebels don’t get a bonus point against highlanders then brumbies may go all out attack to win by 3 tries. This means a more open fast game which favours the tahs.

              However if they can’t make the finals I think they will play a grinding forward up the middle like against canes. This is their best chance to beat the tahs.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 10:28am
        ethan said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        Never understood why the Rebs preferred Jack Deb over him when Hegarty was starting 10. Shot themselves in the foot there.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 11:14am
          Markus said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          On that note, did David Horwitz get a single run with the Rebels this year?
          He may not have looked like a world beater at the Tahs, but looked a lot less flaky than Jack Deb and I was surprised to find out that he is actually younger than Hodge.

          With the complete lack of flyhalf depth in this country, it is pretty concerning to see 23 year olds with over 20 Super Rugby caps already heading overseas.

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 12:17pm
            PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            agree, Horwitz should have been tried as a genuine playmaker 10.

            Perhaps Wessels is not used to playmaker type 10’s and doesn’t know how to coach that style.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:26pm
              jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

              Yep, pretty bizarre they never even looked at him for the role. Connaught announced his signing as a 10 and he stated that is his preferred position.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:34pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

                it has always been his preferred position, where he played shute shield

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:42pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

                Not really. Has he ever even played 10 above Shute Shield?

                His last NRC season he was playing 13.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:41pm
              Train Without A Station said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

              Nah I’d disagree with that.

              Horwitz has hardly played 10 at any level above Shute Shield. I think he actually found himself playing 13 mostly in the NRC.

              Simply he just doesn’t have the runs on the board at 10 to be picked over the options like Debreczeni and Adams who were ahead of him earlier.

              And he just doesn’t quite force himself into the starting line up either. He’s really probably English, without the experience and leadership when we talk about what he offers.

              It was never announced but I think he was actually released in May though.

              It’s quite unfortunate he didn’t get a look in because he was a good signing for 12, but then with Meakes and the back 3 signings pushing Hodge in, he just couldn’t get a crack. In a backline light on playmaking he probably could have offered more than Meakes at 12 a lot of the time as well, in addition to another kicking option.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:58pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Sure he isn’t experienced but given the question marks over the playmakers in the squad he was surely worth a look. Isn’t like Hodge had any runs on the board as a 10.

                Looks like he was out of favour early – just double checked and the announcement from Connaught came in March

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:18pm
                Markus said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                Yeah just looked at the timing, looks like Horwitz signed with the Rebels months before Wessels was announced as coach.

                Perhaps Wessels had a similar conversation early on with Horwitz that he did with Stirzaker.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:49pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                Hodge actually ended up playing 10 in his Super Rugby debut and played 10 for the Wallabies last year.

                The difference was, Hodge was a well established starter shifting to 10.

                Horwitz was a fringe Super Rugby player.

                Horwitz was an early signing, and then Meakes, DHP and Debreczeni were all signed.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 3:14pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                So a Shute Shield 10 gets Super Rugby game time at 12 and fails to nail the position given competition for his spot from Kurtley Beale.

                The argument is then made that he has no rep experience at 10 so shouldn’t be trialled there?

                I’m not saying he would have shot the lights out but would think he deserved a look.

                Given Connaught have Bundee Aki and Kyle Godwin on the books it looks like he is going to get his shot at 10 – they are very unlikley to be looking at him for 12/13

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 3:40pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report


                A Shute Shield 10 only gets chances at 12 at Super Rugby level, then at NRC where these players do get their chances, not only doesn’t get time at 10, but in fact gets pushed to 13 so maybe he’s down the pecking order behind the guy that played 10 ahead of him, and a guy with about 50 caps of Super Rugby experience there.

                Horwitz didn’t even prove himself a Super Rugby player necessarily (I personally would have liked to see him over Meaks). Hodge on the other hand had proven himself as one.

                Why exactly would they go out on a limb to try him at 10 when no coach above Shute Shield has felt him worthy of playing there?

                The Eagles were playing Deegan and Adams ahead of him. And given the fact that Deegan only played about 3 games in his season at Connacht I wouldn’t call anything a foregone conclusion for Horwitz.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 4:25pm
                jeznez said | July 13th 2018 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                The lack of a single look is the head scratcher given the issues with Jack D, Hodge and all alternates.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 4:42pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 13th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                Not really.

                Hodge wasn’t even used there until Horwitz had left.

                Jack Debreczeni has played about 50 Super Rugby games at 10. Horwitz possibly hasn’t even played a single NRC game there and was considered behind Taylor Adams (an alternative) as a 10.

                Now it’s possible that Wessels was wrong. But then Darren Coleman would also be wrong.

              • Roar Guru

                July 14th 2018 @ 1:28pm
                jeznez said | July 14th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

                The same argument could have been used against Dan Palmer when he kept getting selected at loosehead for NSW – he’d only played TH at club level but never higher. All his initial selections for NSW were at LH until he eventually left the team to get a shot at his natural position with the Brumbies.

                Who knows what the reason Horwitz played 13 at NRC was?

                If they had two 10’s but no 13’s him playing the OC position doesn’t mean he wasn’t the stronger 10, it might just mean the other guy was incapable of playing 13 and there wasn’t much between them at 10.

                Maybe he was no chance of making it but to sign a bloke and then essentially offload him before the season starts when you had such a critical position undermanned strikes me as bizarre.

              • Roar Guru

                July 15th 2018 @ 10:28am
                Train Without A Station said | July 15th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

                I get your point Jez but Palmer was stuck behind the incumbent test THP at one place.

                Horwitz has been overlooked at 10 by Cheika, Gibson, Coleman and Wessels.

                Even when Foley was injured last year, Mack Mason was played at 10 ahead of Horwitz.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 1:04pm
        Cassandra said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

        Good call out CP. I’ve been really impressed with Hegarty this year and I don’t think he’s been getting the recognition he deserves.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 3:18pm
          TC said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:18pm | ! Report


      • July 13th 2018 @ 3:18pm
        TC said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        Ask yourself how many NZ teams Foley would play for compared to Kurtley. Once you’ve answered that, be happy Toomua is coming home.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 7:12pm
        riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

        cp.. the little i have seen of hegarty i like..

        let’s see how he develops..

        i also really liked jesse mogg.. but that didn’t quite pan out how i would have liked..

        definitely can see all 3 of foley/folau and beale going overseas after this wc..

        that will be a very big space for the tahs to fill..

      • July 15th 2018 @ 11:07am
        P2R2 said | July 15th 2018 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        .;..could’ve, should’ve, would’ve….but didn’t….old news now

    • July 13th 2018 @ 8:21am
      jimbo81 said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      Now Toomua is coming back, does Australian rugby need Bernard Foley any more?

      That final pass against Ireland was bread and butter stuff. Should have won the series. That’s the difference and I’m sick of losing winnable games.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 9:20am
        bigbaz said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        Foley is our worst ever regular 5/8, Toomua is not much better, rose glasses etc

        • July 13th 2018 @ 9:38am
          Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

          Toomua is more of a 12 than a flyhalf, but I think he would be a good foil for Beale. Straightens the attack, is a very good defender and has a good long pass (neither of which Foley or Beale have).

          He is definitely a better 12 than a 10 though.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 10:15am
            Cynical Play said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            Toomua can play 10.12.13 really. He’s going to be invaluable to Oz rugby next year. Great news.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 10:43am
              Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

              Can play… but will he? That’s the question… Will he supplant Foley at 10? Not under Cheika, I can’t imagine. Will he be selected at 12 instead of Beale? Can’t imagine that either… 13? Stretch.

              So he would be coming back for what?

              • July 13th 2018 @ 11:39am
                Cynical Play said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                doesn’t need to “supplant” but the WBs need a plan B with another 10-12 pairing that they can run if they need to. Pretty clear Foley, Beale are Cheikas Plan A 10-12, but an injury to either brings in to play a guy like Toomua in either position. The good thing about Toomua going to the Rebels is he can run at 10 with Genia and Meakes 9-10-12…

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:17pm
                Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                But then Cynical, why come home? I mean apart from Family… because it isn’t like he could be lured back with Wallabies… what? Squad membership? “If someone gets injured, you’ll be considered!”?

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:51pm
                jameswm said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                Hoy for starters, his wife lives in Australia.

                Secondly, you need 2-3 strong guys in every position. For starters he’s a perfect bench player, covering 10-12.

              • July 15th 2018 @ 9:12am
                Bakkies said | July 15th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

                If he misses being in Australia than why did he recently sign an extension at Leicester which puts them in a position where they are entitled to ask for compensation?

                The RA are also bringing back a player who is recovering from an injury, picked up an injury when he first arrived and is in his late 20s. Enough is enough. Come back when your contract is finished or stay overseas. Australian inside backs are leaving at a much younger age work on keeping them as we don’t need another Brock James or Paul Warwick players with strong kicking games which Foley doesn’t have and stay overseas for good. Jake McIntyre has improved in France in a team that doesn’t have a lot of big names and money.

            • July 13th 2018 @ 10:53am
              Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              I’d never really thought of him as an international outside centre, but who knows, maybe you’re right.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:20pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

                Toomua outside Foley and Beale is far too small IMO.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 12:27pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

                It could conceivably work if he was outside Kerevi, but yeah you don’t want him outside Foley and Beale.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 3:07pm
                Cynical Play said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                Toomua is a hybrid 12. Part 2nd 5/8, part Nonu. Depends who’s around him as to how he plays. He’s skilled and dogged

            • Roar Rookie

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:44pm
              Die hard said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              Can play ten, I agree. But not well enough I think. He has a better game to drive the team around the field but is not the runner that Foley is nor does he offer the experience of playing with beale that Foley has. Toomua always looked a little slow for the higher paced games but is steady in the wet or in a tighter game.

              So it is still a bit of a trade off.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 11:23am
            Markus said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            What are the criteria for a good flyhalf in Australia these days?
            I would think a good long pass, strong clearance kicking and ability to direct play over multiple phases would be bread and butter for a flyhalf, and put Toomua well ahead of Foley and Beale.
            The main aspect Toomua lacks of a conventional flyhalf is goal kicking (he was a strong goal kicker during schoolboy days but never seemed to kick on in his professional career).

            Perhaps defence has been so poor in our flyhalf options for so long that we immediately see anyone who can tackle as an inside centre instead.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:10pm
              PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              I would add a running threat to that criteria, otherwise all the defense has to do is cover the possible receivers.

              It was very noticable once QC was no longer such a running threat after his knee injury he was less effective overall, they focused on his targets.

              Foley is more of a running threat than Toomua.

              I would still prefer Toomua to Foley though.

              You would need to then start Hodge as the goal kicker.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

                Quade’s best period in gold was actually in 2013, after his knee injury and running game declined. He adjusted.

                He was just never able to recapture that 2013 form after more subsequent injuries, albeit he still played well for the Wallabies in 2016 I thought.

                Toomua also has a good running game. Remember, he is more naturally a 12 than a 10.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 12:38pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                The subsequent injuries reduced his willingness to offer a running threat i.e taking it to the line and taking the defence on but point taken.

                Agree Toomua has a good running game, Foley’s is better though.

                For balance and fairness I thought this important criteria was being left out or being overlooked because it was a Foley strength.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 12:53pm
                Markus said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                Running threat is good, my priority though would be a pass capable of properly utilising the other 4-5 running threats in the backline.
                With Cooper I wonder if he was still regaining confidence post-injury too. I know it is only club level but even with his pace gone he still looks a real threat with his step and offload.

                Hodge as goal kicker or Beale if Hodge cannot crack the XV. If Foley were kicking at +85% it may be a different story.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:25pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

                Hard to think of a top class 10 that is not a running threat considering preferred styles of attacking rugby in the backs.

                Sure forward dominated style teams have top class 10’s who are not running threats.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:27pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

                Sexton isn’t a massive running threat, neither was Carter in his latter years.

                As someone who is a better 12 than a 10 though I don’t think a lack of running game is Toomua’s issue. The issue with him at 10 was that he played it more like a 12, but Foley does that anyway.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 1:45pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

                Ireland use a forward based game not an attacking backline.

                Carter wasn’t as good once his running threat diminished.

                Toomua is a better choice than Foley at 10 but I don’t expect him to be anything but solid to good i.e a minor upgrade.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 2:37pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Carter’s 2015 RWC was one of the best ever performances by a flyhalf, surely. His QF performance against France has to be one of the best of all time in a dominant performance, he steered the ship perfectly against a committed Boks in poor weather in the SF kicking his goals and defending so that they won in another fantastic, but different, performance and in the final he was man of the match, putting in an unbelievably display in game management, kicking out of hand, goal kicking, drop goal kicking and in moving the team in attack.

                He was magical in that Rugby World Cup.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 2:52pm
                taylorman said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

                Yep, he…and Nonu were masterful from quarter to final. The french match was one of those rare complete team performances.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 3:41pm
                PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

                In general across all his games Carter was not as good in his last 3 years or so as prior to that, of course that is on average and doesn’t mean some very good games were not mixed in.

                If he offered more of a running threat in his latter years he would have offered more and been better over that time.

              • July 15th 2018 @ 10:40am
                zhenry said | July 15th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                Carter was chasing down intercept break outs, recently in France. He still had pace but his problem was injuries.

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 12:19pm
          PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

          Gits was a poor 10 for the wallabies, probably worse than Foley. A much better 12.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 12:28pm
            Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

            Giteau was a very good 10 for the Wallabies in 2008, he was world class that year. He was really poor in 2009, but was replaced in 2010. Generally though I think 2009 coincided with him declining overall as a player. I don’t really remember him playing a single really good game for the Wallabies in 2010-11….

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:39pm
              PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              Foley was a really good 10 for 2015.

              I did say probably a worse 10, it is close.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 12:58pm
                Markus said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Foley was a fantastic 10 for one game in 2015 (England) and good for 1-2 others.
                His best season by far and it still included him almost singlehandedly knocking us out of the World Cup in the QF.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:15pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                Foley was a really good 10 in 2015? You might want to go back and watch some more of the matches. He was actually really poor vs the All Blacks (interesting, both wins against the All Blacks we’ve had when Foley was at 10 were some of his poor performances vs them), kicked his goals but did little else against the Welsh in the RWC, was diabolical vs Scotland in the QF, was good vs Argentina in the SF and was just never in it vs Carter in the final.

                He really had 1 really good performance in 2015 from memory (I didn’t see the Test against the Boks, but I haven’t heard much about his performance vs them one way or the other).

      • Roar Guru

        July 13th 2018 @ 9:36am
        Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Oh dear… Foley is absolute rubbish eh!?!

        • July 13th 2018 @ 11:10am
          Reverse Wheel said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

          Yeah not much to agree with there. These Queenslanders who always complain that we all only focus on QC’s negatives then go and do exactly the same to Foley….

        • July 13th 2018 @ 2:40pm
          bigbaz said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          yep and you blokes know it.

    • Roar Guru

      July 13th 2018 @ 9:41am
      pformagg said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      The blue tinted glass is really showing on theroar.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 10:34am
        Cynical Play said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

    • Roar Guru

      July 13th 2018 @ 10:06am
      Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      The brutally reality here, I think, is what is Foley’s role? That’s the question… If Foley needs Beale for the Tahs attack to fire, what exactly is the point of Foley at all?
      The point of Foley can’t be his kicking for the line… it’s either too short, or not out for the opposition to run back.
      It can’t be his long passing… He doesn’t have a long passing game.
      It can’t be his tackling… He isn’t a brutal defender by any stretch.
      It can’t be his goal kicking, because he has short range, and when he has an off night, he really has an off night, not just missing 1 or 2…
      Foley IS good at support running, and every now and again, he has a game where he really takes on the line, and has good runs. But that isn’t every game. It is not even every other game… it is every now and again…

      Next, given that we have the above as our 10, with no challenge allowed/selected in the squad, what are RA doing? Where is our next boom youngster 5/8 being nutured? Our young forward stocks look pretty good at the moment… all are showing and delivering a fair bit of promise. But good, young 5/8s? Tumbleweeds…
      Yet League seems to have them coming from everywhere… did anyone catch the young 20 year old last week for Penrith? Not saying he is the next Thurston/Larkham, but that was his 2nd game, and what a game he had. Cleary? Very solid in all aspects of his game. Ponga? To me, he’s a real Larkham clone. Moves the same way, passes the same… RA really need to start doing something… Anything… Some recruitment perhaps… Some nurturing… or we are one injury away from what? Hodge as the 5/8 against the All Blacks? Boy.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 11:04am
        cinque said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        What are his roles?
        Assuming that was not rhetorical …

        He is a second playmaker. Good to have midfield options both sides
        He has a good long pass, not as long as QC but better than most.
        He converts 5 to 7 better than most in super rugby.
        His clearances and line kicks are not good but his attacking kicks are better.
        He straightens the attack, takes on the line, has good pace in support.
        His defence is a liability – misses a few and his successes allow easy offloads.

        It’s not his fault that the 10 cupboard is bare.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 11:08am
          Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

          The flyhalf is the ‘second playmaker’?

          His long pass isn’t good by the standards of flyhalves. His left to right long pass is awful.

          He does convert more than most other Aussie, he has been the best kicker this year in terms of guys that have taken a lot of kicks.

          His attacking kicks are extremely rare – are you going to cite his kick to Folau in June 2017? No way to get around the fact his kicking game is a glaring weakness.

          He does straighten the attack and take it to the line.

          Correct about his defence.

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 11:27am
            Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

            What I said was pretty harsh, but honestly, I don’t see what Foley’s role is. “Give it to Beale”?

            Cinque, you say he has a good long pass? It is slow and loopy… when he really tries to hoik it, it goes forward… Fionn, you think his left to right pass is no good? Those two horror forward passes last year were his right to left long balls…

            He can kick goals, just not from long distances. Not punishing distances anyway. If you give away a penalty against South Africa, or England, or Wales… you will be punished from just about anywhere inside your half. Can Foley kick past 40, out wide? Not that well.

            His attacking kicks can be good, except when he does dinky little chips to himself. Sure, his kick to Folau last year against Scotland was good. Should have been unnecessary, given there was only one Scottish player between the posts and the corner, and two Aussies there, he could have passed it, had he a long passing game. His grubber for Koribete against Ireland was a very good one.

            I see we will have Foley for a few years… I just don’t think he is great. I worry there is no-one else, either now, or being nurtured for the next level. That is crazy to me.

            • July 13th 2018 @ 11:56am
              Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

              I’d tried to block those passes from my memory.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 12:31pm
              PeterK said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

              Foley does have a good long straight pass. I have seen him execute a few times , out wide to the wing and a try is scored in the corner.

              There is ONE major caveat, only when he is stationary, he cannot pass long at all when running.

              So it is really only of use close to the tryline.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 1:00pm
                Markus said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Stationary or with a several metre run-up across field in the direction of the pass he is making.

      • Roar Guru

        July 13th 2018 @ 11:28am
        Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Sorry Hoy… but geez there’s some crock contained within your comment!

        As to Foley needing Beale… yeah, they’re both ‘flyhalves’?? First and second flyhalves eh.

        Granted his kicking for touch, and getting distance, is a shortcoming… pardon the pun.

        He does have a long pass, but he doesn’t use it all that often… could say he doesn’t need it that much with Beale there. Or Izzy. Or Big T. Or…

        ‘It can’t be his tackling…’ Wtf? He most definitely can tackle… and how many flyhalves are ‘brutal defenders’ in rugby anyway?

        This one is a peach… ‘It can’t be his goal kicking,..’ ! Have you looked at the current ‘Kicking strike rate SR 2018’? If not I suggest you do.

        Likewise, he does take on the line… but like most flyhalves though, if his pack ain’t going forward, he struggles like any flyhalf would.

        ‘… with no challenge allowed/selected in the squad…’ Give me a break… and, sadly, who else is there demanding the jersey?
        And, y’all bein’ Queenslander like, this comment just smacks of parochial bias. And further diminishes any creditability you might wish to bring to this discussion.

        As to the League question… like go figure, as League is the perfect place for a young, up and coming talent, as there’s oodles of opportunity for a gig at 9, 10 and 12 that could, otherwise, possibly get a gig in rugby, such are the limited numbers of teams and said opportunities in rugby. Could say that League is the perfect destination for this type of physique in a football player… more’s the pity for rugby as a whole unfortunately.

        Thanks Hoy!

        • July 13th 2018 @ 1:04pm
          HarryT said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          This twaddle about the length of his pass just detracts critics from his greatest asset, which is the quality of his service. His positioning from set plays and rucks, his gun barrel straight running that commits the cover defense and his refusal to pass if it means putting pressure on his outside men, has meant that Beale (and Kerevi) run onto the ball with pace and confidence. He has enabled Beale to reach his full potential, when many of us thought he would never fulfill his schoolboy promise.

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 1:06pm
          Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

          Machooka, I did preface it with a warning…

          Did Larkham need a “Second flyhalf? Before you say Horan, Horan was no “second flyhalf” he was an out and out 12. Did Merhtens? Carter? Wikonsen? I would rather a 10 that could play well without requiring a “second flyhalf”, particularly if most of the creativity came from the second 5/8, but that is just me. But then I have never actually understood what the point of a “second flyhalf” is… call me a traditionalist, but I would rather a good inside centre.

          I have looked at the kicking, and I say he can’t kick long penalties. Perhaps what I said was a bit harsh, as yes, he can kick, but his range is a bit tight… but then can a team carry a player just because he kicks goals and penalties? Maybe they can… It would be better if he could slot them from 40+.

          I did say he takes on the line. I said every now and again, like the English WC game, he really plays well. But I just think these games are maybe 1 a year? The rest of his games are serviceable.

          Sadly, no one else is currently demanding the jersey… that is my point about RA needing to pull their finger out… if all these young blokes are playing League, or in the league feeder system, what’s the difference? I mean yes… there are more clubs in league, more chances of a contract, but you are still a young up and comer, behind someone established. How are they all in League? What is RA doing about it? Do they even recognize our weakness in this position?

          I have made peace with Cooper not getting back to the Wallabies, if ever even Super level in Aus, but I will say that I think Foley has been a protected species. He makes as many errors as Cooper, yet Cooper was not selected last year… Previously Cooper had to suffer Foley at 12 getting in his way, and trying to take over… that was his trial run? Still Foley didn’t play that well, but Cooper was the one cut. Strangely that game back at 10 for Foley was probably his best game since the English WC game… Then last year Cheika decided that his 5/8 option would be… noone. Noone was the next best 10 to Foley? Hodge cannot seriously be considered a 10 option at international level. He had the option of bringing someone who actually played 10 at a sufficient level to see what they are like, but he didn’t. Beale maybe a good option, but I don’t think Cheika will do that, or he hasn’t yet has he?

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 1:32pm
            Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

            ‘Machooka, I did preface it with a warning… ‘ ???

            Alrighty then… and so did I somewhat.

            And… I also said ‘Thanks Hoy!’ to finish.

            Regardless… I still think it’s crock! 😉

            • July 13th 2018 @ 2:03pm
              Cynical Play said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

              Go hard Chook. Ball under the arm. Straight up the middle.You know you’re right. I know you’re right.

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 2:45pm
            Wal said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

            Picky I know but Merhts did play most of his career with a second 5,
            Aaron Mauger, Ieremia, Walter Little, Peta Alatini, were all similar style players to Beale with differing skills admittedly.
            Nonu changed the traditional pattern of NZ rugby of playing a 2nd 5/8 to an inside centre.

            Even for Carter, 20 tests were played with Mauger at 2nd5,
            Both work it just depends on your cattle.

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 3:07pm
            taylorman said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

            Carter started his AB career at 12 but no comparison with Horan.

            There are 10/12 type 12s and 12/13 type 12s.

            Carter, beale, farrell, foley etc are definitely the former. Horan, SBW, Crotty, Kerevi the latter. Rare to get across both.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 4:20pm
              Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

              Wal and Taylorman, I think we need to define what we think of a second 5/8 then… Somewhere along the line, Australia, in trying to copy the NZ 2nd 5/8 model, got it mixed up… it wasn’t like Mauger, Ieremia, Little, Alatini etc were in at 1st receiver like Beale is… So there is a dual playmaker role, and a traditional second 5/8 slash 12, which is essentially a running 12. Not a blockbuster 12 we see every now and again, but a bloke like those above, and Horan, Crotty, etc. Smart, running 12s. Beale is that, but doesn’t have the whole game (defense).

              But I don’t get the second playmaker model we keep trying to force the issue with… it hasn’t worked yet for us in regards to results… The number 12 being first receiver as often as the actual 10… What is that about? What is the point of them both? That is what I can’t figure out.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 3:20pm
            bigbaz said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

            funny, we tried to make Horan a 10 and it didn’t work , we rightly didn’t try it with Mortlock yet we are trying to turn Hodge , Hodge is not for turning!
            Gits was a 12, should never been put at 10 as is Toomua.
            Tens, whether runners or kickers have to be quicker between the ears rather than anywhere else and right now our only choice at 10 aint too quick.

            • July 13th 2018 @ 3:38pm
              Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

              Toomua played 10 at the Brumbies for years. Scott Allen thought he even did okay when playing at 10 for the Wallabies.

              ‘I don’t agree with the claim Toomua only got those starts to shield Quade Cooper – he deserved the first crack under McKenzie based on form.

              He played reasonably well in those two matches but didn’t really offer the spark McKenzie was looking for and was relegated to a bench role with Cooper given another opportunity.’


              Back in 2013 when Quade was playing well we had the option of looking for ‘spark’ at 10 (and he was given a steady hand at 12 outside of him with Lealiifano/Toomua. In 2018 we have spark at 12 with Beale, we need a steady hand at 10 inside of him, not another maverick.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 4:15pm
                Hoy said | July 13th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                I do actually agree with that last sentiment somewhat, but I still don’t think Foley is that person. I don’t think he is a good enough. 1 good match a year isn’t enough, even if his job is to just give it to Beale to do something with. He has the same error rate as Cooper, who everyone says was error prone… now again, I am not calling for Cooper to be reinstated, but just that if one is error prone, and doesn’t deserve a spot, the other can’t have the same spot either can he?

                IF (and I highly doubt he will get given a crack, but IF) , Toomua was that person to be the steadying hand, then I could possibly buy that, but I just don’t see Cheika picking him at all to see. It is Foley and daylight…

              • July 14th 2018 @ 11:28am
                Fionn said | July 14th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                I don’t think many people would describe Foley as a ‘steady hand’. A Barnes was a steady hand, but Foley isn’t that guy at all.

                Hopefully Cheika gives Toomua a few chances on the Spring Tour and hopefully he performs better than Foley and Cheika is forced to retain him there.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 2:54pm
          Adsa said | July 13th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report


          Yes your little blue buddy had a good game against England in 2015. Take a look at the results since the end of the RWC in 2015. Two home series defeats in June 2016 & 2018 with Foley running the show. We have gone from beating Scotland to being their bunnies and on a 50% win rate in tests. Cheika has installed Foley as an untouchable regardless of results. Foley is a sound Super rugby standard player but will rarely dominate at test level as he lacks the rounded skills required to achieve at this level.

          • Roar Guru

            July 13th 2018 @ 3:34pm
            Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            Ah Adsa

            .. and just like flies to shyte that get blown across the border you now buzzz in with ya ‘little blue buddy’ ‘untouchable’ rhetoric, no doubt hoping to inflame the show to go red, RED, RED whinge ffs!

            And to show what a total loose goose of comment this is… you then have the gall to blame Foley for da Wallaby and their 50% win rate in Test rugby??

            Back you go…


            • July 13th 2018 @ 7:27pm
              bigbaz said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

              You actually write like a chook

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2018 @ 7:53pm
                Machooka said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

                And ‘bigbaz’ you’re ambitions exceed your talent… you want more ??

              • July 14th 2018 @ 7:30am
                bigbaz said | July 14th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

                Your just being obtuse, you wrote after the Irish tests that we have problems at 9,10 and 8, so your just engaging in a red baiting exercise. That’s fine, we love feeding the chooks up here.

    • July 13th 2018 @ 4:45pm
      Val Saunders said | July 13th 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

      It just shows how desperate Oz rugby is for another No10 with the reaction to the news Toomua is returning. While he is playing great rugby most of it has been at 12 outside an international quality 10, George Ford. So Toomua’s return basically adds another 12 option where of course Beale plays which does nothing to solve Australia’s weakness in the No 10 position.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 5:45pm
        Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

        Most of Toomu’s rugby has been at 12, and outside George Ford?


        • July 13th 2018 @ 6:42pm
          riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

          same thing happened last year with cll when he was coming back..

          and also lance..

          always the same..

          • July 13th 2018 @ 6:47pm
            Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

            No one said it about Lance.

            I don’t think there’s much evidence Foleh is playing better than CLL other than goal kicking.

            • July 13th 2018 @ 7:01pm
              riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

              i remember a few people talking up lance as a possible oz 10..

              like they were for cll..

              funny thing was that for ulster cll was started at 10 in then moved to 12 and only played 40-50 mins per game.. he wasn’t subbed because of fitness nor health either..

              i am a big fan of the guy.. and i still believe we would have beaten the lions in that test if he wasn’t injured..

              i just don’t think he is all that good now.. he is definitely not a 10.. never really was..

              and his kicking has completely failed him..

              like my putting tends to do whenever it is needed..

              • July 13th 2018 @ 9:32pm
                Fionn said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

                He played at 10 mostly for Ulster.

                His goal-kicking has been poor, but I don’t see much evidence of him being inferior than Foley otherwise.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 9:37pm
                riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

                he didn’t fionn.. they started him at 10.. then he moved to 12..

                if you think cll and foley have been the same standard this year in super rugby then we really are watching different games mate..

              • July 14th 2018 @ 6:36am
                Fionn said | July 14th 2018 @ 6:36am | ! Report

                Actually, he played 10 at the start, 12 towards the middle and was at 10 again more towards the end.

                We definitely are, Riddler, because, as I’ve seen, there has not ever been a single match over the last three years in which you’ve admitted Foley has had a bad game. On his really really bad games you argue he had an average game, and in his average games you always say he played really well.

      • July 13th 2018 @ 7:13pm
        ForwardsWinMatches said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

        Val, do you seriously rate Ford as an “international quality 10”? Do you think Ford would do a better job at 10 for either the Tahs or Wallabies than Foley, all other things being equal?

        I don’t see it at all. Likewise Finn Russell and any others you throw into the mix, except perhaps Barrett. And I’m no mouthpiece for Foley. I actually think there is a lack of great talent at 10 globally.

        In the games where England (Ford/Farrell) have beaten Australia, it’s been domination up front which allows the Eng backs to score. If you’d give Foley a run at 10 for England (and Scotland) the margin might have been greater.

        • July 13th 2018 @ 7:18pm
          riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

          forwards win matches.. well put.. both your nickname and your comment..

          • July 13th 2018 @ 7:27pm
            ForwardsWinMatches said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

            Truth be told, I suspect Australia would benefit from a Ford/Farrell style 5/8 whilst England would benefit from a Foley style 5/8. But, neither is “better” than the other.

            • July 13th 2018 @ 7:40pm
              riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

              i think ford is now on the way out fwm…

              potentially can see farrell being the 10 going forward.. with cips on the pine to cover 10/12/15

              lets see how the autumn tests go up this way..

              • July 13th 2018 @ 8:24pm
                ForwardsWinMatches said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

                Ok, but swap Ford for any of the others in my comment/opinion. Cipriani is a bold move for England. Let’s see what happens.

              • July 13th 2018 @ 8:26pm
                riddler said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

                yep.. agreed

        • July 14th 2018 @ 7:42am
          Fionn said | July 14th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report


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