Beale news is yesterday's paper for Tahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Beale news is yesterday's paper for Tahs

Angela Habashy 15/04/2011 02:03:19 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Chris Hickey says the Waratahs can focus on on-field matters now that Kurtley Beale has settled his future with Melbourne.

The Waratahs take on a the Blues in their Super Rugby clash at Eden Park on Saturday and, with a glut of injuries, the last thing the team needs is to be distracted by the loss of Beale to the Rebels.

"It was probably more of a distraction before while he was making the decision," Hickey told AAP before boarding their flight to Auckland on Friday.

"Now he's made the decision, it's really just get on with business."

The Tahs head into the clash on the back of a three-match unbeaten streak and while their trans-Tasman rivals lead the head-to-head 9-6, NSW have beaten the Blues in their past three encounters,

But Hickey knows history doesn't count for much against an in-form Blues side on their home turf.

"Eden Park is a whole different story," he said.

"Every game is a stand alone game, so what's happened in the past doesn't help you too much.

"They've had a good season so far, they've started very well so this will be a big challenge for us over there."

Both the Blues and the Waratah are second in their respective conferences, with the Auckland-based franchise sitting one place higher on the overall table in fourth spot.

But the Blues, who have only lost once so far this season and boast a host of star players, will be the perfect litmus test for how Hickey's charges are travelling midway through the competition.

"We feel we've been making improvements in our game over the last three games and we have a bit of momentum," Hickey said.

"But we are going to have to be very accurate in how we execute our game plan and be very patient and make sure we play to our strategies for the full 80 minutes.

"They're a very dangerous team out of unstructured play so we've really got to control possession."

Both teams will be fielding depleted squads with the Blues missing a trio of senior players in prop Tony Woodcock, lock Ali Williams and flanker Daniel Braid, while the Tahs will be without regular skipper Phil Waugh, fellow loose forward Wycliff Paul and inside back Berrick Barnes.

Barnes' absence for a third successive game due to a head knock means Melbourne-bound fullback Beale will again operate at five-eighth.

But the Blues will be boosted with the return of All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino from a neck injury, while 19-year-old Tom Kingston will be making his Super Rugby debut for the Tahs.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news