Beale reveals Wallabies Test tactics
STAR playmaker Kurtley Beale says the Wallabies will persevere with their cross-kicking tactics in Melbourne after they produced mixed results in the first Test win over Ireland in Brisbane.
Australia coach Michael Cheika played a few mind games during the build-up to the 18-9 win at Suncorp Stadium, stating that his side would continue its usual run-at-all-costs approach.
But that proved to be a bit of a bluff as Bernard Foley directed an array of cross kicks to fullback Israel Folau and winger Dane Haylett-Petty - often from within the Wallabies' own half as exit plays.
Interestingly, Cheika hinted afterwards that he'd prefer more running rugby, while captain Michael Hooper said pre-game that the coaching staff had allowed the senior players significant input into the tactical plan.
"The strategy group got together and came up with a really good plan," said Beale, one of the Wallabies' best on the night.
"Obviously (backs coach) Bernie Larkham has a bit of a say with Bernard and there's a group that gets together to try and come up with a good plan to take on Ireland.
"The Irish are one of the best defensive teams in the world and for us to break that and exit well after points was crucial for us to keep building momentum in the game and releasing pressure.
"The intention of sticking to the gameplan with those kicks was good but sometimes some of the execution was a bit inconsistent.
"Using Izzy and Dane, two of the best in the world at aerial catching, it's good to use that as a strength and release pressure coming out of our end."
The win was an important stake in the ground for Australia, the world's No.4 team, against No.2 Ireland who are also Six Nations grand slam champions.
They gain an extra dimension with the return from sabbatical of outstanding flanker David Pocock and Beale was left as much in awe as the 46,273 fans in the stands.
"Poey's a special player, it's like he never left the gold jersey which is a credit to him," Beale said.
"He has a huge influence on the team and certainly picks up guys to go that extra level.
"A great player that everyone enjoys playing with.
"The quality of Dave, a player like that never loses his touch for the game.
"It's great to see him back in a gold jersey.
"He's a player of influence and to have him and Michael there in the back row, leading us forward, it's great for us as a group to follow those guys because they always lead by example and play with their heart on their sleeve."
Beale also lauded the desperate cover defence of wingers Haylett-Petty and Marika Koroibete to deny rampaging Ireland No.8 CJ Stander a try in the 43rd minute.
The inside centre made his own crunching hits throughout the tense Test, an area of his game that has developed markedly in the last two seasons.
"When you're playing in the Wallaby jersey, you've got to step out of your skin a bit," Beale said.
"That was massive, a key moment in the game.
"Physicality at this level is so important and it was great to see our guys start from the get go and really put our bodies on the line and turn up in defence.
"That allowed us to get into the game and play how we wanted to play.
"That needs to be continued."
It's hard to overstate the importance of that Wallabies performance in Brisbane.
With just six days preparation, against a top class side, it was never going to be perfect.
But it was committed, passionate and inventive, all qualities they'll need to repeat in Melbourne as they try to transition from a mercurial rugby side to a consistently good one.
After some horrible lows for the code over the last two seasons, there is still an appetite in Australia for good rugby.
"We're aware that if we win the way we did we'll start to get that support back," Beale said.
"And we've got all the confidence in the world that if we keep backing each other and working hard we'll slowly get back the support we need and we deserve.
"But a lot of hard work to go.
"Will Genia got us together after the game to make sure that we enjoy the win but quickly switch on to Melbourne to get the job done there."
Cheika is in a three leg chess match with Ireland gaffer Joe Schmidt, who is expected to recall key men like Johnny Sexton, Dan Leavy and Tadhg Furlong in Melbourne.
"They're No.2 in the world for a reason and their smarts, I'm sure they'll come up with a strategy there," Beale said.
"Likewise with us, we've got a lot of homework to do.
"A few errors cost us tries in important moments and allowed Ireland to get back in the game.
"I thought (Joey) Carbery had a good game but Sexton is obviously a key player for them.
"He has been for many years so whatever they go with they'll come back with a good gameplan."