Beale hardly five-star but switch shows promise
KURTLEY Beale's first Test at five-eighth since 2014 was not five-star because he had so much less room to operate in - but the experiment will continue.
Saturday night's tough battle of wills against South Africa at Suncorp Stadium was a true glimpse into the shake-up's potential and limitations.
The overwhelming feeling was that Beale has much more of a license to roam, snipe and link in broken play when employed at inside centre.
As a Test No.10, he may get more touches but at such close quarters on Saturday night all his quick-stepping darts at the defence were corralled and he doesn't yet show an instinctive understanding with new inside centre Matt Toomua.
The upbeat side was Beale being so into the game, so engaged with driving his team and the pushing the mood to fight in every minute of a Test that could so easily have slipped away in difficult, wet conditions.
Beale's best moment with the ball came in the opening raid for the try in the second minute with a lovely one-handed loop pass when he stood at inside centre outside Toomua.
A lovely dabbed kick for a 30m ground-gain settled things nicely too when the Wallabies were under fire.
Coach Michael Cheika is certain to give the Beale-Toomua combination another run against Argentina at CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast next Saturday night.
The value that Bernard Foley still brings was utilised as a "closer."
Foley played the final 20 minutes in his old spot while Beale shuffled to fullback.
Young winger Jack Maddocks has many attributes. He has a big boot, he chases, he is ferocious low tackler and he has a sense to support.
On Saturday night, he got close to the tryline three times and there was a hint that power is one thing he still has to build because he was knocked over just short on one occasion when more force might have got him there.
Defence was heavily criticised against the All Blacks when they ran in 12 tries in two Tests, but the scramble and first-up tackle was decisive against the Springboks.
Credit to Australia's locks Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda and Rob Simmons because they stood up against formidable Bok opponents while visiting skipper Siya Kolisi was the most damaging backrow runner on the field.
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