Kurtley Beale, whilst never quite delivering at 10, has brought a passing game to 12 that has drawn out the best in Bernard Foley. Beale has allowed Foley to concentrate on the basics of the outside half position, safe in the knowledge he has options outside him. Foley’s solid game management has in turn allowed Beale to float, do what he does best and open defence’s with clever runs and big drifting passes that bring runners into the gap.
Previously we looked at Foley’s try in the Super 15 semi final (here), but in the June test series against France two tries really caught my attention. Nick Cummins and Kurtley Beale’s in the first test.
Cummins try was exceptional for it’s complexity, a strike move with runners coming from everywhere. Beales try on the other hand particularly stood out for a couple of reasons. The first Beale’s excellent pass, the second his support running, but also the fact that all the dummy runners in the first wave are forwards who seamlessly interlink and hold the French defence enough to create the opportunity for Kuridrani to make the break.
Beale works well when he’s allowed to pull a defence where he wants them to go, at 12 there is less need for him to hold the defenders and he can identify the space and exploit it and he does this perfectly here.
It’s also worth noting that the try comes from a turnover by way of a poor kick from France, who sinfully surrender valuable possession not once but twice in the whole sequence without ever relieving the pressure being placed on them. The difference in work rates from the two teams is also quite telling and something I believe really illustrates the different mindsets the two teams took onto the field.