McKenzie: Kurtley Beale Will Remain at Fly-Half
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | August 19, 2014 1:40 PM EST
After all the speculation on who will start at fly-half for the Wallabies for the second leg of the Bledisloe Cup, Australia coach Ewen McKenzie is not heeding the "court of public opinion" and is sticking with his guns.
Kurtley Beale, who was instrumental in Sydney stalemate last Saturday, will remain at the five-eighth position despite numerous calls to replace him with battle tested Bernard Foley. Radio NZ reports that McKenzie made a tough call but was optimistic of the progress made of his squad when they were almost able to defeat the All Blacks. Beale had his imprint on the game kicking in all of the Wallabies' points and will be relied upon by the team to end the 28-year drought against New Zealand this weekend.
"We were impressed with the pressure we were able to apply in the opening Test and, despite some errors, were pleased with the intent of the group to continue attacking despite the poor weather conditions," McKenzie said on Tuesday per Yahoo Sports.
He will be going with the same 23-man squad from tie last game and believes that they have built up some confidence from the tied game they produced last game. They had two opportunities to break away from the All Blacks but fullback Israel Folau and rookie hooker Nathan Charles both dropped the ball in two scoring opportunities.
Australia has not tasted any success against New Zealand and is hoping that the team's fortunes will be reversed and stop the 14-Test run of the All Blacks at Eden Park, Saturday. However, the last time they won at that venue dates back to 1986 while the All Blacks have a remarkable 20-year run of wins and 32 Tests at Eden Park.
"Recent results would suggest Eden Park hasn't been a happy place for Australia and already this week we've seen that not many people are giving us a chance in Auckland," McKenzie said.
Lineups for the Wallabies:
Israel Folau, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne, Kurtley Beale, Nic White, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper (capt), Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Sam Carter, Sekope Kepu, Nathan Charles, James Slipper. Reserves: James Hanson, Pek Cowan, Ben Alexander, Will Skelton, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Tevita Kuridrani.
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