Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is feeling the pressure of delivering after the opening game draw against the All Blacks last Saturday. This makes the next game at Auckland a must win and again focus is on the spot given to Kurtley Beale who started ahead of NSW Waratahs teammate Bernard Foley.
According to Yahoo! Sports, this is a controversial talking point as it was actually Kurtley Beale who poured in all of the points of the Wallabees in the 12-12 stand-off. The question remains if he will retain his five-eight spot in front of Foley. Beale is considered by many to be a player who banks in on his confidence while Foley is more of a composed playmaker. McKenzie will be hard pressed to choose among the two playmakers in the must-win game Saturday.
The pressured coach will have to make the announcement soon of the line-up for the forthcoming match and had made no assurances that Beale will stay on the starting spot. The five-eight struggled to handle the ball in the previous outing and there is a so-called "court of public opinion" demanding for he relegation to the bench spot. McKenzie will not succumb to such external pressure.
"The more changes you make, the more combinations you put at risk," McKenzie said. "We've been working for a couple of weeks now and changes we make will be based on the tactical side of it, because the injury side of it looks okay."
He wants to remove emotions from choosing the squad to field in Saturday and knows that he cannot please everybody. While Beale was hardly perfect on the previous outing, not all blame can be passed on to the controversial player. Fullback Israel Folau and neophyte hooker Nathan Charles dropped the ball on two scoring opportunities for the Australian team who could have secured the home win in those tries.
Right now all that McKenzie is focusing on is reviewing the tape and make the necessary adjustments to force the series and put an end to the dominance of the All Blacks.
"You have to pore over the video and actually look at what happened," McKenzie said.
To watch the highlights of Beale's performance Saturday watch below:
(Video Courtesy of: Youtube/NZAUTV Rugby Union)