Toomua pushing Beale, Foley to be their best

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Matt Toomua's Wallabies return has pushed Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley to be better playmakers, according to the new Wallabies No. 10.

Beale and Toomua linked up as Australia's 10-12 combination for the first time since the Ewen McKenzie era on Saturday, steering the Wallabies to a much-needed 23-18 victory.

A win is a win but Beale is the first to admit there is plenty of work to be done to make the playmaking combination sing ahead of a showdown with the Pumas.

"It was obviously challenging but it's always an exciting challenge," Beale said on Monday.

"I don't think the dewy conditions helped with ball in hand tactics but I think our forwards did a really good job of dominating up front and making things a lot easier once we did get that ball out wide.

"I'm really enjoying it and obviously there is a fair bit to work on.

"I'm working on that combination with Matt Toomua and the rest of the playmakers - I'm sure there will be a lot of work on that through the week."Kurtley Beale was solid in his first start at flyhalf for the season. Photo: Getty ImagesToomua's stout defence in the middle of the field shone on Saturday and his smooth action off the kicking tee was also a comforting sight.

He slotted four from five in that department and while he did not stamp himself on the game in attack, his presence is a welcome addition among a playmaking core which has remained relatively stationary since the 2015 World Cup.

"He's obviously a quality player and having him there has created a lot of healthy competition among the playmakers," Beale said of Toomua.

"We haven't had that for a while - probably not since Matt Giteau left - but once you have that competition there you get the better out of each other.

"It's certainly good for the group."

The competition the 29-year-old speaks of pushed long-time flyhalf Bernard Foley out of the starting XV for the first time in four years.

Beale said that had not changed Foley's demeanour ahead of the win against South Africa.Bernard Foley came off the bench against South Africa. Photo: Getty Images"Bernard has been great around the group and he took it really well. He's definitely the same guy as he was when he was wearing the No. 10 there," Beale said.

"Nothing really changed for him. That's the quality of player and person that he is.

"He does a lot of work behind the scenes helping myself and Matty going into last week's game and having him there to help here and there certainly helped.

"He has taken it really well and he's a tough, resilient guy. He will bounce back in no time."

Australia's attention now shifts to Saturday's clash with Argentina and one area the Wallabies must address is their ability to turn pressure into points in the opposition's red zone.

"I really want to commend the forwards for doing their part in the game," Beale said.

"I think they certainly brought the physicality and the dominant carries which sucked the defence in but when the opportunity was there to go out the back we took it - we just couldn't capitalise.

"Certainly there is a responsibility on the playmakers and the outside backs to put ourselves in good positions with good depth to be able to finish those plays."

The Wallabies face the Pumas at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday, kicking off at 8pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and RUGBY.com.au radio. Buy tickets here.