Dark night at Eden Park can have a silver lining for Wallabies, says Beale

Rugby World Cup
by Iain Payten

Kurtley Beale says he will work hard to ensure his mistake-riddled game at Eden Park won’t be repeated at the World Cup, and believes the heavy loss may end up being a “good thing” for the team.

Beale had a forgettable night at the office in Auckland, with several costly errors in the 36-0 defeat.

After an electric performance in game one in Perth, the Wallabies fullback coughed up five turnovers and missed several tackles. Several of the mistakes led to New Zealand scoring points.

Speaking at the Foxtel launch for their Rugby World Cup coverage, Beale fronted up and owned the performance and said the disappointment and hurt of the night would drive him, and the team, to prevent similar outcomes at the World Cup.  

"I know there was a few errors there from myself, with the box kicks and the wet weather footy, forcing passes,” Beale said.

"There are a few little adjustments there that could have happened throughout the game, reflecting on it now. 

"Again, as a player you just have to make sure you keep building on those things and make sure that you understand about the mistakes and how that can have an impact on the game.

"I feel like I have a good understanding of that now and along with my teammates I will make sure I keep working hard on those small little errors and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

"We knew they were going to bring it to us and they certainly did that. It still hurts, the result, but there are a few lessons that we can take from that game and make sure we can keep building on that, throughout the World Cup.”

The cold light of a video review will show the All Blacks exercising their ability in punishing a rival for making mistakes, said Beale.

"They just capitalised on those errors and turned them into points, it is as simple as that,” Beale said. 

"They’re a very effective team like that and once they get a good lead, as the opposition you tend to internalise and there were times there where we brought ourselves back into the game but probably left it a bit too late to be able to connect and make the most of those opportunities.

"Again they’re all learning curves for us and as players and coaches, we all understand that and we will be working on that over the next few weeks."

Beale didn’t try to spin the heavy loss as inconsequential, saying it “definitely” scraped off a bit of the Wallabies’ confidence.

“But I think the challenge is to make sure that it doesn’t affect how you approach games in the future and your preparations in the next few weeks. It is important that we get around each other, stay tight and keep believing and pushing each other to be better,” Beale said.

"That has always been a bit of a mindset under Cheik."

The rollercoaster fortnight of Perth and Auckland saw the Wallabies being initially feted worldwide as a returning force, before dropping back off again sharply due to the Eden Park dusting from New Zealand.

There are upsides and, evidently, downsides to playing the All Blacks as often as Australia and Beale is a firm believer in the former.

"Over the last two games against the ABs, there is so much that we can take from that and it’s only going to help our confidence,” Beale said.

"Although the result didn’t go our way, again, we are playing the best team in the world and they are certainly giving us the ability to look at the areas we need to work on. 

"And then make sure when we get to the World Cup, we have experienced those weaknesses and we are making sure that we don’t put ourselves in that position in the future. It is probably a good thing for us and we will make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Wallabies open their Rugby World Cup campaign on Saturday September 21 against Fiji at the Sapporo Dome, kicking off at 2:15pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel.