Crusaders prop Joe Moody elbows Kurtley Beale.
Crusaders prop Joe Moody elbows Kurtley Beale.

Beale’s honourable act after Moody dog shot

KURTLEY Beale says he never contemplated laying down to get a foul play review after being elbowed by Crusaders prop Joe Moody and, with the Highlanders next up, the Waratahs have also moved on quickly from the refereeing drama in Christchurch.

Beale was the man in the middle of the major talking point from the Waratahs' two-point loss in Christchurch, which saw Moody banned for two matches for striking the NSW centre in the throat off the ball, just prior to scoring a try.

Moody's cheap shot was enough for him to be sent off but it was missed by referee Ben O'Keefe, the touch judges and the TMO.

Crusaders prop Joe Moody elbows Kurtley Beale.
Crusaders prop Joe Moody elbows Kurtley Beale.

It's increasingly common these days for players to deliberately stay down for treatment after being the subject of suspected foul play, creating time for the host broadcaster to show a replay and for the TMO to inform the ref.

But Beale picked himself up after the Moody hit and the game moved on.

Asked if he'd considered staying down to force a review, Beale said: "No, not at all. Obviously you just have to back whatever the call is."

"We get coached to not worry too much about the outcome of the decision of the referee. It's important to make sure you worry about what you can control out there in a game," he continued.

 

"As a player it is important to just try and move onto the next job. They scored the try and my focus was getting back to the team and listening to the calls for what the next play was.

"You don't really think about that stuff (staying down) and once it's out of your hands, you're wasting your energy."

Beale's action, while honourable, is also arguably evidence for those who say Australians have to wise up on the gamesmanship front. High-profile Kiwi players have stayed down several times this season.

Beale dead-batted the gamesmanship debate too, however, and said players aren't fussed about neutral refs. Indeed, there has been zero interest at the Waratahs on wasting any time on refereeing chat this week.

Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley at Waratahs training in their club jerseys.
Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley at Waratahs training in their club jerseys.

"If you get too caught up in that stuff, you lose focus," Beale said.

"As a squad I don't think we have been caught up in it. Which is a really good sign of the maturity in the group. The matter has been dealt with now and the shift in focus is onto the Highlanders this week."

The Moody news came too late but a bit of belated fortune may come for the Waratahs in the mooted absence of star Highlanders No.15 Ben Smith.

Beale said the Waratahs had let themselves down in Christchurch by allowing the pressure to come off the Crusaders and with ineffective game management.

"But I feel like as a group we are not that far away. That's the mindset we have to have each week, and it's as simple as that," Beale said.

Kurtley Beale says the Waratahs are focused on the Highlanders.
Kurtley Beale says the Waratahs are focused on the Highlanders.

"You try and look at those games as a positive.

"For the group we have, it is a great learning curve, to be in those tough situations. A lot of calls were big in changing the momentum of the game. It is a matter of how we deal with that momentum shift, and staying in the fight. That's a huge learning curve.

"For two weeks in a row, we have been a fingernail away from two good victories. There is a lot of character being shown in the group, and a lot of improvements from last year's team.

"We are taking small steps ahead and although we are disappointed with the result and it hurts, I think there are a lot of positives that you can keep building on."



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