Kiwi coach keen to replace Beale
Kiwis management will explore who they can bring into the squad as a replacement for Gerard Beale.
The centre broke his tibia and fibula in Saturday night’s 38-8 World Cup win over Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium.
He underwent surgery yesterday and it’s unknown whether he’ll be available for the Warriors at the beginning of the 2018 NRL season.
The Kiwis are seeking clarification from cup organisers over whether they can bring someone into their 24-man squad as a replacement.
‘‘We thought we could bring someone in, but we have to follow up on that process,’’ Kidwell said. ‘‘Two people we’ve got in the squad, Dean Whare and Peta Hiku, are pretty good replacements at centre.’’
Kidwell said they also needed to check what the regulations are around whether a player coming in has to play in the same position as the injured one, although it’s likely they will look for another centre.
Who they’re looking at hasn’t been revealed, but Kidwell said they did put players on standby before the World Cup began.
Initial replays of what happened to Beale didn’t show how the double fracture happened, as he was just running along untouched when he collapsed during the second half.
However, Kidwell felt the problem occurred before he hit the deck.
‘‘He did a trysaving tackle on the goal line, he was limping and we checked him out,’’ Kidwell said. ‘‘They said it was a haemotoma on his leg. There was the scrum, he went to take off and broke his leg.’’
As for the match, it was a good starting point for the Kiwis, who chose not to have a warmup game, but Kidwell knows there’s plenty of room for improvement.
‘‘My energy is around the players at the moment, making sure they’re all right and in a good space,’’ he said ... ‘‘talking about the little things we need to make better and then moving on to our next camp, down in Christchurch [to play Scotland on Saturday].
‘‘We’re building,’’ he added. ‘‘A lot of guys hadn’t played for a while, we’ve got to find that balance with the Kiwi style, of being smart and tough.
‘‘There were a couple crucial errors, but we’ll be better as we get fitter and go through the tournament.’’
Thankfully, there hasn’t been a repeat of the post-match misbehaviour which occurred after the Anzac Test in Canberra.
The team didn’t leave the stadium until around midnight, held up because Samoa took so long to come out of the sheds to do their press conference.
When the Kiwis got back to their hotel, they kept things lowkey.
‘‘We were very grounded, we stayed in and had a feed,’’ Kidwell said.
‘‘A lot of guys went to bed early. It was a late game and it was good to see some family at breakfast in the morning.
‘‘One of things with the Kiwi family is that with late games, guys have got young kids, so we bring them in for breakfast.’’
Gerard Beale’s World Cup was over almost before it started after suffering a serious league injury during the Kiwis’ opening win over Samoa in Auckland on Saturday.