Kiwi coach keen to re­place Beale

The Dominion Post - - Sport - DAVID LONG

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.’’

PHO­TOS: GETTY IM­AGES

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.

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