Beale lauds ‘classy’ Steyn

2011-08-11 00:00

DURBAN — Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale isn’t expecting Frans Steyn, his likely opposite number in the Castle Tri-Nations Test here on Saturday, to be short of the proverbial gallop when they come up against each other.

There is a school of thought that Steyn, the single-minded Racing Metro player, may take some time to re-adapt to the pace and cutting edge of Test rugby after his recent experiences mostly in the French club environment.

But Beale, who joins the Melbourne Rebels from the Waratahs for the 2012 campaign, doesn’t subscribe to that theory.

“He’s a classy player, mate. Very dangerous at the back,” said Beale.

“He has a very good kicking game and we in the [Wallaby] back three will have to be very aware of what he can do in that regard.

“You can’t make the mistake of disrespecting any player operating at this level, or they’ll end up getting at you in some way. He’s a great player and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The 22-year-old Beale, who shares many of Steyn’s characteristics — like versatility in the backline, a penchant for acting on instinct at times instead of rigidly sticking to the script, and competence off the place-kicking tee — had the less experienced Gio Aplon as his rival in the No 15 jersey when the teams met in Sydney recently and Australia comfortably beat the visitors’ controversial “B-team” 39-20.

And he hinted that the Aussies will not necessary tone down their fluid, attacking game just because they’re likelier to come up against a more street-wise and defensively less naive Bok side this weekend.

“You’ve got to pay a lot of respect to whoever your opponents put out on the paddock, but at the same time we’re going to be very confident in backing ourselves…

“We’ve got to turn up this week. We want to turn things around very quickly [after the defeat to the All Blacks in Auckland] and there’s a great opportunity to do it at Kings Park.”

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