Rebels coach says Waratahs have the goods
March 22, 2014
The New South Wales Waratahs put in a powerful second-half display to earn a bonus-point win (video available in Australia only)
After watching Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau put his side to the sword, Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan is convinced the Waratahs have what it takes to finally break their Super Rugby title drought.
With Beale laying on three tries against his old club - and serving up a double on a platter for Folau - the Waratahs buried the Rebels 32-8 on Friday night with their third bonus-point win from four starts in 2014.
All business, Beale said there was no time to celebrate regaining the Weary Dunlop Shield, with the Waratahs setting off for South Africa early on Saturday morning intent on making a statement next weekend against the table-topping Sharks.
"They're a great team. They're probably one of my top teams in the comp," said the midfield maestro. "But if we can maintain what we produced in the second half [against the Rebels] and improve on that physical dominance, because that's one of the key factors playing against the Sharks, we can play really well in Durban. We've just got to recover. That will be my main focus, just getting the body right."
McGahan has no doubt the Waratahs have the strike power to compete with the Sharks and the competition's other heavyweights. The way the Waratahs seized control around the hour mark was "the sign of a really good team".
"It's only still really early but they certainly have the ingredients," McGahan said. "They have really good depth. Just going through their program, 19 international players, I think, on their books. So once you've got that depth and you get a few key injuries, that's really a key in this competition."
Most importantly, McGahan sees in Beale, five-eighth Bernard Foley and fullback Folau the attacking arsenal to help the Waratahs claim their first Super championship after 18 years of trying.
"They're a bit different to other sides. They've got a little bit of grinding element in the forwards but they've got that x-factor," said McGahan. "As you saw against us, there's nothing really on but they can turn that into a try."
A fullback or five-eighth for the Wallabies, Beale said he was starting to feel at home playing with a roving commission at inside centre for the Tahs.
"It all comes down to I know other people's roles and they're knowing my roles and it's just making it easier to fit in," he said. "Collectively, it's just working for us."
Beale's head-to-head showdown with Springboks star Frans Steyn looms as potentially decisive at Kings Park.
"He's a big boy," Beale said. "Obviously a talented player. Their backline is a pretty skilful backline with a lot of speed out wide."
Communication error please reload the page.
George Coetzee and Tommy Fleetwood remained in contention to secure a place in the Masters as Andy Sullivan, Alexander Levy, Marcel Siem and Ross Fisher all missed out in Morocco
Andy Murray made a solid start in his quest for a third Miami Open title as he dispatched Donald Young to reach the third round in Florida
Kevin De Bruyne would consider a move back to Chelsea despite barely featuring in his time at Stamford Bridge, sources told ESPN
Daley Blind believes moving to Manchester United and competing in the Premier League has helped him to grow as a player
Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from the China Open for undisclosed "health reasons", World Snooker has announced
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Tiger Woods is confident of recovering from a poor run of form to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team in 2016, according to captain Davis Love III
Jonas Gutierrez has told Canal+ he will never forgive Newcastle for the way the club treated him during his battle with cancer, but wants to stay at St James' Park beyond this summer
Lionel Messi earned more than €1 million (£740,000) a week last year to make him the world's highest-paid player and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the best-paid coach, according to a new survey
Andy Murray has expressed fears that his game will regress without full-time coaching in a candid exchange with a fellow Twitter user as he prepares to add former world No.4 Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team
Luis Suarez has laughed off the idea that the Barcelona players have set out to help Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo to La Liga's top scorer award
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?