Hurricanes ready for Beale at his best

Cathy Walshe, NZ Newswire May 25, 2012, 5:04 am

From coach Mark Hammett through to captain Conrad Smith and first five-eighth Beauden Barrett, the Hurricanes are well aware of the threat posed by Melbourne Rebels playmaker Kurtley Beale.

The Australian international has been particularly impressive over the last two weeks, as the Rebels hit their straps with back-to-back wins over the Crusaders and Western Force.

The Hurricanes are hunting a win after last week's 25-37 loss to the Brumbies, and have targeted the Rebels at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday.

Hammett says they'll need to shut down the elusive Beale to have any chance of picking up their seventh win of the season.

"If we let him run, and let him do his thing, if we don't keep pushing up on the insides, we'll get burnt big-time because he's outstanding," he said.

"The challenge is if we can get on him, we do shut that down and it will be advantageous to us in terms of putting pressure on them."

Smith says Beale's influence is indisputable, and the Hurricanes will have to keep him in check for a full 80 minutes to have any chance of taking the win.

"We know how dangerous they can be... They've got some pretty crucial individuals who are world class, particularly with the way Kurtley's playing at No.10.

"We're alert, we're aware of that and it keeps us on our toes."

Lining up opposite Beale at pivot, 20-year-old Barrett is expecting big things from the often unpredictable Rebels and Beale.

"He's a great player - he plays an expansive game, he's real sharp on his feet and he's got a good kicking game," Barrett said.

"He'll take it to the line, and he's got a good flat passing game. He's got everything... I'm going to have to be on my toes, and so is the inside defence."

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