Rugby World Cup 2019: Cheika hopeful over Beale fitness

By Peter Thompson 11 October 2019
Rugby World Cup 2019: Cheika hopeful over Beale fitness

Michael Cheika is hopeful Kurtley Beale will be fit for Australia's Rugby World Cup quarter-final after he suffered a head injury in the 27-8 win over Georgia on Friday.

Beale was withdrawn after only 13 minutes of the Wallabies' final Pool D match at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa due to a blow suffered in a tackle.

The full-back did not return after undergoing a head injury assessment, but Cheika is optimistic he did not do serious damage ahead of a last-eight encounter which will most likely be against England next Saturday.

"We'll go through the return to play protocols, we've got an eight-day turnaround so plenty of time for all that," said head coach Cheika.

"He's feeling good in the dressing room right now so that's good, we'll just take it as it comes."

Australia made hard work of securing a bonus-point win in testing conditions due to driving rain and wind, Jack Dempsey and Will Genia scoring late tries after Nic White grabbed the only five-pointer of the first half before a superb solo effort from Marika Koroibete.

Cheika warned his side they must be more clinical if they are to having any chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

"We're the lowest kicking team in international rugby, we like to keep the ball in hand, we knew the conditions were going to be tricky and I think we did drop a bit too much ball," he added

"We carried a bit too much ball on our chest and in the conditions that's going to happen and you are going to get more ball slipping out, it's not like they were clean drops.

"But I believe our carrying was strong, we just didn't have the finishing touch on a lot of stuff. So we'll definitely need to put that on and we'll be ready to take the opportunities next week."

Australia will face France in the last eight if Uruguay claim an unlikely victory over Wales on Sunday.

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