Did Beale cost Rebels boss his job?

Tue, 09 Jul 2013 09:32
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Sacked Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill said off-field issues with players including Wallaby Kurtley Beale were a "major factor" in his dumping.

Sacked Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill said off-field issues with players including Wallaby Kurtley Beale were a "major factor" in his dumping for ex-Munster chief Tony McGahan on Tuesday.

Hill was dropped from the struggling Super Rugby side this week and McGahan appointed in his place following a disappointing season in which the Australian side won just four games, with one match left before the play-offs.

The Rebels' tour of South Africa was marred by an alcohol-fuelled clash in which captain Gareth Delve was punched by Beale, who was sent home in disgrace and later checked himself into rehab for a drinking problem.

"It probably was a major factor," Hill said of the incident's link to his sacking.

"The behaviours of the playing group on and off the field, someone has to be held accountable and in sport that's the head coach."

Though he regretted the event, Hill said it "really did tighten the group up and through that sort of adversity you get a better group of people and that's what happened".

"The performances we put on the paddock over that six-week or seven-week period would have us sitting fifth on the ladder now," he said.

"We had an excellent back half of the season and I can really see promising things happening for next year as well, so not to be a part of it is disappointing."

The Rebels also announced this week that they were parting ways with Wallaby flyhalf James O'Connor, who - along with Beale - courted controversy during the British and Irish Lions tour after being photographed in a fast-food restaurant at 4:00 am.

Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham said the club felt it was time to "start afresh" with a crop of promising new young players, hinting at a personality clash with the brash 22-year-old.

"It was more a selection issue and how the club felt he fitted into the team dynamic," said Higginbotham, adding that he was an "outstanding player" and "no one questions his playing ability".

Higginbotham, who sat out the Lions tour due to injury, said the Rebels were still keen to hold onto Beale, who has been linked to the Waratahs.

"He's a great team player and the rest of the playing group really do enjoy and love playing with him," he said.

"If he sorts out those off-field issues, then there is no issue with him."

AFP

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Fri, 26 August 2016
Pumas v Griquas 35 | 41
Golden Lions v Boland 60 | 12
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
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Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
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Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
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Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
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Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
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Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9