Lam: Beale has the X Factor
Blues coach wary of Waratahs playmaker
Last Updated: 22/06/11 8:18am
Lam: Impressed by Kurtley Beale
Blues coach Pat Lam risks upsetting his kids by knocking out the Waratahs in the Super Rugby play-offs on Friday.
The Blues will take on the Australians at Eden Park for a place in the semi-finals, having ended a four-match losing streak with victory over the Highlanders.
However Lam knows the Waratahs will pose a substantial threat to his side's hopes.
And although the New South Wales franchise have been hit by injury, they will still have the dangerous Kurtley Beale in their line-up - with Lam's children a big fan of the Australia full-back.
"He's X factor," said Lam. "He's a quality player, my kids like him. They were pretty annoyed we were playing the Waratahs because they like Kurtley Beale.
"At 10 or 15 he's got to be a threat and he'll run the game for them and he's a dangerous player who will have to shut down."
Lam believes the Blues can put their end-of-season woes behind them to kick-on in the play-offs - with the win over the Highlanders a big plus for his side.
"In last week's game we stepped up there. There's enough quality in that team and they've got a lot of pride. They want to nail that," Lam said.
"It's more about doing what we have to do to win the game. We don't have bonus points, we've just got to do the job."
Only one change has been made to Lam's stating side for the Waratahs game with half-back Alby Mathewson handed the No.9 jersey, while Daniel Braid comes in on the bench for Sean Polwart.