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Flatley warns of de Beer's boot
Brisbane
April 5, 2000

Queensland flyhalf Elton Flatley today warned the Reds would need to be more disciplined to counter South African scoring machine Jannie de Beer in Saturday's Super 12 rugby clash here at Ballymore.

De Beer will spearhead the win-less Northern Bulls and Flatley said the Springbok superboot could punish the Reds if they give away too many penalties inside their own half. Sydney referee Peter Marshall caned the Reds 24-14 in the penalties in last Saturday night's 31-16 win over New South Wales.

De Beer is a prolific goalkicker and can be even more lethal with drop goals, a point he proved in last year's World Cup quarter final when he booted five - a world record - against England.

"He's a good player, he's running the ball a bit more this year and obviously when he steps back into that zone of field goals the forwards will be trying to put some pressure on him," Flatley said. "Any penalties inside your own half it's dangerous because he'll kick three points every time. So we'll have a focus on no penalties, which we usually do."

Flatley is no slouch with the boot himself and kicked five from six against the Waratahs.
After successive home wins, the Reds are easing back into semi-final calculations. But they also need bonus points and Queensland's leading brewer Castlemaine Perkins has offered to "shout" the Ballymore crowd if the Reds can post 50 points in any of their next three home games.

"They've got four or five Springboks in their pack, so they are going to be very strong up front," Flatley said. "And they do have some classy backs. Their draw against the Sharks last week was also a good result."

Flatley is secure for the moment in the Queensland flyhalf role but Shane Drahm is a constant threat, while Nathan Spooner is on the injury comeback this weekend.

"They're both class players. I've got the No.10 at the moment so I've got to keep playing well," he said. "Hopefully the team will keep winning and that will help me."

Flatley was the next big thing a few years back, making his Wallaby debut against England at Twickenham in 1997 after knocking back a huge offer from rugby league club Canterbury to switch codes.

"It's only two years but it feels a lot longer than that," he said. "It's been a bit stop start. I've had a few injuries, a few times when I wasn't playing so well.

"Hopefully, in time there'll be more but it's just a matter of me playing well and Queensland playing well to give Queenslanders an opportunity of playing in the Test team."

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