SYDNEY – Soaring record try scorer Israel Folau wants his Waratahs teammates to kick him more high bombs after the fullback’s aerial power set up a shock 20-12 win over champions Crusaders.
Folau twice rose above the Crusaders defence to gather high kicks, one setting up a try for Cameron Clark and the second enabling the fullback to score a 59th Super Rugby try to match Doug Howlett’s record set during stints at the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Blues.
The display at the weekend by the spring-heeled former Australian Rules footballer prompted Crusaders coach Scott Robertson to remark: “He should be working for NASA”.
And Wallaby Folau reckons he could be even more prolific if the Waratahs used the aerial tactic more often.
"I still think it is (underused),” he said on the Rugby Australia website of attacking kicks. “Of the 59 tries, you’d be probably lucky to get maybe 10 of them from kicks.
“So it is something I would like to see a lot more, because I am obviously confident in my ability to try and get up and contest for the ball,” added the former rugby league international.
“I will continue to work on those combinations with Bernard (Foley) and Kurtley (Beale), whoever is in the playmaker role, and continue to execute,” he added.
— RUGBYcomau (@rugbycomau) March 23, 2019
Folau’s 59 tries came 10 games quicker than former All Black Howlett and he is set to run away with the record after last month signing a new four-year deal with the Waratahs until the end of 2022.
He has the chance to make the record his own on Friday when the Waratahs face Japan’s Sunwolves in Sydney.
The 29-year-old said he had never met Howlett, but used to watch him growing up.
“I have never come across him but I remember as a young kid watching clips of him with the All Blacks and obviously he was a great finisher, and someone who obviously scored a lot of tries,” Folau said.
“I wasn’t coming into the game thinking about tries or anything like that. But it’s always a bonus to cross and get a meat pie (try).”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)