27 April 2012. Sport, Canberra Times photo by Rohan Thomson. GWS Giants' Israel Folau in training ahead of tomorrows game. Photo: Rohan Thomson RTT
Israel Folau is hoping to pick up where he left off when the Giants return to Manuka Oval tomorrow to take on the Gold Coast Suns.
The former NRL star started brilliantly in Canberra two weeks ago, picking up six possessions in the opening quarter against the Western Bulldogs before fading out of the game.
It was a similar story for Greater Western Sydney, who led at quarter-time for the first time in the AFL, but were unable to match the Bulldogs for the rest of the game and lost by 42 points.
Folau missed last weekend's 67-point loss against Carlton due to illness, but was last night named to return to the GWS side.
''I was happy with that first quarter I had in Canberra against the Bulldogs. That's what I try to do each week, go out there and have a good start,'' Folau told The Canberra Times yesterday.
''If I have a good start to the game, my confidence is sky high and I build on it from there. I'll just try and do that this week and see how it goes.''
Folau said tomorrow's game was a ''massive chance'' for the Giants to bring up their first win playing for AFL premiership points.
The Giants beat the Suns in the pre-season competition and as a result, Folau said there was a noticeable excitement at training ahead of this weekend's return bout.
''Everyone's up and about at training … you can tell by the way the players are training that everyone's a bit more upbeat. It's a massive chance to grab our first win,'' Folau said.
Playing against his good mate Karmichael Hunt would only make it sweeter.
Hunt has emerged as an important member of the Suns midfield after being widely criticised last year - his inaugural season after swapping codes from the NRL.
Hunt has credited playing alongside superstar Gary Ablett as a major factor in his development.
While Folau has no superstar GWS forward to learn his trade off, he keenly studies rivals Travis Cloke (Collingwood) and Lance Franklin (Hawthorn).
''I watch their games and what they do and you can certainly learn a lot off how they play when you just watch them,'' he said. ''There's a lot of great players here at the club that I can learn a lot of stuff off as well.''