NSW WARATAHS 43 WESTERN FORCE 21
Triple treat: Israel Folau scores three tries for the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
The Waratahs will have to do ''plenty'' better than a barnstorming six-try win over the Western Force to topple arch rivals Queensland at ANZ Stadium this weekend.
NSW coach Michael Cheika said he was ''happy enough'' with his side's 43-21 bonus point effort against the Force on Sunday but the same again would not be enough against the Reds this Saturday.
The Richard Graham-coached Queensland side beat the Brumbies 27-17 in Canberra at the weekend and will travel to Sydney for the blockbluster fixture this week. ''They're a smart footy team, very well coached, so it's going to be a really good battle,'' Cheika said.
Strong opening: Kurtley Beale impressed for the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Folau (1min, 22min, 65min), Alofa (40min), Douglas (56min), Beale (70min)||Tries||6||Tries||2||Players||Cummins (34min), Godwin (62min)|
|Players||Foley 5/6 (83%)||Conversions||5||Conversions||1||Players||Holmes 1/2 (50%)|
|Players||Foley 1/2 (50%)||Penalty goals||1||Penalty goals||3||Players||Holmes 3/4 (75%)|
|Players||Drop goals||0||Drop goals||0||Players|
''We've got to remain consistent in our attitude and build our quality every week, because the quality wasn't there consistently enough today to beat Queensland.''
Cheika was a hard marker of his side's emphatic performance against the Force.
An Israel Folau treble and miraculous try to rookie Alofa Alofa delivered NSW an ideal start to the season.
Waratahs vs Western Force - February 23, 2014
Action from the round two Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Western Force at Allianz Stadium on February 23, 2014. Photo: Getty Images
A back line stacked with ball players and a host of ball-carrying forwards attacked the Force's traditionally proud defence and it worked, NSW dismantling the West Australians to score three tries before and after the break.
There were handling errors galore and a number of missed opportunities in attack early on, but a cleaner second half put the Waratahs beyond reach at Allianz Stadium despite glimpses of attacking potency from the Force.
''We were happy enough with that number because the Force are a good defensive team and not easy to break down at all,'' Cheika said. ''They play a lot of guys up in the line so we have to work hard to get those tries.''
High flying: Israel Folau of the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
But Cheika said there was a lot to do before meeting a Quade Cooper-led back line on Saturday.
''Plenty really,'' he said. ''They have a totally different game and I think they're going to go back to their very unpredictable formula where they try something new every week and come at you.
''We're going to have to be much tighter in our defence for sure. You saw the Brumbies tried to slow them down at the ruck and that was not successful for them, so we're going to have to be very good with our tackling.''
Stand-out performances from NSW forwards Paddy Ryan, Will Skelton and Wycliff Palu, among others, put the Waratahs on the front foot, and the class and pace of backs Folau, Alofa, Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale finished off enough opportunities to make the difference.
Three penalties to Force five-eighth Zack Holmes and tries to Nick Cummins and Kyle Godwin kept the visitors in the hunt for 65 minutes but it was not enough when their forwards tired and NSW emptied their bench.
Force coach Michael Foley was left to rue his side's defensive lapses which, particularly in the second half, allowed veteran NSW midfield Matt Carraro to slice through twice and set up tries for his teammates.
''Forty-one points scored against you comes back to your defensive system,'' Foley said.
''A number of times there we had [them] under pressure and took some points out of it but too easily got too tight in defence and they got around outside of us and we were chasing them. For a very talented group, they're going to punish you. We worked extremely hard for 14 weeks and [defence] was actually a strength for us last year.
''We had a game like this against the Brumbies in Canberra last year and we were disappointed about that and responded well. We spoke about in the dressing room … I do think it's something we can address.''
NSW WARATAHS 43 (Israel Folau 3, Alofa Alofa, Kurtley Beale, Kane Douglas tries Bernard Foley 5 cons pen) bt WESTERN FORCE 21 (Nick Cummins, Kyle Godwin tries Zack Holmes con 3 pens) at Allianz Stadium. Referee: Rohan Hoffman. Crowd: 15,785.