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Folau stars for Waratahs in loss


David Long

Israel Folau is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try.

Israel Folau is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try. Photo: SNPA / Malcolm Pullman

WHANGAREI: Israel Folau continued his progression into a top rugby player on Saturday by scoring a try and throwing the decisive pass to set up another in the Waratahs' 36-40 loss to the Blues.

The Waratahs looked set for a win - thanks to a hat-trick from Tom Kingston as well as tries to Cam Crawford, Jed Holloway and Folau - but Blues No.8 Peter Saili grabbed his second try with the game's last play to steal victory.

But for the 5000-strong crowd at Toll Stadium there was as much interest in seeing how Folau went as there was in watching the Blues. They had to wait until the start of the second half to see his introduction.

The first impact he had was to send through the decisive pass to Kingston for his first try. He then showed his finishing skills by dancing through some, admittedly poor, defending to complete a 50-metre Waratahs attack.

Folau was off limits to the media after the game, but Waratahs coach Michael Cheika felt he had built on his performance last weekend when he scored two tries against the Rebels.

''He is learning about where he needs to do things, when he needs to kick and when he doesn't,'' Cheika said. ''He will get better with all of those things as he gets more experiences in games. He is going to make a few mistakes around that kind of stuff, but what he gives us with ball in hand and the attack he can give us on that is good value. It is a bit at a time with him.''

Blues coach John Kirwan, a former back with the All Blacks, said he was impressed with the former NRL and AFL star.

''He was good and he put us under all sorts of trouble,'' Kirwan said.

''He is going to be a hard man to stop and it's good that we saw him pre-season. You can't give him any space and you've got to tackle him pretty hard.''

Kirwan said Folau reminded him of another code-switching star who played one of his first rugby games in Whangarei, when he was with Canterbury. ''He is like Sonny Bill Williams, he will need time to adjust to some of the finer points, but if they get the ball into his hands he's hard to stop,'' Kirwan said.

With the Waratahs' final pre-season game against the Crusaders on Thursday, time is running out for players to put their hands up for selection, but several did on Saturday and 21-year-old Kingston was one of them.

In all his tries there was still work to be done once he received the ball and he looked composed and decisive on his way to the try line.

''A few blokes played well today,'' Cheika said. ''Kingston played well, Folau had another good game and got a lot of touches.

''Everyone went OK, I have been training them really hard so there is bound to be a bit of flow on into these games and there are some big travel days. Considering what we've put into them, I was pretty happy with the condition they came out on to the field in.

''What I don't like is losing, we should have won. But this was a good sign and we've still got seven or eight international players back home.''

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
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WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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