Planet Rugby

Folau bags hat-trick for rampant 'Tahs

23rd February 2014 06:56

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Israel Folau try waratahs Western force SR 2014

Hat-trick: Israel Folau

The Waratahs kicked off their Super Rugby campaign with a maximum haul on Sunday, beating the Western Force 43-21 in an entertaining game in Sydney.

Full-back Israel Folau touched down three times for the hosts, who outscored their Aussie rivals six tries to two.

The Waratahs led 22-11 at the interval thanks to two tries from Folau and another from flying wing Alofa Alofa.

'Tahs lock Kane Douglas added his name to the scoresheet just before the hour mark before the dam wall broke as Folau added his third and Kurtley Beale cruised home for number six.

It won't go down as the best game of the year but the Waratahs won't complain about the five points.

Folau bagged his first Super Rugby brace inside the opening 25 minutes. It took less than two minutes for the Wallaby ace to score his first, linking with Alofa down the touchline to punish the disorganised Force defence.

Zack Holmes pulled a penalty back for the Force but Folau was soon to strike again, collecting Wycliff Palu's offload to ghost home after a patient build up from the 'Tahs.

The Force pulled a try back with half time approaching as Nick Cummins muscled his way over from short range but the Waratahs nailed a third try with the final play of the half as Alofa was rewarded for his good chasing - Bernard Foley hit the upright with a long-range penalty effort but it bounced kindly for Alofa, who sneaked between three defenders for a lucky try.

The Force dominated the opening ten minutes of the second half but only came away with just three points.

Douglas scored the bonus-point try after 57 minutes, cutting in off the wing to finish off good work from the 'Tahs backs.

The Force were still in the game thanks to a break-away try from Kyle Godwin on 63 minutes after an intercept by Cummins, but the home side would dominate the final quarter.

Matt Carraro made a huge impact off the bench, setting up tries for both Folau and Beale with breaks in the midfield as the 'Tahs cruised home.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Folau 3, Alofa, Douglas, Beale
Cons: Foley 5
Pens: Foley
Yellow card: Ryan

For Western Force:
Tries: Cummins, Godwin
Con: Holmes
Pens: Holmes 3

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Tola Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Rob Horne, 23 Matt Carraro.

Western Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Hugh McMeniman, 20 Chris Alcock, 21 Brynard Stander, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Sias Ebersohn

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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