Reckless collisions need to be stopped: Foley

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

When Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley was caught in the air against the Stormers, there were nervous text messages being typed from thousands of kilometres away.

Foley landed awkwardly in a contest that ended in a red card and two-week suspension for Stormers winger Leolin Zas and ignited the debate about contests.

The Waratahs 10 flew for the ball, with Zas running in from the opposite direction but going to ground as he reached the contest, catching Foley's leg and sending him crashing to the ground.

Conjecture has surrounded the moment of the collision and whether the Zas slipped or deliberately tried to stop Foley in his tracks.

It was an incident that even he was amazed he was able to recover from so quickly, with the flyhalf playing out the rest of the match, though pulling up sore in the days following.

“I was probably quite surprised by how quickly I was able to jump up,” he said.

“I know Mum and Dad were pretty concerned, I had a few messages from them but I am probably pretty lucky that it wasn’t more serious and there was no injury coming from it.”

The 27-year-old said while those types of collisions were treacherous, the officials were getting it right.

“It’s just got to be refereed to the law and I think it has been,” he said.

“I think the teams are getting smarter, trying to find ways around that and making it contest and a genuine collision.

“There’s a way that the teams have got to look at avoiding that or the referees bringing a rule in there that you’ve got to allow the catch or you can’t compete unless you’re both in the air.

“I’m not too sure what the solution is but it can become quite a dangerous situation.

Foley said malicious contests needed to be stamped out.

“I think it’s quite a dangerous situation,” he said.

“Teams are using it as an attacking tool with those kicks.

“It's got to be a fair catch I think for both teams... you can’t take out the attacking bloke who’s going up for the ball.

“I think in terms of that, it’s just got to be watched, it can’t be reckless, it can’t be intent but two guys can really contest the ball fairly.

“There just can’t be those taking the guy out just for the sake of disrupting the contest."

Foley will become the equal highest-capped Waratahs flyhalf this weekend, drawing level with Daniel Halangahu on 59 Super Rugby caps.

The milestone is somewhat of a reflection of his value to the Waratahs, coming after seasons of what seemed like a merry-go-round of 10s donning the Sky Blue.

The Waratahs take on the Cheetahs on Saturday night at 7:40pm LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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