Bernard Foley wants consistency in World Cup

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It’s all about consistency for the Wallabies in the World Cup and flyhalf Bernard Foley says, for him, it’s started with kicking.

Head coach Michael Cheika has injected a hard-running, attacking style to his team but in a northern hemisphere Cup, Foley said just as big an emphasis had been placed on their kicking game.

Wallabies fans have seen first hand exactly how vital strong kicking options can be, no more brutally than in the 2003 World Cup final and Foley said the addition of kicking coach Chris Malone to the side had been invaluable.

“We’re introducing different ways of playing .We want a very attacking mindset but in saying that we want to have a sound kicking base and kicking strategy,” he said.

“That’s going to be needed at some point throughout this World Cup.

“As a kicking unit we’ve talked through that and we’ve had the knowledge of Chris and the likes of Stephen Larkham who’s very astute with attacking and attacking philosophy.”

Foley, who said he’s not really a perfectionist in much of his life, said the focus for the side had been on consistency rather than a pursuit of a perfect record.

“I’m not a perfectionist in anything I do,” he said.

“It’s just consistency that we do the repetitions after every training session and before every game.”

“It’s not that I have to make every last kick or get really down on myself (if I miss) but you want to be feeling good going into games knowing you‘ve done the hard work before that.”

The World Cup debutant is the second in his family to compete on the world stage this year, after brother Conor, represented Australia in the gridiron world championships.

Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is in his second World Cup campaign but both he and Foley reiterated the Wallabies’ stance this week that they are firmly focused on their opening match.

Polota-Nau said it was good to have “pillar” Greg Holmes back in the Wallabies fold for the first time since 2007 and dismissed any concerns over the Pool of Death becoming the now ubiquitous synonym for Pool A.

“For me... whatever they call it, the pool of death or the pool of life, it doesn’t really matter.

“We still have to play all the teams but our focus is on Fiji.”

The Wallabies have a bar set for them ahead of Wednesday night’s match against Fiji, after host nation England beat the Flying Fijians 35-11 in the tournament opener.