Folau to miss up to a month

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Waratahs superstar Israel Folau could miss a month of Super Rugby after a hamstring injury against the Brumbies.

Folau came off in the fourth minute of NSW's win against the Brumbies on Saturday night, with his hamstring heavily iced as he sat on the bench.

Thought the 28-year-old is still yet to undergo scans to assess the full extent of the injury, coach Daryl Gibson said post-match it was shaping as a 3-4 week injury.

That timeline would put Folau out until at least the Waratahs' next bye, on the weekend of April 28, and leaving his return until a May 5 clash with the Blues at Brookvale Oval.

"Izzy looks like he's done a hamstring, probably 3-4 weeks at this stage," Gibson said. 

Though Folau's absence is always a conspicuous one, youngster Alex Newsome showed his potential, when replacing Folau, setting up a spectacular second-half try for Taqele Naiyaravoro. 

 

A set play special from the @nswwaratahs in Canberra #BRUvWAR

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"Alex Newsome came on, performed very well. We kept that same tactic, which we're employing with Israel and he took some nice high balls," Gibson said.

Wing is an area where the Waratahs boast plenty of depth, with Gibson pointing to Cam Clark as the next in line for a call-up.

"A guy like Cam Clark who's been waiting patiently in the wings, hasn't played a minute yet," he said.

"There are a number of guys we can call, so it's all part of rugby, injuries, you've just got to get on with it."

Gibson said he was happy with the result on Saturday night, but execution and handling still had to be improved.

"We played territory well, dominated, I'd ike to see the stats," he said. 

"I felt we were playing at the right end of the field, just  couldn’t really convert our pressure into points, in the fact that we camped a number of times in the Brumbies' 22 and didn’t come away with the crucial points and tonight Bernard (Foley) left a few points out there that would've made things a little bit more comfortable."

The Waratahs pack had plenty to celebrate. Photo; RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyIt was the Waratahs' forwards who stepped up in the dying stages as the Brumbies tried to score through scrums, with NSW gaining a match-ending penalty to clinch the victory.

NSW's tight five had been criticised in the preseason, but they've defied plenty of expectations and skipper Michael Hooper said he was pleased with the way the replacements, especially, went in Canberra.

"The guys who start add and contribute to that result right at the end of the game," he said.

"I thought that first one probably could've been a penalty as well, went to the second one and they managed to go back-to-back on the scrum.

"Those guys coming off the bench, sometimes it's a really hard job to get a feel for how scrums are going on the game and I don't understand a huge amount but for what they did at what point they came on in the game, outstanding effort."

The Waratahs fly to Tokyo next week to take on the Sunwolves.