Israel Folau has suffered a suspected hamstring injury in the Waratahs’ 24-17 win over the Brumbies.The NSW Waratahs’ brave 24-17 Super Rugby victory over the Brumbies has come at a cost after superstar Israel Folau suffered a hamstring injury.
The versatile ace could miss up to four weeks after going off only four minutes into the Saturday night blockbuster at GIO Stadium and was replaced by Alex Newsome.
Folau’s extended absence is concerning news for the Waratahs’ season as well as for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who was watching in the crowd.
However, a powerhouse two-try performance from Taqele Naiyaravoro sparked Daryl Gibson’s team towards their third win of the season, closing to within a game of the n conference-leading Melbourne Rebels.
The winger made the most of some sloppy play from the Brumbies right on halftime, running down the left wing to ensure the Waratahs were 13-11 after a Bernard Foley conversion.
Naiyaravoro again scored two minutes into the second half from a brilliant Newsome offload.
Gibson said bringing home the Dan Vickerman Cup was a crucial result for the Waratahs’ season.
“It is (huge) given the context of the conference and the competition so it keeps us well and truly alive,” Gibson said in his post-match press conference.
“We knew the outcome tonight was going to make it very difficult for one of the teams.”
Foley was uncharacteristically wayward with his kicking, missing three penalties and one conversion.
But his 5/9 was enough to see him bring up 800 Super Rugby points – the youngest player to achieve the mark.
Brumbies fly-half Wharenui Hawera almost made Foley pay for his inaccuracy, backing up an impressive performance off the boot against the Sharks two weeks ago.
The Brumbies’ only try for the evening came through Lausii Taliauli as he ran onto a classy chip kick from Hawera.
David Pocock took a while to get going in his first match with the Brumbies since 2016 after recovering from knee surgery following his 12-month sabbatical.
It was also his 100th Super Rugby appearance for Pocock, who took over as captain when Christian Lealiifano was subbed off in the 56th minute.
Lealiifano had a head injury assessment for concussion following a heavy knock, with Pocock filling in for him at the post-match press conference.
The result leaves the Brumbies fourth in their conference and 12 points behind the Rebels, leaving coach Dan McKellar frustrated.
“It’s disappointing because you have to win your n conference games and we’ve spoken about winning all our games at home,” McKellar said.
“We’ve got to review it thoroughly because we’re back home next week against the Reds and we have make sure we’re better.”