ESPN SCRUM

/ Super Rugby 2014

/ Match Pack

Super Rugby
Waratahs end nine-year losing streak
April 19, 2014
Date/Time: Apr 19, 2014, 19:40 local, 09:40 GMT
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Waratahs 19 - 12 Bulls
Half-time: 13 - 6
Tries: Folau
Cons: Foley
Pens: Foley 4
Pens: Pollard, Potgieter 3
Israel Folau crosses the whitewash within the opening 30 seconds against the Bulls, Waratahs v Bulls, Super Rugby, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, April 19, 2014
Folau crashed over the whitewash within the opening minute
© Getty Images
Enlarge

Try-scoring king Israel Folau has made a royal return to Super Rugby to lead the NSW Waratahs to a bruising 19-12 win over the Bulls in Sydney. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night as the Waratahs' crown jewel crossed for his ninth try of the season less than 30 seconds into his long-awaited comeback match.

Furious about the Australian Rugby Union's decision to rule him out of last week's loss to the Western Force amid fears the Wallabies fullback could stop breathing if he copped another blow to the throat, Folau made an immediate statement. Showing no signs of rust, Folau ran a perfect line to pick up an inside ball from Adam Ashley-Cooper to cross under the posts after just 28 seconds.

Folau's early strike proved decisive: the only try of the night helped the Waratahs to their first win over the Bulls in nine years. The much-needed win, after two losses in their previous three starts, lifted the Waratahs above Australian conference rivals the Western Force into fourth place on the ladder.

NSW coach Michael Cheika will hope the victory doesn't come at great cost, after midfield playmaker Kurtley Beale - who initiated Folau's try - hobbled off just before half-time with a calf strain.

While Folau and Beale dazzled in a revitalised backline, man of the match Michael Hooper and fellow flanker Jacques Potgieter led the Waratahs pack in a tough forward battle with the hard-nosed South Africans.

Former Bull Potgieter played like a man possessed, launching his huge frame into ruck after ruck and pulling off a series of heavy tackles that inspired his team-mates. Potgieter was afforded a standing ovation when Cheika rewarded him with an early shower 11 minutes from fulltime after two second-half penalties from five-eighth Bernard Foley all but sealed victory for NSW.

Foley also slotted two penalties and a conversion in the first half for a 14-point haul with the boot. Foley's opposite number, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, scored all the Bulls' points through four penalties of his own, but it wasn't enough to save the visitors from their sixth straight defeat on the road.

The Bulls' Flip van der Merwe has been cited for alleged strike on the Waratahs' Paddy Ryan.

© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - Shoot-out
    Golf - Africa Open
    Golf - WGC-Cadillac Championship
    Darts - Premier League
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Formula 1

    Van der Garde demanding Sauber drive in Australia

    Giedo van der Garde is taking legal action ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in an attempt to secure one of Sauber's race drives in 2015

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby preview, team news, line-ups: Round 4

    Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 4. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups as they are named to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks

  • Football

    FA set to probe Evans and Cisse spitting incident

    The Football Association is to launch an investigation into the alleged spitting incident between Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse

  • Rugby

    Six Nations sides 'can't run the ball' - Hansen

    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen implores rugby to ask itself 'is this really the game we want?', "if we want to encourage people to watch the game"

  • Boxing

    Fury ready to risk Klitschko title shot - again

    Tyson Fury is willing to risk his shot at Wladimir Klitschko by facing a different opponent just to "keep busy"

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income