An unstoppable Israel Folau starred as a rampant NSW Waratahs side ended their three-year overseas drought with a 72-10 crushing of the Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Fullback Folau triggered the 11-tries-to-one Super Rugby romp with two magical pieces of play in the first six minutes of the match early Sunday (EST).
R12 – 05/05/13
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
He beat four defenders in a counter attack from his own half in the first 40 seconds to set up the first of three tries for winger Cameron Crawford.
The electric fullback and man-of-the-match burnt off three attempted tacklers and carried two more defenders over the line for his sixth try of the season. Folau continued to terrorise the shellshocked Kings and played a part in several other tries.
While rumours are circulating he may return to rugby league next year, Folau hinted his union stint may go beyond one season.
“I’m really enjoying my rugby at the moment and I’d like to stay long term and give it a good crack so we’ll see how we go,” Folau said.
He was far from the only Waratah to shine as NSW notched their first overseas victory in 13 matches going back to May 2010 and ended an eight-match losing steak in South Africa where they last won in May 2009.
The platform was laid by a totally dominant Waratahs pack.
The powerful NSW scrum was untroubled and ubiquitous flankers Dave Dennis and Michael Hooper were each rewarded for their industry with a try, with lock Kane Douglas the other forward to tally a five-pointer.
The starting back three combined for six tries, with winger Peter Betham notching two and reserve backs Ben Volavola and Tom Kingston both crossing in the final ten minutes.
Re-live the Waratahs drought-breaking romp against the Kings in our Super Rugby Match Centre, featuring video highlights.
With a plethora of clean quickly delivered possession to work with, five-eighth Bernard Foley set up several tries with his passing and running.
The Waratahs had their tryscoring bonus point locked away inside 20 minutes.
They crossed the Kings line seven times in the first half, which ended with them leading 46-10 despite conceding an intercept try to winger Sergeal Petersen.
NSW piled on four more tries and 26 unanswered points in the second half.
“It’s probably the performance we were looking for the whole year,” said NSW captain Dennis.
“We’ve played well in patches throughout the year but that was probably the most complete performance we’ve had.”