Folau keen to build on impressive performance
March 26, 2013
Israel Folau admits there are areas of his game that need improvement © Getty Images
He openly admits he's still learning the finer points of the game but Israel Folau says his latest professional sporting code is already starting to become second nature.
The NRL-AFL convert has started all five matches for the New South Wales Waratahs in his rookie rugby season and played a key role in Sunday's crucial 30-27 victory over the Blues.
He fired the last pass for Drew Mitchell's opening try, was solid under the high ball and almost scored the match-winner with a scorching 60-metre run late in the game before coughing up possession.
"I was pretty happy with my personal game and just a few things there that I've got to have a look at and I've got to try and fix up for next week," Folau said.
"Probably decision making and just that last bit there where I made that break down the side and probably could have given it back on the inside, so I've just got to have a look at it. When I had the ball I pinned my ears back and went for it and then I saw the full-back coming across so I tried to slow down and wait for support if there was any behind me.
"And I didn't see any in my peripheral vision, so I just tried to beat him one-on-one and then the support arrived a little bit late, so there's just a few things that maybe I've got to fix up for next time."
Folau said league and rugby are "similar but different" and while he still has to consciously think about what he's doing at times, his new code feels more natural with every game.
"I don't think about it at training, I guess (I'm still thinking) a little bit on the field but it's not a major thing to worry about," he said. "That's just things (sic) that'll come, I guess, when I keep playing the game.
"For me personally playing fullback is a lot to do with positioning and then just going into the contact trying to get low, otherwise they hold you up and they can steal the ball. Just little things like that; I've got to try and make it become second nature I guess."
The 23-year-old says the win over the Blues is a massive confidence booster for the Waratahs ahead of the Easter Sunday encounter with the Force in Sydney.
"I think we showed a lot of courage there towards the end to come from behind and get the win," he said.