Saturday 21 September 2019

Israel Folau plays down Ireland's 'illegal blocking tactics' as Australian lauds Joe Schmidt's men

Keith Earls of Ireland catches a high ball ahead of Israel Folau of Australia
Keith Earls of Ireland catches a high ball ahead of Israel Folau of Australia

Amlan Chakraborty

Australia fullback Israel Folau has demanded accuracy from his side's kickers to help him be more effective in Saturday's three-test series decider against Ireland in Sydney.

The 29-year-old has so far been unable to replicate his formidable NSW Waratahs form in the air during the first two tests, partly because of what the hosts deem to be Ireland's blocking tactics.

The Wallabies are considering lodging a complaint with match officials concerning the tourists' approach but Folau is not overly worried.

"Obviously, I didn't get many touches on the weekend (as Ireland won 26-21), so hopefully I get a few more opportunities to get my hands on the ball as much as I can and just play some footy," Folau told Australian Associated Press on Tuesday.

"I put it down to the execution on our kicks. It wasn't where we wanted to place them (in Melbourne).

"They were a little bit further than we'd liked and a bit more infield, which makes it a lot easier for their guys to escort.

"In saying that, they did a great job with their escorting but hopefully our execution on our kicks can be a little bit better where it can give us a free run and a jump at the ball."

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The Six Nations champions' management of Folau has kept him try-less but the Australian back is hungry to end the drought.

"It's something that I don't look to do going into the game but if I find myself crossing the line for a try, it's always a great bonus," he said.

"The most exciting thing for this weekend is just trying to find my hands on the ball and providing those opportunities.

"The last couple of weeks hasn't been going that way, so I'm pretty hungry and eager to try and put myself in the game to get as many touches as I can."


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