In his first career start at outside centre, and in just his fourth season in professional rugby, New South Wales utility Israel Folau has drawn level with fellow dual international Lote Tuqiri as the Waratahs all-time leading try scorer.
Folau tied Tuqiri’s record just after the half hour mark as the former Brisbane Bronco capitalised off some outstanding work from centre partner Kurtley Beale, as the Waratahs hit back after an early Joe Tomane brace.
Tomane would go on to secure a hat-trick and the Brumbies would prevail 26-20 winners in Sydney, but Folau’s record equaling try went some way in compensating fans for what was another poor performance at the Allianz. While Folau will be bitterly disappointed that New South Wales fell to their third successive defeat at home, he will no doubt find solace in the fact that he is now just one try away from becoming the Waratahs all-time leading try scorer.
— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) April 16, 2016
Folau’s transition from Rugby League to Rugby Union has been nothing short of remarkable, but what is even more impressive about his record tying try is that he was able to reach Tuqiri’s mark in 28 fewer games. With ten games to go in the season, the dual international is bound to break Tuqiri’s record as the talented fullback continues to excel in the sport after switching from Australian Rules Football at the end of 2012.
Only time will tell if his recent move to outside centre will be made permanent, but for now the Queenslander continues to shine in a Waratahs team that continues to flounder.
While NSW have been wildly inconsistent this season, Folau has been as good as he ever, scoring five tries in seven games.
If he can stay anywhere close to his 71% strike rate this season, then not only will he shatter Tuqiri’s record, but he will also set a mark that could stand long after his career is over.
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