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We can topple Kiwi sides, says Folau

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/05/2017 Darren Walton

Israel Folau is urging teammates to continue trusting their attacking instincts when the NSW Waratahs cross the Tasman to keep their Super Rugby season alive.

The Waratahs face the Highlanders in Dunedin and Chiefs in Hamilton in back-to-back must-win matches as they strive to reel in Australia's conference-leading Brumbies over the closing four rounds.

Sunday's eight-try, 50-23 drubbing of the Melbourne Rebels has renewed Folau's belief that the Waratahs can end a year-long curse and become Australia's first winners over New Zealand opposition this season.

"You've got to be confident in going over there. That's all we're thinking about. It's not rocket science," the star fullback said after dazzling in a two-try haul against the Rebels.

"Every team's going over there to really not only get the win - that's the motivation - but the guys have got to get the result out of their heads and just go out there and play rugby.

"The challenge is, because we play New Zealand teams, to not go into our shells."

Saturday marks exactly one year since an Australian side last beat any of their five New Zealand Super Rugby rivals, with the Waratahs' 45-25 defeat of the Chiefs in Sydney on May 27, 2016 preceding a galling 23-match losing streak in trans-Tasman fixtures.

Folau, though, remains adamant the Kiwi dominators can be conquered with traditional Australian running rugby.

"I think it's been a bit of a perception, the way that people look at the way New Zealand teams play," he said.

"I'd definitely back not only our guys but all Australian Super Rugby teams that they've got the skills to play it.

"Obviously it hasn't gone our way but it's not going to stop us from going over and playing the way we want to play and I know we've got the skills to do that."

Delighted to see the "smile back on Israel's face", Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson also noted how fellow-Wallabies leaders Bernard Foley and Michael Hooper excelled in Sunday's bonus-point triumph.

"You need your big players to step up," Gibson said.

"The next few weeks are some huge games for us."

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