Foley unfazed by Tahs record against Crusaders

Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley says that he is not intimidated by his team’s poor record against the Crusaders ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby final.

The Waratahs have lost their 11 straight matches against the Crusaders but Foley says that they just need to focus on winning the final.

“It’s more (relevant) that you’re in the grand final. If it’s tight at the end you have to step up,” Foley told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“We just have to have belief in the players that everyone’s going to do their job. If it’s not good enough on the night, then we’ll sit back and lick our wounds, but if it is, that would be pretty successful.”

The Waratahs missed out on playing the Crusaders in the regular Super Rugby season this year and Foley has only ever played the Crusaders once.

The Waratahs led the Crusaders at half time in that match but Dan Cater kept the scoreboard ticking with his boot while Berrick Barnes missed a match winning kick after the hooter so the Crusaders won the match 23-22 in in Christchurch over a year ago.

“We were up 15-5 at half-time, then they came back and won by one point (23-22),” Foley said.

“We were unlucky to lose that one I thought, (I) thought we’d done enough to win, but (Dan Carter) showed some pretty good composure at the end there and won it for them.”

The Waratahs showed in their Super Rugby Semi-final against the Brumbies that they can dig in and finish off a match which indicates that they have no intention of losing a 12 straight match to the Crusaders.

“That’s the most impressive thing about the win and the most satisfying, that it was such a grind and we haven’t been in one for so long this year,” Foley said.

“We have in patches or halves, and then we’ve been lucky enough to blow it out and come over sides. But it was very satisfying on Saturday night having to be in the grind for 75 minutes with our backs to the wall.

“For our defence to be so united and hold up to the challenges the Brumbies threw at us, was very pleasing, and we can take a lot out of that.”

Even though Carter’s kicking was a little off in the Crusaders Semi-final victory over the Sharks his presence still looms large over the Waratahs and the Super Rugby final.

“(Carter)’s got all the class and all the experience you can want in a footballer, he’s world-best and he’s been there for a long time,” Foley said.

“His composure and ability to influence a game and control the match, to do it on their terms, is a massive strength of theirs.”

“You’ve got to take time and space away from him,” Foley said.

“That’s by nullifying the forwards firstly – once they get a roll on with their pack they have some big ball runners … (but Carter’s) running game is probably undervalued because he can really take on a line as well as distribute to the likes of (full-back) Israel Dagg and (winger Nemani) Nadolo out on the end.”

While the Waratahs are unbeaten at home this year and they have not beaten the Crusaders since February 2004, Foley is focusing on the occassion and testing himself against a team filled with internationals.

“The Crusaders are littered with All Blacks, so whenever you come up against international players you always want to test yourselves against them and try to get one over them,” Foley said.

“To play against a Crusaders side with so much strength across the board, out at Homebush, will be a massive achievement.”

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