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- Super Rugby
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- 23rd Feb 2014
- KO 05:05
- Ground: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Super Rugby: Israel Folau shines as Waratahs beat Western Force
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Israel Folau scored a hat-trick as the Waratahs opened their Super Rugby campaign with a 43-21 bonus-point victory over the Western Force in Sydney.
The hosts ran in a total of six tries to complete a very comfortable victory over their Australian rivals at Allianz Stadium
Folau grabbed a brace of tries before break while Alofa Alofa also crossed before half-time. After the break Folau completed his hat-trick to complement scores from Kane Douglas and Kurtley Beale.
Folau had touched down for his first try with fewer than two minutes on the clock, the Wallabies star linking with Alofa down the touchline to punish a disorganised Force defence.
Zack Holmes pulled a penalty back for the Force but Folau was soon to strike again, collecting Wycliff Palu's offload to ghost home after a patient build up.
The Force pulled a try back when as Nick Cummins muscled his way over from short range but the Waratahs cancelled that out on the final play of the half.
Bernard Foley hit the upright with a long-range penalty effort but it bounced kindly for Alofa, who got past three defenders for a somewhat fortunate try.
The Force were 22-11 down at half-time but tried to hit back after the break, dominating the opening ten minutes of the second half only to come away with just three points.
Douglas scored the hosts' bonus-point try after 57 minutes, cutting in off the wing to finish off some good work from the 'Tahs backs.
The Force were still in the game thanks to a break-away try from Kyle Godwin on 63 minutes after an interception by Cummins, but there was to be no capitulation from the home side.
Matt Carraro made a huge impact off the bench, setting up tries for both Folau and Beale with breaks in the midfield as the 'Tahs eased to victory.