Rebels put focus on Waratahs' Foley, not Folau

MELISSA WOODS
Last updated 03:49 22/05/2014
Bernard Foley of the Waratahs
Getty Images

UNSUNG HERO: Bernard Foley of the Waratahs kicks a penalty last month at Eden Park.

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Forget Folau - it's Foley that's the focus for the Melbourne Rebels in their Super Rugby clash with the NSW Waratahs on Friday night.

The form of Waratahs five-eighth Bernard Foley rather than star fullback Israel Folau has caught the eye of the Rebels, who are looking for successive wins for the first time this season.

Rebels winger Tom English said playmaker Foley, who may be named as Wallabies No 10 on Thursday, was the dangerman for the AAMI Park match.

"Bernie's playing exceptionally well and he's been instrumental in their wins," English said.

"He orchestrates the backline well, he takes it to the line when they're on front-foot ball or he will pull it out the back to Kurtley (Beale) to wield some magic.

"Whilst it would be stupid not to look at Izzy (Folau), Bernie will be our primary focus."

While the Rebels' year hasn't gone as hoped in terms of their win-loss record - with several tight defeats hurting them - a win over the in-form Waratahs would mean they would've beaten each of the other Australian teams in a single season for first time.

They had their first win over the Reds last round.

"It is the missing link so it would be lovely to knock them off," English said.

"It would give us a bit of confidence in our season to string two wins together and it would do us a world of good.

"It would just go to show that we can match it with them."

The Rebels are hoping that the Waratahs' tight turn-around from their Sunday game counts against them and plan to run their big bodies around.

"They're quite a big forward pack and if you run them around a bit they will get tired," said English.

"So I think that's going to be our main goal; to tire them out so we can come hard in the back half of the halves like we did against the Reds."

Meanwhile, hard-working hooker Pat Leafa has signed a new deal to stay in Melbourne until the end of the 2016 season.

Leafa, 25, has impressed this season in a regular tussle with Japanese international Shota Horie for the starting jersey.

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