Israel Folau makes Super Rugby history despite NSW Waratahs losing to Blues
Australian takes all-time record for tries in the competition with effort No 60
Israel Folau broke the all-time record for Super Rugby tries with his 60th touchdown for the NSW Waratahs against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.
The prolific full-back surpassed Doug Howlett's 59 during his stints at the Highlanders, Hurricanes, and Blues between 1997-2007, with the New Zealander needing 104 games to reach his target.
In contrast, Australian Folau set the new mark in his 96th match and will likely run away with the record, having recently signed a new four-year deal with his club until the end of 2022, putting to bed any concerns that he may move overseas.
The record-breaking try came from a Bernard Foley cross-kick which Folau plucked out of the air to score, although it was not enough to save the Waratahs with the Blues taking the game 32-29.
Folau called it "a huge honour and a privilege" to head a list that also includes Caleb Ralph (58 tries) Joe Roff (57), Christian Cullen, Bryan Habana and Stirling Mortlock (all 56).
"There's some great names on the list. But it's a team effort and without the team those things wouldn't be possible," he said.
Many of Folau's tries were set up by fellow Wallaby and Waratah Foley, who said he knew Folau was something special when he saw him at his first training session.
"He did something freakish down the edge, he caught a ball around his toes and flicked it back inside, and this was a guy who hadn't played with a rugby ball for three years," he told the Rugby Australia website recently.
"I just remember thinking what a freak he was, or he is, from day dot.
"He can score tries other blokes can't, just by the way he beat defenders or attract defenders but still have the power to score a try," he added.
Since making his Super Rugby debut in 2013, Folau has scored at least one try against every one of the 17 different teams that he has faced.
His seven against the Queensland Reds is his biggest tally against a single opponent.
The divisive 30-year-old, who switched to union from rugby league in 2013, currently has the fourth most tries in Australian Test history.
Meanwhile, the Canterbury Crusaders were 36-14 victory over the ACT Brumbies.
The Brumbies had an unlikely 7-0 lead at half-time in the Super Rugby clash, but from the restart the defending champions took control and ran away with five tries in the second half, starting with a try to left wing Sevu Reece.
Right wing Will Jordan then bagged a double with his first try scored in a head-high tackle which saw his opposite Toni Pulu sent to the sin bin.
Pulu had no sooner returned to the field than the Brumbies lost Sam Carter for 10 minutes for a head-high tackle on Ryan Crotty.
In Carter's absence Jordan Taufua and Reece scored further tries for the Crusaders to ensure the bonus point before Tevita Kuridrani scored a late consolation try for the visitors.
Updated: April 6, 2019 03:33 PM