The Western Force are aiming for a fifth straight Super Rugby win but the NSW Waratahs and the returning Israel Folau stand in their way.
The Western Force are out to continue making history in Perth on Saturday night but in their way are the NSW Waratahs coming back from a tremendous win over the Stormers and welcoming back Israel Folau.
The Force have now won four games on the trot for the first time in club history with impressive showings against the Melbourne Rebels, Chiefs, Highlanders and Queensland after starting 2014 with losses to the Waratahs and Brumbies.
A win at nib Stadium will see the Force win five straight for the first time and it would also be the first-ever home win over the Waratahs.
However, standing in their way is a Waratahs unit that is one of the competition favourites and deservedly so having won four of six games, including most impressively 22-11 last week over the Stormers in Cape Town.
The Tahs welcome back star fullback Folau after a two-week absence, but Force coach Michael Foley is looking forward to his side taking on another big challenge.
“It was only when we had won three that I realised the club had never won four, but we didn’t talk about that during the week because we were focusing on the Reds,” Foley said.
“We had only ever beaten them once and that was last year, so it was nice to back that up with another win and now I didn’t realise that we have never beaten the Waratahs in Perth.
“I try to ignore those things, but it would be fantastic to do it. The guys are primed and ready to play one of the best teams in the comp.
“We have to play very well to win.”
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing this week for the Waratahs with coach Michael Cheika to face a judicial hearing next Wednesday after a run-in with a television cameraman in Cape Town.
However, Foley doesn’t expect anything to distract the Waratahs from their job at hand and after being on the receiving end of a 43-21 defeat in the opening game of the season to them in Sydney with Folau scoring three tries, he knows just how much of a threat they present.
“The biggest issue for us having him score so many tries was we just gave him too much space when he had the ball,” he said.
“We just have to make sure that if we kick, our kick chase is very good and our defensive line is solid.
“Some of our defensive system wasn’t good, but it was our first game and they caught us a little bit by surprise.
“As disappointed as we were, we didn’t get carried away with the emotions of it. We just tried to get it right and over the next couple of weeks after it we did.”