Foley gave it his all

Sat, 02 Aug 2014 17:45
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Bernard Foley has said that he put everything he had into his final penalty kick which pushed the Waratahs to their first ever Super Rugby title.

Bernard Foley has said that he put everything he had into his final penalty kick which pushed the Waratahs to their first ever Super Rugby title in Sydney on Saturday.
 
Flyhalf Foley landed the pressure 45-metre penalty to deliver the Waratahs a fighting 33-32 win over the seven-time champion Crusaders and end a 19-year wait for a southern hemisphere provincial title.
 
It was the Waratahs' first Super Rugby title after losing both their previous finals to the Crusaders in 2005 and 2008.
 
It culminated a sensational finish to the season for the Waratahs, winning their last nine matches and going through the season unbeaten at home.
 
The Crusaders looked headed for their eighth Super Rugby crown when flyhalf Colin Slade put them in front with a penalty goal in the 76th minute.
 
But the never-say-die Waratahs fought their way into the Crusaders' half and earned their winning kick at goal when All Black skipper Richie McCaw was penalised in a maul.
 
Foley's kick just cleared the crossbar to put the Waratahs back in front in the final minute, much to the delight of the record crowd for a Super Rugby final of 61,823.
 
Foley finished with 23 points from a conversion and seven penalties with Wallaby back Adam Ashley-Cooper scoring a try double for the Waratahs.
 
"The kick was right on my borderline, there wasn't much left in it and I had to give it everything, the rugby Gods were smiling and it just snuck over," Foley said of his winning kick.
 
"We have been working on getting more distance in my kicking and normally Kurtley Beale takes the longer kicks but I was hitting them well and thought I just had to give it everything.
 
"To win it like that is a dream come true and it hasn't sunk in yet."
 
The Waratahs began positively and led 14-0 in the opening 15 minutes only for the Crusaders to regroup and hit back to trail 20-13 at halftime.
 
The Crusaders looked to have the winning momentum and led 26-23 heading into the final quarter of the match.
 
But Ashley-Cooper went over for his second try off a Beale pass capping off 10 phases and Foley's conversion gave the Waratahs a 30-26 lead.
 
But Slade kicked two more penalties to put the Crusaders in sight of another Super Rugby triumph only for Foley's last-gasp winner.
 
"To get the Crusaders in a final it needed an awesome effort from the guys and I'm so proud of them," Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper said.
 
"We had to adapt during the match and grind out that win and I thought Bernie's [Foley] kick went under the bar, but it went over and we were ecstatic."
 
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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9