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Missing Folau a concern for Waratahs

RUGBY: The unprecedented grounding of former NRL star Israel Folau by the Australian Rugby Union could have serious consequences for the Waratahs' Super Rugby campaign after his absence clearly helped the Force to a 28-16 win in Perth on Saturday night.

Instead of ripping holes in the Force defence, Folau sat in the stands after being informed by the ARU on Friday he was being stood down on medical advice.

That came despite the club's own doctor, Sharon Flahive, giving him the green light to return from a throat injury which had sidelined him from the Tahs' two-game tour of South Africa.

Three tries to the Force's cult hero Nick Cummins (pictured) proved the major difference between the teams.

But the Tahs had a lot of football and no doubt Folau would have caused the Force defence of a lot of headaches.

He was clearly flummoxed by the ARU's late call to ban him from playing after he made the trip to Perth, passed a final fitness test and consulted a specialist.

"Frustrated" he posted to his 60,000 followers with a frowning face symbol attached

He followed that by re-tweeting former Wallaby teammate Drew Mitchell's tweet, questioning that if the Wallabies had been playing the All Blacks last weekend, would the (ARU) medical staff have stood Folau down.

Folau's ARU contract is up for renegotiation at the end of the season.

RESULTS:

HIGHLANDERS 27 (Sopoaga, Evans, Fekitoa tries; Sopoaga 2 pen, 3 con) BULLS 20 ( Basson, van der Merwe tries; Potgieter 2 pen, 2 con)

BRUMBIES 23 (Fardy, Tomane tries; White 3 pen, 2 con) REDS 20 (Robinson, Quirk tries; Cooper 2 pen, 2 con) in Brisbane on Friday night

CHIEFS 22 (Fitzgerald try; Anscombe 5 pen, con) REBELS 16 (Horie try; Woodward 3 pen, con) in Hamilton on Saturday night

FORCE 28 (Cummins 3 tries; Ebersohn 3 pen, 2 con) WARATAHS 16 (Beale try; Beale 2 pen; Foley pen, con) in Perth on Saturday night

SHARKS 25 (Mvovo try; Steyn 4 pen, con, Zeilinga 2 pen) LIONS 12 (Boshoff 4 pen) in Johannesburg on Saturday night

CRUSADERS 52 (Nadolo 3, Dagg, Taylor, Slade tries; Slade 4 pen, 4 con; Bleyendaal con) CHEETAHS 31 (Hendricks, Pretorius, Mohoje, le Roux tries; Watts pen, 4 con) in Bloemfontein on Saturday night



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