ABC/AAP: Israel Folau can not recall a try-scoring drought quite like it and he certainly has not faced a challenge as big as that which awaits him at Eden Park on Saturday.
After ending 2013 with the equal most tries in a calendar year by a Wallaby and opening 2014 with a spectacular hat-trick in Super Rugby, Folau enters the second Bledisloe Cup Test without a five-pointer to his name in his past four games.
The code-hopping superstar last crossed the stripe seven weeks ago in the New South Wales Waratahs’ 44-16 rout of the Highlanders.
Since then, he has watched team-mates at state and national level run in 13 tries for the Waratahs and Wallabies.
Folau, Super Rugby’s joint top try-scorer this year, was left scratching his head when asked how long it had been since he endured such a long time between celebrations.
“I can’t remember at all,” he said.
“But for me, that’s not a big thing.
“Going into the game I’m thinking about doing my job for the team and that’s not necessarily always scoring tries.
“There’s some really good players around myself that can do that as well and hopefully we can perform as a team on the weekend.”
Personally, Folau is due a big one after rating his own game in last Saturday’s 12-all stalemate in Sydney “probably a six” out of 10.
The full-back’s unusually quiet night included one wild pass that flew over Kurtley Beale’s head when the Wallabies had a two-man overlap and the chance to put the All Blacks to the sword.
“I obviously wasn’t too happy, but there wasn’t much that we could have done,” Folau said.
“Obviously the conditions didn’t really suit the way we wanted to play so I did as much as I could.
“The main thing for me is that I did my job for the team and hopefully, if it’s dry this weekend, we can play a bit of footy.”
Having won an NRL grand final with the Melbourne Storm, a State of Origin series with Queensland and been Australia’s youngest player to represent the Kangaroos in a rugby league Test, Folau has rarely experienced being such an underdog as he is with the Wallabies trying to topple the All Blacks in Auckland for the first time since 1986.
“In my rugby league career, I was always involved in strong teams with Melbourne and Brisbane and with the Queensland side,” he said.
“It’s a little bit on the other end for me now where I’m on the other side looking for that challenge.
“It’s been good for me and something I really enjoy, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Folau was left with a bloodied nose after colliding with Wallabies half-back Nic White in the rain-soaked series opener, but insists he is 100 per cent to tackle the world champions.
“Obviously I got a little bit of a knock in the weekend but I was more worried with Whitey going down with a cork,” he said.
“But it’s fine. All ready to go for the weekend.”