Once again, Israel Folau was Headingley’s chat, but this time for his excellence as a world-class player as he helped Catalans Dragons win a 40-14 Super League over Castleford from 14-0 down.
The international dual-code demonstrated its agility to score one individual attempt to create two more in a man-of-the-match effort as the French club bounced back in style from St Helens’ 34-6 hammering, collecting 40 unanswered points after making a disastrous start.
.Folau refused for the second week in succession to take a knee in favour of the Black Lives Matter campaign and this time he was joined by two of his Catalan Dragons team-mates, Benjamin Jullien and former Sydney Roosters prop Sam Moa.
After last Sunday’s game, Catalan coach Steve McNamara said the players were free to make a personal choice on the matter and, as a devout Christian, Folau is believed to have taken the view that he would bow only to his Father.
Folau, who was sacked in 2019 from his Rugby Australia contract for racist social media remarks, had a rough start to the match as his opposing number, Michael Shenton, went for two tries inside the first 10 minutes.
“I hope he gets better and he’s determined to,” McNamara said.
“He’s got the potential to improve.
“I think there is a lot more to come, he works really hard.
“He was great today but his wife is due to give birth any time now and he nearly didn’t get on the plane. Thankfully he did.”