Just two games remain in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup campaign and five-eighth Bernard Foley says he wants the ball in his hands when those Tests are on the line.
In the last-gasp quarter-final win over Scotland, Foley revisited his role as ‘the iceman’ – a nickname he has reluctantly begun to accept after again displaying nerves of steel with a match-winning kick.
Starting with Sunday’s (Monday 0300 AEDT) semi-final date with Argentina, Foley will lift the Wallabies on his shoulders and demand the chance to come up with the clutch play once again.
“If you’re the one who knows what’s in mind with the strategy and how you want to play, there’s no point in going into your shell and leaving it for someone else,” he said.
“We talk about playing our music and, as a side, that’s what we all want to do, and bringing your own flavour to it but also doing your job for the team.
“I suppose that’s your job. You want to stand up – not just in your kicking roles and in general play but in ordering people around and commanding that we get to our strategy and our shape.”
Two of last weekend’s quarter-finals were decided by a single point and the semi-finals are expected to be equally as hard-fought – making Foley’s goal-kicking all the more crucial.
He says his work with kicking guru Chris Malone – including a unique drill which involves teammates and coaching staff hurling abuse as he lines up tough shots at goal – has given him the confidence to land big kicks at the end of games.
“The kicking squad has good chat between each other and they give each other good niggle when we have those situations when we try to put each other off,” he said.
“I suppose the coaches are just as good for that.
“(Assistant coaches) Nathan Grey and Stephen Larkham, they’re just big kids and they enjoy trying to put you off as well.
“It’s all part of it and I guess removing yourself from the context and the situation for the kick.
“Doing the kick over and over is what it comes back to, not thinking about the consequences.”