The Waratahs' preparations are in limbo for their crucial home clash with the Bulls this weekend because coach Michael Cheika says he has "no idea" if Israel Folau will be available.

Folau was controversially pulled from the clash with the Western Force on Saturday after Australian Rugby Union medical staff overruled the Waratahs' decision that their fullback had fully recovered from a throat cartilage injury.

The Waratahs lost the match and second spot in the Australian conference, despite dominating play and making the Force make three times more tackles as them.

Folau said he had telephoned ARU boss Bill Pulver after being told on Friday he could not play.

‘‘I spoke to Bill on Friday night and pretty much expressed how I really felt about the whole situation, the whole process,’’ he said. ‘‘Last week I was really frustrated but this week I won’t waste too much energy on thinking about it or trying to force it. If I play, I play, that’s good. If I don’t, I’ll just let it go.’’

Not even Folau knew how long his recovery might take.

‘‘I don’t know, it could be six weeks, the specialists have all said different timings,’’ he said. ‘‘Two of them said I could have played last week and another one said I had to wait another six weeks. For me as a player it’s frustrating because it’s not black and white, I just want a definitive answer so I can set my timing and planning.

"It’s frustrating for everyone, including the coaching staff. I just want to get back as quick as I can and play footy with the boys. It was a disappointing result on the weekend but I’m sure the boys will be up for it this week.’’

Cheika said Folau's absence was no excuse for his side's missed opportunities and said the decision about whether he would be back for this week's match was not up to the Waratahs.

"I have no idea ... We just have to play it out and see what happens," Cheika said. "If he was all right for us this week he is all right for us next week, but it's up to them really, at this stage, how long they want to keep him out."

The 28-16 scoreline and Nick Cummins' hat-trick were not reflective of the momentum of the game, which went all the Waratahs' way.

But while the Force took six trips into the NSW 22-metre zone and came away with points on five occasions, the Waratahs scored once from nine trips.

They conceded three penalties inside the Force's 22 and a near-certain try turned into Cummins' first five-pointer.

"I'll never use excuses for anything, losing Israel is no excuse for losing the game, or dropping balls," Cheika said. "I do think we played quite well, just some key moments went against us and we dropped a lot of ball and made a million passes.

"We were playing footy non-stop, and it goes that way sometimes."

The Waratahs did not pick up any evident injuries in the bruising encounter. They go into this week hoping to have Wycliff Palu back, but will have to continue without injured wingers Alofa Alofa and Peter Betham.

Cheika said he would not try to influence ARU officials about Folau. "I'm not going to do anything, it's not up to me, I have to get ready for the next game, that's what I'm going to do," he said.

"I didn't make it happen, someone else made it happen, that's the reality, so I'm just going to get ready for the Bulls game."

Force coach Michael Foley lauded his side's turnaround from round one, when the Waratahs scored six tries to beat them by 22.

"We were playing a very powerful, very talented side that knows how to use the ball well," Foley said. "When you consider that just a few weeks ago they put six tries into us, to go out there and do what our guys did ... Hodgo [captain Matt Hodgson] and the boys found a way to win through a lot of character."

Cheika questioned the validity of an obstruction call on Jono Lance, which disallowed a try to NSW winger Cam Crawford in the 46th minute. "I thought that was a beautiful bit of back line play," he said.

"The player [Alby Mathewson] misread the play and went to tackle another guy. I suppose teams don't play many moves off first phase any more, so the refs aren't used to it, I don't know. But that's the way it goes sometimes."