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Kaino gets reminder about step-up to Tests

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/06/2016
Jerome Kaino © Getty Images Jerome Kaino

A two-time Rugby World Cup winner, Jerome Kaino has almost 70 All Blacks caps and has made more than 100 Super Rugby appearances.

But for all his experience, the opening Test of a year remains a step-up from what has gone on in the months before.

Kaino played all 80 minutes of New Zealand's 39-21 win over Wales in the first Test in Auckland.

The Blues loose forward admits the difference from Super Rugby to Test level "caught me by surprise a bit".

"You can prepare as much as you can for it and you can do all the running, but there's no substitute for getting out there and doing it," he said.

The All Blacks are traditionally slow starters to an international season and they again showed rustiness at Eden Park.

They trailed the tourists going into the final quarter before producing a big finish.

Kaino said there were little periods where the All Blacks were short of where they needed to be and Wales capitalised.

One example was their chase line, which allowed Wales wing George North and fullback Liam Williams the opportunity to produce several dangerous breaks.

"It's just those little things," Kaino said.

"If you're half a step off, then you get punished for it and that's one thing I noticed from Super Rugby to Tests."

North was a star of Wales' effort on Saturday night, but has been ruled of the remainder of the three-Test series with a hamstring injury suffered right at the end of the match.

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