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Wales target accurate kicking game

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/06/2016 Robert Lowe
Dan Biggar, the Welsh kicker © Getty Images Dan Biggar, the Welsh kicker

Former Wales playmaker Neil Jenkins says the tourists' kicking game will have to be spot-on in the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland.

Jenkins, who is Wales' skills coach, has warned about the dangers of directing wayward kicks at the All Blacks.

"The back three that they have got will cause damage to most sides," he said.

"You have to be accurate in your kicking. You have to be accurate in your kick chase. You have to make your tackles. It's as simple as that.

"They have some fantastic people who can beat people one-on-one."

For the match on Saturday night, the All Blacks have moved away from selecting a fullback-cum-wing on one flank.

Instead, they have opted for two power runners on the wings in Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo, leading to speculation that Wales could launch an aerial bombardment at them.

Jenkins played 87 Tests for Wales and four for the Lions, and once held the record for most international points scored.

It's in goalkicking where Wales, with first five-eighth Dan Biggar, have the edge on the All Blacks.

Biggar landed 90 per cent of his attempts at last year's World Cup, a tournament that New Zealand No.10 Aaron Cruden missed because of injury.

In this year's Super Rugby, Cruden has often left fullback Damian McKenzie to take the tee for the Chiefs.

Jenkins is hoping the Test at Eden Park comes down to a penalty kick, because that means it would have been close, but he is wary of the All Blacks' ability to pull away late in games.

"The last few times we've played the All Blacks, we've been there or thereabouts with 15 minutes to go," he said.

"But as they've shown - and that is why they are the best side in the world - they go away from you in the last 10 to 15 minutes."

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