Halfpenny’s deadly boot

Leigh Halfpenny hopes to put the boot to Australia as Wales bid to beat the Wallabies. [more]

Halfpenny’s deadly boot

Leigh Halfpenny hopes to put the boot to Australia as Wales bid to beat the Wallabies.

The 2009 Lions full-back has been in sublime form Down Under and boasts a 100 per-cent success rate from the tee, with five successful shots at goal in each Test.

That has not been enough for Wales to claim a first win over the Wallabies, on Aussie soil, since 1969, but he is determined to stay on target in the third and final Test on Saturday.

“It’s not something I want to talk about really, just in case I jinx myself!’ quipped Halfpenny.

“But I’m obviously pleased with how things have gone at the moment. It’s something I work hard on and something I really enjoy doing and hopefully I can keep that up.”

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Halfpenny’s deadly accuracy is undoubtedly down to his dedication to training, the Cardiff Blues star even trains on Christmas Day.

And while Halfpenny, who is again a front-runner to represent the Lions next year in Australia, would not describe himself as a perfectionist, those in his family have differing opinions of his meticulous preparation.

“My mother says I’m a perfectionist. She says I always remember the things I did bad in a game,” said Halfpenny.

“Even if a kick goes over, I look to see how the kick could have gone over better. Could it have gone more towards middle or could I have struck the ball better?

“I look at the detail in things. You set yourself standards and I look to reach those standards all the time and I’m pretty annoyed with myself if I don’t meet them in my skills.

“I don’t know if that makes me a perfectionist, but I know my mother believes that.”

But there is much more to Halfpenny than his imperious kicking and Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has paid tribute to his all round game and professionalism.

Halfpenny was humbled to hear such praise from Edwards and admits the tough-talking rugby league star has been a major influence on his in game efficiency.

“It’s pretty special to receive kind words like that from Shaun,” said Halfpenny.

“I’ve been shouted at by him a lot of times in the past and I’ve certainly learned from the mistakes that I’ve made.

“There was one that stood out against France in my first year which cost us the game really.

“I have made sure I’ve prepared myself as well as possible before going into games, so that I know my role and everything to make sure I don’t make those mistakes again.”

Halfpenny admits Wales are still wounded from last week’s heartbreaking defeat at the death but reckons the Dragons are ready to bite back.

“You can tell by the attitude and intensity in training that the boys are really keen to get back on the field and play because obviously they were devastated from the last game,” added Halfpenny.

“We’ve looked at where we went wrong in Melbourne and the errors we made. Our discipline cost us at times.

“We’ve talked about how we could have dealt with situations better and we will look to put that into practice.

“We’ve put that to bed now and we’re looking forward to the third Test and making sure we put that right and finish the tour on a high.”

 

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