Leali’ifano keen to resume kicking battle with Halfpenny

He may have been on the end of Leigh Halfpenny's metronomic kicking during the British & Irish Lions tour but Australia's Christian Leali'ifano can't wait to resume their battle off the tee. [more]

Leali’ifano keen to resume kicking battle with Halfpenny

He may have been on the end of Leigh Halfpenny’s metronomic kicking during the British & Irish Lions tour but Australia’s Christian Leali’ifano can’t wait to resume their battle off the tee.

The Brumbies star and the Wales full-back traded kick for kick this summer, and go head to head once more when Wales welcome Australia to the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Leali’ifano scored 22 points in his two Tests against the Lions but his performances were overshadowed by IRB World Player of the Year nominee Halfpenny, who ended the tour with a personal haul of 49 points.

And the Aussie insists he is looking for revenge, the memory of a 2-1 series defeat still lingering in his mind.

“That last Test still sticks in my mind,” Leali'ifano told wru.co.uk. “I remember how tough that night was. I think revenge will be on my mind for the rest of my life.

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“Leigh's a sharp-shooter – he's proven that his whole career. He's a fantastic all-round player. He's done some fantastic things for Wales and the Lions.

“Good on him for being nominated for IRB World Player of the Year. He's great with ball in hand, is very quick and a fantastic runner.

“I rate his kicking ability highly. If we give away penalties, he's going to punish us. It's going to be tough, no doubt about it.

“I hope I kick my goals because a lot of Test matches come down to small margins. We have got to put ourselves in a position to take a win. We have got to improve our discipline to limit his chances.”

Leali’ifano wasn’t at his best during Australia’s win over Scotland at Murrayfield last week, and is determined to put an uncharacteristic off-day behind him, starting tomorrow.

“I was disappointed with how I kicked but just glad it didn't really cost the team,” he added. “That's the big thing I was worried about. Hopefully, moving on, I will kick better.

“It's something I had done well this year. I'm doing a bit of work this week to try and it right before the weekend.”
 

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