British and Irish Lions kicking game crucial v All Blacks, says Dan Biggar
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 19/06/17 3:55pm
Wales and Lions fly-half Dan Biggar has insisted a strong kicking game is essential if Warren Gatland's side are to overcome the All Blacks in New Zealand.
Box-kicking, territorial kicks from hand and kicking from the tee are all vital aspects to match play and perceived as strengths of the northern hemisphere teams over their southern counterparts.
Aside from diffusing any potential spoiling tactics, kicking would appear key to Gatland's plans to win the series and Biggar has highlighted the combination of accurate kicks and competition in the air as a key focus area for the squad.
Armed with Conor Murray, Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny Sexton, Owen Farrell and Biggar, all of whom are noted for a particularly strong kicking game, Biggar admits it could be the crucial point of difference between the two sides come the Test series.
"You look at the accuracy that Conor Murray and the guys are putting on their box kicks at the minute, it's absolutely top draw," Biggar told Sky Sports News HQ.
"It's allowing us to get good field position, to compete in the air, and that's a big thing we've worked on.
"You don't want to be kicking too loosely to the back three players they've got in this country, which is not just the All Blacks, it's basically like ten Test matches anyway.
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"The kicking game has been a little bit up and down in terms of what we've done. Overall we're pretty positive, we're doing a lot of work in training in terms of competing in the air, trying to get boys to compete for the ball and hopefully as we go on in the tour and into the Test matches it'll come good.
"Absolutely [could be the point of difference to win the series]. When you're looking to win a big game, you normally need three things to work pretty well.
"Your set-piece, your defence and your kicking game has to be good, so those three things are hugely important.
"The kicking game obviously falls to your 9 and 10 a lot, but if we can get those in place we'll be halfway there to beating the All Blacks."