Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Halfpenny hopes to kick Scotland again

Leigh Halfpenny has amassed 184 points in 15 Tests for Wales

Wales star Leigh Halfpenny has inflicted his fair share of pain on Scotland - and Saturday's Murrayfield clash between the countries might prove no exception.

When it comes to Six Nations opponents, Halfpenny has punished Scotland like no other. The full-back's tally of 32 points against them in just three appearances features four tries. Since taking over from Rhys Priestland as principal goalkicker midway through Wales' 2012 RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland, Halfpenny has amassed 184 points in 15 Tests.

If the 24-year-old maintains his current strike rate, he will overtake Paul Thorburn as Wales' fourth all-time highest points scorer behind Neil Jenkins, Stephen Jones and James Hook later this year. On present form, a British and Irish Lions Test place also beckons against Australia in June and he said: "I am pleased with how things have been going."

Halfpenny, whose head-to-head with Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg could easily pass as a Lions Test team audition, added: "I've been working hard, but I still have to keep working hard and still look to keep on improving. I want to get my hands on the ball more and come into the line more.

"But overall, I'm pretty pleased with how the kicking has been going. I need to keep working on that and keep that going.

"The last two games (against France and Italy) have been pretty tight games, with not much attack. It has been low-risk rugby, playing more territory and putting pressure on the opposition to attack.

"Hopefully, we can get plenty of ball out wide and show a bit more of our attacking game. We all want to get the ball in our hands and we want to score tries - there is no better feeling than that.

"The last two games we've had to find a way to win, to grind wins out.

"In Italy, there was no way we could play expansive rugby because the conditions didn't allow us to. But we adapted our game, and I think that was the pleasing thing out there.

"We turned up, it was hammering down with rain and we were able to talk about it and execute a different game-plan."

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