Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: Sopoaga leads NZ kickers at test time

12 comments
Lima Sopoaga has a 75 per cent success rate which compares strongly with the leading kickers. Photo / Getty Images
Lima Sopoaga has a 75 per cent success rate which compares strongly with the leading kickers. Photo / Getty Images

Highlanders five-eighths Lima Sopoaga is running a mean game and is also the most accurate goal-kicker among the New Zealand teams.

He has a 75 per cent success rate which compares strongly with the leading kickers in Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan.

The next best in New Zealand is Damian McKenzie who has kicked for most of the season with the Chiefs and runs at 70 per cent.

Teammate and All Black prospect Aaron Cruden eased away from goalkicking as he returned from last year's serious knee injury but when asked to kick has succeeded with half of his 14 attempts.

Fellow All Black Beauden Barrett has taken on the heaviest workload with 66 attempts and succeeding with 62 per cent of those.

All four are likely to be involved in the initial All Blacks squad chosen for the three-test June series against Wales.

That group is likely to have 32 players and will be revealed in Auckland on May 29 as Super rugby takes a month break for the internationals.

The big question will be what sort of weighting the All Black selectors put on kicking success when they pick their opening test side for the Eden Park test on June 11.

The Sunwolves Tusi Pisi is the most accurate of the regular marksmen in the 18 team competition with a 77 per cent strike rate or 33 successes from his 43 attempts.

The Brumbies Christian Leali'ifano has a 76 per cent strike rate, Nicolas Sanchez knocks over 74 per cent of his shots for the Jaguares and Elton Jantjies is the best in South Africa with 72 per cent.

NZ kickers

• Lima Sopoaga 75% - 39 from 52 attempts.
• Damian McKenzie 70%- 37/53
• Ihaia West 69% - 39/54
• Richie Mo'unga 67% - 39/58
• Beauden Barrett 62% - 41/66
• Aaron Cruden 50% - 7/14

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

Read more by Wynne Gray

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 24 May 2017 20:26:28 Processing Time: 763ms