A two-time Rugby World Cup winner, Jerome Kaino has almost 70 All Blacks caps and has made more than 100 Super Rugby appearances.
But for all his experience, the opening Test of a year remains a step-up from what has gone on in the months before.
Kaino played all 80 minutes of New Zealand’s 39-21 win over Wales in the first Test in Auckland.
The Blues loose forward admits the difference from Super Rugby to Test level “caught me by surprise a bit”.
Warren Gatland has told his two wings in Tuesday night’s clash with Super Rugby side the Chiefs that they are battling for a place in the second Test.
“You can prepare as much as you can for it and you can do all the running, but there’s no substitute for getting out there and doing it,” he said.
The All Blacks are traditionally slow starters to an international season and they again showed rustiness at Eden Park.
They trailed the tourists going into the final quarter before producing a big finish.
Kaino said there were little periods where the All Blacks were short of where they needed to be and Wales capitalised.
One example was their chase line, which allowed Wales winger George North and full-back Liam Williams the opportunity to produce several dangerous breaks.
“It’s just those little things,” Kaino said.
“If you’re half a step off, then you get punished for it and that’s one thing I noticed from Super Rugby to Tests.”
North was a star of Wales’ effort on Saturday night, but has been ruled of the remainder of the three-Test series with a hamstring injury suffered right at the end of the match.
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/16183932/all-blacks-veteran-jerome-kaino-felt-pinch-opening-test-wales
Test intensity caught Kaino by surprise
ESPN.com – RUGBY