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Crusaders' Tom Taylor won't get kicking blues

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014
tom taylor
FATHERLY ADVICE: Tom Taylor knows who to ask for goalkicking tips.

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Whenever Tom Taylor needs advice about goalkicking he follows his bloodlines.

His dad Warwick, a former All Blacks midfielder, wasn't a kicker during his playing days but if Tom rings home he knows he can trust the messenger.

"Dad's always a good one to help me out but, honestly, I think I am at the point now where my technique is really simple and if I'm missing I know what's going on and what needs to change," Taylor said.

That should be sweet music to the ears of the Crusaders fans after their goalkickers, Tyler Bleyendaal (five) and Taylor (two), surrendered 21 points worth of penalties during last weekend's 18-10 loss to the Chiefs.

Taylor, who will start at first five-eighth against the Blues in place of the dropped Bleyendaal, has been confirmed as the man to take the kicks at Eden Park tomorrow night. This is despite another accomplished marksman, Colin Slade, being listed at fullback.

Although Taylor missed two penalties, he did slot a difficult conversion and a simple penalty at Christchurch Stadium.

He has made some subtle adjustments to his routine.

"I was just a little bit fast in my routine. I just need to focus on my tempo, slowing me down and it doesn't bother me at all. I'm not over-thinking it at all."

Beating himself up over what could have been was pointless, he said.

"You can't dwell on it. I've had plenty of times when I have missed most of my kicks and it can play on your mind but I have learned from that. You have to put it out of your head, focus on the next kick and not think about anything else."

In the pre-season matches Bleyendaal and Slade were the preferred starting No 10s, with Taylor on the bench and at second-five.

Taylor struck the ball well when he practised his goalkicking yesterday.

The forecast is for a few showers in Auckland tomorrow night but no tricky winds.

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- Fairfax Media

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