Try Grand Slam still on for Kuridrani

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies’ Grand Slam bid may be over but centre Tevita Kuridrani is still on track for his own try grand slam, after crossing in all four Tests on tour.

Only Mark Ella has completed the feat, having scored in every match of the 1984 Grand Slam tour, though Australia won that time around.

Tevita Kuridrani scored a fourth try in Ireland. Photo: Getty ImagesKuridrani scored in the corner in the 45th minute to put the Wallabies back in the game, his fourth try in as many Tests and his longest run of finishing of his Test career.

The outside centre has been in renewed form since reclaiming his starting spot after an injury to Samu Kerevi and it’s showed on the scoreboard with his run of tries.

While Kuridrani has been able to finish well, the Wallabies left a number of potential chances on the field, with some overly ambitious attack.

Though execution lacked at times, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said the pass-heavy game was something he wanted to see more of, a stance he has held through his time as Wallabies coach.

“I’m not going to change my tune from day one when we got here,” he said.

“We want to play good footy we’ve just got to play it for longer and after this game we’ve got to try and be more disciplined because that spread of penalties is that large you can’t win a game with that. - Michael Cheika

“The first possession we had was probably after about ten minutes and made a big long break and unfortunately we threw the ball away, we need to keep those balls and little things like that,” he said.

“We’re good with the ball, we play good rugby and that’s what we want to do. Maybe I am naïve as a coach thinking you can play good rugby and win Test matches but that’s what we want to try and do.”

Mark Ella was the last Wallaby to achieve a try gland slam. Photo: Getty ImagesCheika said there was promise in their attack, though lamented the general finishing ability.

“I think we did the right thing. We made a lot of line breaks, you’ve got to finish obviously,” he said.

“We had the opportunity where they called a knock-on from down here where we really should have put that away.

“What we could have done in the second half was just exiting some of our territory a little bit better. Two kick-offs which we put ourselves under a lot of pressure, one we didn’t get back, one we went out back and tried to skin them out wide.

“We cleared it in the end but a bit more effective around those things I think we could have made a bit of difference.”

Kuridrani’s last try before the Spring Tour came against England in Australia’s first June Series Test.

Australia takes on England at Twickenham on December 4, kicking off at 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on SBS and beIn Sport (Foxtel channel 515).

Join the discussion