Kuridrani: A man on a mission

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tevita Kuridrani is a man on a mission this season, with a mandate to entrench himself as an attacking threat.

As Samu Kerevi, Kuridrani’s major competition for the Wallabies 13 spot, continues to prove his attacking potency, the heat is on for Kuridrani to put himself in the thick of the action.

Kuridrani said he was focused on working his into games more quickly after a mixed Super Rugby year.

“I probably wasn't really involved a lot (last year) but I’m trying to change up my game this year and make sure that I’m involved a lot, just try to get in the game as quickly as I can,” he said.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said they wanted to harness Kuridrani’s hunger to make him a greater threat across the park.

“He's very motivated at the moment and we certainly want to get him first phase ball," he said.

Larkham was pleased with his fledgling backline ,.led by rookies Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera in round one and has backed them in for their clash with the Sharks.


The Brumbies mentor was particularly happy with Powell, who stepped up in the absence of Tomas Cubelli as starting halfback.

“I thought he had a very good game, both defensively and in attack,” he said.

“Certainly defensively he was outstanding, covered a number of linebreaks and I think he got through 75 minutes out there so for a first up hit there, he did a fantastic job.”

Scott Sio is still on the recovery trail from a hamstring injury, with Larkham conceding a return date for the Wallabies prop was still unclear.

Larkham said he was looking for more cohesion from his side this week, opting to maintain his side’s new combinations for a second straight match in that vein.

After surprising some critics with a tight loss to the Crusaders, Larkham said they would need to adjust for their clash with the Durban-based Sharks.

“I think there are a few tactical fixes that we made from the weekend, in terms of when we kicked and how we kicked and then obviously trying to maintain our shape in attack, was an issue for us on the weekend as well,” he said.

“There’s still some areas in defence that we felt we weren't as good as we needed to be but overall the defence was outstanding so we want to maintain that and just pick up particularly our set piece.”

This weekend’s match is their first of just seven home games, making Saturday’s clash all the more crucial.

The Brumbies host the Sharks at Canberra Stadium on Saturday March 4, at 7:45pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.

TEAM

Brumbies team to play the Sharks in Canberra.

1. Nic Mayhew

2. Josh Mann-Rea

3. Allan Alaalatoa

4. Rory Arnold

5. Sam Carter (C)

6. Scott Fardy

7. Chris Alcock

8. Jordan Smiler

9. Joe Powell

10. Wharenui Hawera

11. James Dargaville

12. Kyle Godwin

13. Tevita Kuridrani

14. Henry Speight

15. Aidan Toua

Reserves

16. Robbie Abel

17. Ben Alexander

18. Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin

19. Tom Staniforth

20. Lolo Fakaosilea

21. De Wet Roos

22. Andrew Smith

23. Isaac Thompson

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