Kuridrani the great Redeemer at Murrayfield

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

At half-time in Australia’s 23-22 win over Scotland, Tevita Kuridrani was a mess.

The outside centre was beating himself up, literally, over a missed tackle that handed his opposite Huw Jones the first of a Test try double.

That slip was the only tackle he missed, sticking another 10 to be super effective in defence against Scotland.

By full-time at Murrayfield, Kuridrani was triumphant, after clinching the match winner in the 75th minute, a result of a fiery determination to right the wrong.

The outside centre beat two defenders before being tied up by Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg just short of the line, managing to score the try with an outstretched arm, marking his second five-pointer in as many matches.

Kuridrani was low after the opening half, he said, but was determined to turn that disappointment into concentration for the second stanza.

“I was pretty down. It was a one-on-one and I missed it and I really wanted to do something to make up for it, lucky I got the try,” he said.

“You try to forget it.

“If I keep thinking of it during the game, it might affect my game again so I just tried to move on to the next stuff.”

During the break, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika told Kuridrani to move on from that opening 40 minutes.

“He was hurting because he missed one early on and cost us a try,” Cheika said.

“I saw him in the dressing room at halftime and he was hitting himself in the head, which I told him wasn't advisable because it won't do him any good.”

Closing in on the line, Kuridrani had the option to hand off to 50-Test fullback Israel Folau but opted to go himself, ultimately taking the five pointer.

“He cleaned up a very messy play by our boys [to score],” Cheika said.

“We didn't get that game - they spoiled us at that play we were trying to set up - and he cleaned it up, made something of it and then he probably should've given it to Israel, just quietly.

The 25-year-old said he heard Folau calling for the ball as he neared the line but was set on scoring to redeem himself.

Kuridrani lost his 13 spot to Samu Kerevi earlier this season but with Kerevi’s ankle injury, the Brumbies centre has been able to stake his claim on the spot.

Cheika threw down the gauntlet to Kuridrani, who has been one of the mainstays through the Wallabies coach’s reign.

“We want 'T' running hard at guys and I feel like he's started to come back into that form,” he said.

“He's got a big challenge from Samu Kerevi obviously and he was out of the team for a while,”- Michael Cheika

“Now, while Samu's missing, he's got to try and claim as much ground as he can.”

The Wallabies will take on France next weekend at Stade de France, leaving for Paris on Sunday.