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Kuridrani turns matchwinner after error

AAP logoAAP 12/11/2016 Joe Barton

So angry was Wallabies match-winner Tevita Kuridrani at a costly first-half defensive error, coach Michael Cheika found the hard-running centre hitting himself in the head at halftime.

The 25-year-old's missed tackle on his opposite number, Huw Jones, in the 27th minute gave the home side a deserved 17-10 halftime lead - leaving Kuridrani downcast as he marched to the sheds, which is where Cheika found him.

"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," Cheika smirked.

It was a scenario Cheika could joke about given the dramatic finish to the game, where Kuridrani turned a scrappy, broken-down play into the turning point of the match with a stunning 25-metre run.

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

"(But later) he cleaned up a very messy play by our boys - made something of it and then he probably could've given it to (fullback) Israel (Folau) just quietly."

It is a second try on tour for Kuridrani, who marked his return to the starting lineup last week with a typically blockbusting five-pointer against Wales.

It's been a rollercoaster year for the 25-year-old, who was a constant fixture in Cheika's starting sides for the past three years before being benched for good friend Samu Kerevi this season.

An ankle injury forced Kerevi out of the Spring Tour and reopened the door for Kuridrani, with Cheika now challenging his matchwinner to make the most of the tour.

"We want (Kuridrani) running hard at guys and I feel like he's started to come back into that form," Cheika said.

"He's got a big challenge from Samu Kerevi obviously and he was out of the team for a while.

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

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