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Match Highlights: Brumbies beat Bulls

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Match Highlights: Kuridrani prompts Wallabies calls with hat-trick as Brumbies beat Bulls

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar says Tevita Kuridrani has a stranglehold on the Wallabies No.13 jersey after scoring a hat-trick in a 22-10 bonus-point win against the Bulls in Canberra on Friday.

The victory extends the Brumbies lead at the top of the Australian conference and moves them into second on the Super Rugby ladder.

Kuridrani hasn’t played a Test since 2017 after he was dropped and then injured last year, but is in career-best form and will almost certainly start for the Wallabies at the World Cup in September.

“Tevita is in a good place at the moment, he’s playing well. He’s seeing a lot more footy and getting a lot more opportunity and his confidence is high at the moment,” McKellar said.

“He’s benefiting off the good work on the inside of him with Christian (Lealiifano) and Irae (SImone) giving him good ball and the forwards turning up at set piece.

“The last six or seven weeks of last year before he got injured, Tevita was very good. He’s going to be there or there abouts with the Wallabies, there’s no doubt he’d be my 13.”

McKellar said the emphasis against the Bulls on Friday was discipline but his men were penalised inside 30 seconds and the visitors went ahead 3-0.

The Brumbies crossed for the first try when fullback Tom Banks drew two defenders and off-loaded to Kuridrani who scored in the corner after five minutes.

Three collapsed mauls led to Brumbies flanker Tom Cusack being sin-binned on 14 minutes and a Bulls try came next when they pushed over at scrum time.

The Brumbies turned down four kickable penalties in the first half but their second try didn’t arrive until just before the break.

The Bulls nullified the Brumbies’ usually reliable maul so they called on Kuridrani to break the line and the star outside centre delivered to make it 12-10 at half-time.

The Brumbies have scored some sensational set-piece tries this season and added another from the scrum on 44 minutes.

Lealiifano ran at the line and found Henry Speight with an inside ball who then sent it back outside for Simone to score his first Super Rugby try.

The Brumbies had the wind in their sails and went back on the attack with Kuridrani scoring his third from an overlap just before the hour mark.

The scores remained unchanged for the final 20 minutes as the Brumbies made it six successive wins at home.

Bulls centre Burger Odendaal said: “They’re a class side, last we week we played the best team in Australia (Melbourne) and this week it changed because we played the best team again.”

AAP

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Match Highlights: Kuridrani prompts Wallabies calls with hat-trick as Brumbies beat Bulls