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Ulster can cull Cardiff

COACH Mark Anscombe knows that first or second will do as Ulster have already committed to the RDS as their nominated venue for the final.

Their capitulation to Saracens in the Heineken Cup quarter-final would have hurt deep and lasting.

They have had time to digest their inadequacies.

The emergence of Ireland U-20 Stuart Olding at inside centre has been timely, to say the least, given the concussions suffered by Luke Marshall.

Cardiff Blues shouldn't present too troublesome a foe given how they have earned six points from their last six matches and have been sunk in their last three away rounds.

There are, however, warning signs against complacency as The Blues have been able to sucker-punch Connacht and Munster away from home in the PRO12 this season.

Verdict: Ulster

Ulster: J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, S Olding, T Bowe; R Pienaar, P Marshall; C Black, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (CAPT), I Henderson, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams.

Cardiff Blues: D Fish; A Cuthbert, G Evans (capt), D Hewitt, H Robinson; R Patchell, L Jones; T Filise, K Dacey, S Andrews, B Davies, L Reed, L Hamilton, J Navidi, M Paterson.