John Cooney to the fore as Ulster get the better of Cardiff
ULSTER 23 CARDIFF 14
Ulster made it three wins from four in the PRO14 but were made to work hard by the Cardiff Blues at Kingspan Stadium.
Ulster suffered an early setback as centre James Hume had to leave the pitch injured following the first passage of play.
The hosts broke the deadlock on two minutes. Flanker Sean Reidy charged down Blues scrum-half Jarrod Evans’ attempted kick, the Kiwi collected the bouncing ball and put centre Luke Marshall clear to run over and touch down, with John Cooney converting.
The Ulster scrum-half was on target with a penalty six minutes later.
Ulster got their second try on 20 minutes, Marcell Coetzee carrying deep into the Cardiff 22. Cooney spun the ball to Billy Burns and he outsmarted two defenders to dart under the posts with Cooney knocking over the conversion.
As Cardiff continued to press, Marshall was yellow-carded for a high tackle but the Blues couldn’t make their advantage count and Ulster led 17-0 at the break.
Cardiff finally opened their account two minutes after the restart as winger Aled Summerhill crossed, with Evans converting.
Flanker Will Boyde got the visitors’ second try after a defensive mistake by Cooney, with Evans converting.
Cooney was on target with a 62nd-minute penalty for the home side to complete the scoring
ULSTER – W Addison; C Gilroy, L Marshall, J Hume (M Faddes 2), L Ludik; B Burns, J Cooney; J McGrath (E O’Sullivan 48), J Andrew (McBurney 57), T O’Toole (R Kane 65); A O’Connor (S Carter 48), K Treadwell; M Rea, S Reidy (N Timoney 57), M Coetzee.
CARDIFF – M Morgan (J Tovey 67); J Harries, G Smith (H Millard 60), W Halaholo, A Summerhill; J Evans, L Williams; B Thyer (K Dacey 58), L Belcher, S Andrews (CK Assiratti 67); J Turnbull, R Thornton (S Davies 58); W Boyde, O Robinson, N Williams (S Lewis-Hughes 47).
REF – M Adamson (SRU).