Cardiff Blues 22 - 35 Ulster
Sat 03 December 17:15 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 6,010 Ref: Andy Brace Guinness Pro12

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Ulster

Fri 2 Dec 2016 16:03 Preview: Cardiff Blues v Ulster
Wales’ Capital Region made a flying start to the Championship with four consecutive wins but have won one of five since.

They go into the encounter on the back of a frustrating loss to Connacht in Galway but face an Ulster side that have lost three on the bounce and saw last weekend’s clash with Zebre postponed.

Danny Wilson has made five changes to the side that slipped up against Connacht with international trio Gethin Jenkins, Sam Warburton and Lloyd Williams all returning.

Blaine Scully switches to full-back in the absence of Dan Fish with Alex Cuthbert coming into the starting line-up. Up front Taufa’ao Filise steps up from the bench to join Jenkins and Warburton in the pack.

There is also a place on the replacements bench for Nicky Robinson, who came out of retirement at the beginning of the week as injury cover.

Wales’ Capital Region won the corresponding fixture last season and face an Ulster team that has lost their last three PRO12 encounters and saw last week’s fixture against Zebre postponed.

What they said

Danny Wilson:

“We beat Ulster at home last season in quite an exciting game and I envisage something similar on Saturday evening.

“They would have wanted that game last week and are coming into this after three weeks off but they have a star-studded team and their internationals back. They have some real quality.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t pick up anything in Connacht, we certainly created enough opportunities and dropped the ball twice over the line which could have won the game.

“But one thing we improved was our defence. We’ve spent a lot of time on it in the last couple of weeks and we defended extremely well. 

“If we can see that at home and add to our attacking game on our surface it should be an exciting game.”

Nicky Robinson:

Josh Navidi:






Cardiff Blues scorers


Ulster scorers

Fri 25 Oct 13

Kingspan Stadium



Richard Smith(T) Robin Copeland(T) Leigh Halfpenny(C/3P)

Paddy Jackson(3P) Luke Marshall(T) Dan Tuohy(2T) Jared Payne(T) Ruan Pienaar(C/P) Andrew Trimble(T)

Sat 29 Mar 14

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park



Gareth Davies(C/7P) Robin Copeland(T)

Paddy Jackson(6P) Darren Cave(T)

Fri 19 Sep 14

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park



Rhys Patchell(3P)

Paddy Jackson(C/4P) Dan Tuohy(T) Ian Humphreys(T/C)

Fri 27 Mar 15

Kingspan Stadium



Gareth Anscombe(2C/P) Alex Cuthbert(T) Tom Isaacs(T)

Craig Gilroy(T) Ian Humphreys(C) Paul Marshall(T) Ruan Pienaar(C/4P) Louis Ludik(2T)

Fri 23 Oct 15

Kingspan Stadium



Rhys Patchell(4P) Josh Navidi(T)

Stuart McCloskey(T) Ian Humphreys(2C) Paul Marshall(T) Nick Williams(T) Andrew Trimble(T)

Sun 28 Feb 16

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park



Rhys Patchell(T/2C/3P) Aled Summerhill(T)


Paddy Jackson(C/2P) Craig Gilroy(T)

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record: Played 26, Blues won 12, Ulster won 14.

Did you know?

  • ?  Cardiff Blues have won just one of their last five Guinness PRO12 matches: 34 – 28 in Treviso in round 8.

  • ?  The Blues have lost their last two home games in the Championship, to Leinster and to Scarlets, but have not lost three in a row in the Championship at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park since the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

  • ?  Ulster have lost their last three Guinness PRO12 fixtures and have not been defeated in four successive matches in the Championship since 2011.

  • ?  The Ulstermen have not won away from home since defeating Glasgow at Scotstoun at the end of September.

  • ?  The Ulstermen have won their last four encounters with Welsh Regions.

  • ?  Each side won its respective home game when the two teams clashed last season whilst Ulster have been successful in Cardiff on two of their last four visits. 

Cardiff Blues: Blaine Scully; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Tom James; Steve Shingler, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Kristian Dacey, Taufa’ao Filise, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Jenkins, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi.
Replacements: Matthew Rees, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Tomos Williams, Nicky Robinson, Matthew Morgan

Ulster: C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, C Gilroy, B Herron, R Pienaar; K McCall, R Herring (capt), W Herbst, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy;

Replacements: J Andrew, A Warwick, R Ah You, K Treadwell, C Ross, P Marshall, L Ludik, D Cave.