Blog Banner

Ulster 32 Cardiff Blues 12

15th October 2006

A visit to Ravenhill with Ulster top of the table and Celtic League Champions was always going to be tough.

The Blues got off to a good start and looked solid kicking for territory and keeping Ulster down in their own half. Ulster did try to counter attack however Nick Macleoad also showed his attacking abilities taking the ball in to the Ulster twenty two.

The ball was moved to the right with Mark Lewis on the wing but he was tackled just short, and when the ball was recycled it was spread out to Duane Goodfield before the move broke down and the Blues were awarded a penalty that Nick Robinson struck just wide. Rhys Williams the Blues Captain on the night left the field with what looked like a hip injury and saw Deiniol Jones get the captains armband.

The Blues were soon on the scoreboard when Mark Lewis and Nick Macleod exchanged passes in midfield before Jamie Robinson passed to the young number 8 who was held up just short before Chris Czekaj gathered the ball and cross for the try. David Humphreys soon kicked penalty for the home side’s first score of the evening.

Ed Fairhurst was having an excellent match in his first start for the team and a great break saw him sprint 30 yards and chip the full back , Maxwell was back to cover on the try line, however his pass was nearly intercepted by Jamie Robinson who just failed to gather the ball that would have lead to a certain try.

The Blues were put under pressure trying to run the ball in their own half and as the ball was turned over, Ulster used the overlap to send Paddy Wallace over for a try to give Ulster the lead for the first time at 8-5.

Once again Ulster looked dangerous and seemed to be gathering momentum and the Blues seemed to be let off the hook when and Ulster pass was thrown forward 5 metres from the tryline. The Blues cleared from the scrum but a driving lineout by Ulster saw Neil Best pushed over for a try. Humphreys once again missed the conversion.

It was a very physical encounter with some big hits going in and for the second time in two years John Yapp was handed a yellow card at Ravenhill. The referees decision once again baffled the travelling Cardiff Blues supporters. Gethin Jenkins came on for Ben White but Ulster failed to capitalise on the man advantage and the score at half time was 13-5.


Early in the second half the Blues attempted to kick more for territory and Nicky Robinson struck a drop goal just wide. However, David Humphreys was equally adept at gaining ground for the home team.

Tempers boiled over once more with a brawl on the half way line and for the second time in the match a Cardiff Blues player was sent to the sin bin, with Scott Morgan being punished for being involved in a fight. Two men in the sin bin in consecutive years delighted the home crowd.

This time Ulster made the most of their numerical advantage when Andrew Trimble sprinted over after Ulster won the ball in the back of the line. The try was converted by Humphreys to bring the score to 20-5. Martyn Williams came on in place of Ben White and Gareth Williams who had also come on for Duane Goodfield looked busy around the field but it would always be difficult with 14 men. A driving lineout saw Martyn Williams appear to cross in the corner for a try however the referee didn’t award it and from the scrum v a sloppy pass by the Blues saw Andrew Maxwell hack through twice and sprint the length of the field to score.

Minutes later the same thing happened but this time Andrew Trimble was in front of the kicker by a clear three metres when he hacked through to score. To rub salt in the wound Martyn Williams was undeservedly yellow carded for questioning the referees decision, to make it three yellow cards and a disallowed try for the Blues.

Despite the obstacles put in front of them the Blues never gave up and a neat little chip by Dai Flanagan nearly released Tom Shanklin on the right. The Blues drove from the lineout but Ulster turned them over and managed to clear to the Blues twenty two. The Blues did however get a consolation try when Wayne Evans crossed in the corner with the try converted by Nick MacLeod to bring the final score to 32 -12.

Cardiff Blues 15. Nick Macleod 14. Chris Czekaj 13. Jamie Robinson 12. Marc Stcherbina 11. Rhys Williams 10. Nicky Robinson 9. Ed Fairhurst 8. Mark Lewis 7. Ben White 6. Scott Morgan 5. James Goode 4. Deiniol Jones 3. Gary Powell
2. Duane Goodfield 1. John Yapp Replacements 16. Gethin Jenkins 17. Gareth Williams 18. Bradley Davies 19. Martyn Williams 20. Wayne Evans 21. Tom Shanklin 22. David Flannigan

Ulster: 15 Bryn Cunningham; 14 Andrew Maxwell; 13 Kevin Maggs; 12 Paddy Wallace; 11 Andrew Trimble; 10 David Humphreys; 9 Isaac Boss; 1 Justin Fitzpatrick; 2 Rory Best; 3 Bryan Young; 4 Justin Harrison; 5 Matt McCullough; 6 Neil Best; 7 Stephen Ferris; 8 Roger Wilson Replacements: 16 Paul Shields; 17 Declan Fitzpatrick; 18 Tim Barker; 19 Neil McMillan; 20 Kieran Campbell; 21 Adam Larkin; 22 Scott Young