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Ulster v Cardiff Blues Preview

3rd May 2006

This is a must win game for Ulster and Cardiff Blues if they are to maintain their challenge for the Celtic League title (kick off 9.00pm – live television coverage on S4C and Setanta).

Ulster return to action after their bye week and have won their last half a dozen matches in all competitions since losing 8-24 to Biarritz at Ravenhill on 13 January.

Cardiff Blues finish the season with matches against each of the four Irish provinces and have already claimed the scalp of Connacht last Saturday at the Arms Park. The Blues are in the midst of their best ever winning run in the Celtic League with six straight victories since their last reversal: 9-13 at home to Edinburgh on 27 January.

If the Blues do win at Ravenhill, it would then create something of a cup final situation for the visit of Leinster to the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, May 14. Supporters can buy their tickets for this game online at or by calling ticket office on 029 2030 2030.

The Dublin-based outfit still lead the table, having trounced the Ospreys at Lansdowne Road at the weekend. But defeat in the Welsh capital would leave the destiny of the championship trophy in doubt going into the final round of matches two weeks later, when the Blues are away to Munster.

'Ulster have had a rest the weekend just gone. Only time will tell whether that is a good or a bad thing, acknowledged Blues Director of Coaching David Young'

Ulster Coach Mark McCall has named a full-strength side to face Cardiff Blues at a sold-out Ravenhill. Paul Steinmetz returns from injury to take his place the centre, with Jonny Bell moving to the bench as a process. Inspirational fly-half David Humphreys and Aussie second-row Justin Harrison are both named in the starting fifteen.

Ulster: B Cunningham; T Bowe, A Trimble, P Steinmetz, A Maxwell; D Humphreys, I Boss; B Young, R Best, S Best (capt); M McCullough, J Harrison, N Best, R Wilson, S Ferris.
Reps: J Fitzpatrick, N Brady, R Caldwell, N McMillan, K Campbell, P Wallace, J Bell.

Referee: Peter Allan (SRU). Touch Judges: David Keane (IRFU), Tom Horkan (IRFU).

Friday 22 October 2004
Heineken Cup
Ulster 21 - Cardiff Blues 16

Friday 19 November 2004
Celtic League
Ulster 30 - Cardiff Blues 14

Sunday 16 January 2005
Heineken Cup
Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues 16 - Ulster 12

Friday 8 April 2005
Celtic League
Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues 22 - Ulster 8

Friday 9 September 2005
Celtic League
Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues 22 - Ulster 25