Ulster v Cardiff Blues Ulster Rugby Live

Ulster v Cardiff Blues

Stephen Watson is at Ravenhill to present live coverage of Ulster against Cardiff Blues in the third round of the Rabo Direct Pro 12 League.

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Ulster are up and running in the RaboDirect Pro 12, unbeaten after


two winners out of two. Against Glasgow, we played the high-tempo


rugby we wanted to play. We were happy to score three tries and get


the wind. But we were disappointed that we did not get the bonus point.


We went into that game with high expectations. We were not very


happy with that game, but we were happy with the win. As a team, we


have a lot to work on. The test coming up this Friday is huge for


us. It is an inform Cardiff side, so it will be an exciting game.


They may have struggled in the heat in it to him last week, but no such


weather problems tonight. It is a rainy, pretty miserable September


evening at Ulster rugby headquarters, for Ulster against


the Cardiff Blues. Welcome to Ravenhill for your regular Friday


night fix of Ulster rugby life. This is what is on offer for the


winners this season, the new approach 12 trophy. Here to see if


Ulster can live up to their championship credentials tonight


are two former players. There to say no. Have not fired on all


cylinders so far. Will they need to improve? That is a fair point.


Every decider strives to improve the week before. Ulster and Cardiff


have had a similar start to the season. They have had two matches


against Italian and Spanish opposition. I think both sides will


find this a much sterner test tonight. It is obviously a big


opportunity for some of the younger players, with so many of the bigger


rugby players at the Rugby World Cup. Including Craig Gilroy. Yes,


never in Spencer is another good a up-and-coming centre. It bodes well


for the future of Ulster rugby. of Ulster's big new signings from


down under, Jared Payne makes his debut tonight. He has been lured to


Belfast by the Ulster director of rugby. He is looking forward to get


in stuck into it. He has had a chance to look around and get to


know the players. Hopefully, we will see his performance. Was there


any temptation to give him an extra week before playing? There is


always the temptation. If he does not play well, there will be an


argument that we should have left him. But he has played well and he


wants to get back in there. Jared is the first of the new players to


come in. First time at the Jared Payne in the huddle in the Ulster


dressing room. How big a signing is this the Ulster? - it is another


very big signing. He comes with high expectations from the Ulster


crowd here. He is a quality player. He is a utility player, which means


he can play a number of positions within that Ulster back line. There


is a lot of competition, but he is a top player. Cardiff have won


three of the last four games between the sides in Belfast. Both


teams unbeaten so far this season, so something has to give. Time to


but it is an awful evening. Cardiff lost both games to Ulster a year


down here. One of my colleagues from BBC Wales who has been coming


here for a long time said, but it do anything else on a Friday night


here except rain? The answer is, very occasionally. Six days ago,


the Ulster side were basking in the heat, 32 degrees. The weather here,


alas, is somewhat more inclement. minute's silence in memory of those


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brave Swansea miners who have lost condolences are with the families


of those Swansea miners who have lost their lives. Tonight's referee


is originally from Swansea, James Jones. He was here some years ago


and refereed the final of the World Under 19 championships, played on


this very ground. Ceri Sweeney looking a bit on the wet side


already, not surprisingly. So it is two of the unbeaten side in this


year's Petrov tournament. Cardiff are sitting badly with the extra


their forwards for this kick-off, keeping their options open on


either side. Humphreys has been on fine form so far this season.


Martyn Williams, that great veteran, plays tantalisingly on 99 Welsh


international caps. That was met with a heartfelt roar of approval


as Derek pain not only catches the first ball put up to him, but


catches it with aplomb. Cardiff have given away the penalty. With a


new guy into a team, you want to have a positive influence on things


and get involved early. And no better way to do that than to fly


high in the sky at the first opportunity. We saw Adam D'Arcy do


this a lot. He has been taking leaves out of the Bryn Cunningham


rain has just decided to abate very for Ulster. The scoreboard has not


been troubled. And Jared Payne was not troubled with that Cardiff up


and under. Took it nicely. He has played most of this season in the


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Ulster got the penalty, but they will be looking for the try. James


Jones says no more advantages accrued. And Ulster come back for


what should be a Regulation three points. Impressive start from


Ulster. They are a team that prefer to play a high-tempo game. Ulster


are playing in these conditions very well. Punching holes in the


defence. It was all about recycling the ball, and Ulster have done that


the Blues last year. Ulster scored five tries in Cardiff and four here


at Ravenhill. That was better from Humphreys. Both teams are capable


of playing wide channel rugby. The challenge is for these forward


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packs to provide that platform for Ma'ama Molitika et is the oldest


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Blues. Ulster could get themselves Cardiff were relying on the


experience in that back-row to deliver. They created a small


overlap on the right-hand side. Very clever defensive work by will


be dire. Ulster need to be wary around the fringes as well. Cardiff


will rely heavily on that experience to get themselves in the


right places on the pitch. Declan Fitzpatrick on the loose on the


outside of that scrum. May are against Jerry Cronin from Ulster.


Stared selection important night. There has been a lot of rain all


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match. Up against Rhys Thomas. The awareness to go on the outside and


the speed. Not able to link up with Craig Gilroy. An excellent piece of


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Cardiff hooker, Rhys Thomas. He seems to be fine. He captained the


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You can't underestimate what it has on the psychology. They lift their


heads and see a line-out in the opposition 22. The wind is


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nasty hamstring tear sustained in the penultimate game of the regular


league season, the last game away misses again. One successful kick


from three attempts. You would expect him to get that. Maybe the


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wind is bothering more than we really is the danger man. Give him


too much time and space he creates havoc. In discipline is letting the


in consultation with the skipper, that he will have a crack at the


Cardiff posts. It would be like Ian Humphreys to prop this one over. It


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chances. It looked marginal from here. Great deal way with space is


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with Gavin Evans, who may well be going off to get a bit of treatment,


it seems. That does not look too bad. A bit of a stitch might get


him sorted out. Dafydd Hewitt, who scored the bonus point winning try


against Treviso, and a very stop-start nature of this game. A


few injuries, the pace has been slowed down. When playing into a


strong wind, you do not mind seeing troubled since the fourth minute,


when Ian Humphreys popped over his solitary penalty. The last Ulster


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to stay on their feet. Clever kick through by Jared Payne. Then the


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is his 75th game in the lead. -- It looked like the pattern broke


down for Ulster. Wannenburg was forced to take the ball. Ended up


somewhat isolated. With a predator like Williams around, there was


only going to be one result. The scoreboard is not ticking over,


worryingly for Ulster. He has to be on his best behaviour. If I am not


mistaken, his mother-in-law is and over from South Africa! Yet again,


Cardiff under pressure. They managed to secure the penalty.


Ulster are playing with a strong breeze behind them. You can see the


assistant referee's flag on this side. Ulster need to do something


advantage, because Ceri Sweeney was offside. Still playing advantage.


He is going to have a word with asked you nicely. I will give you


time. Don't come back at me. James Jones has told the Cardiff skipper


to have a word with his players, because he is less than happy with


the penalty count. There was a man offside, and then at the breakdown


a man came in from an illegal angle. You do not get any extra metres for


a double penalty, unfortunately. That was a good strike by Ian


Humphreys. Ulster would like to have been looking healthier on that


scoreboard. They will certainly want to have some points before the


half time interval. They will certainly have been frustrated by


the infringements by Cardiff. They will need to ensure they have


disciplined for the remainder of second of the season. Fabulous


support play by Craig Gilroy, who came across the pitch from the


right wing. You sense every time that Gillray touches the ball that


cool-headed enough to set it up for excellent try. The men with the


flags had a little look at each other. Welcome to the House of


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get into opposition territory as quickly as possible. Ulster may


have got away with it, but the referee is calling them back for a


more stable throw. Ulster will look to add to that scoreboard. They


have a tough task when a turnaround at half-time. The referee has


called them back to take the was delivered to perfection. He


took advantage of the slippery conditions and skidded in. Six out


of six in ice skating terms. Ulster back play as been


superlative in difficult conditions. Witan came in from a superlative


on the money. Dafydd Hewitt has gone off, so Gavin Evans will


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of bother. Lots of white shirts the try. He has adapted very well


to the wing position. There are certain technical skills that go


with that position, but it has been a seamless transition for him.


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Ulster will be looking for another Spence. And a genuine chance for


ball was out side. It looks like a harsh decision but we're not sure


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Cardiff. The danger man, drawing in two defenders. Releases the ball


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be able to see out this half have dominated the breakdown area


but it has been Ulster warring more numbers into the area and also


playing with much more physical presence. They have dominated the


breakdown. Ian Humphreys puts the ball into touch for half time. He


opened the Ulster scoring. He missed a couple and we thought that


would be it. Ulster had other ideas. Two tries within four minutes. A


fair bit of Cardiff pressure towards the end of the first half.


It has been a miserable night but Ulster have provided an


entertaining period of rugby. Craigie Gilroy it has looked very


lively. Ulster could have been further ahead if Ian Humphreys was


more accurate with the boot. It has been a physical confrontation.


Ulster not fazed by the Cardiff pack. Darren Cave finished it off.


Darren Cave sliding again for the second try. A handsome advantage at


It has been entertaining. Surprised or not? Not surprised. A very


excited. An excellent first half. We talked about the performance of


Ulster from the previous games. Until 33 minutes into it, the


Ulster team have been disappointed with how Cardiff approached the


game. They're not challenging. Ulster have not let them play, have


they? They have controlled possession well. There have been


very few areas which with conditions like this has been


impressive. Cardiff have struggled. Ulster will be happy. Jared Payne,


he could be a bit of a hit. He is settling in well. The Cardiff boys


tried him out with a high ball. He was very solid. There was a


resulting penalty. We did not capitalise. What we see is lovely


play. It is good lesson for kids. Holding the ball with two hands. He


slips through nicely. Again, Ian Humphreys try to orchestrate. He


notices the mismatch. The Ulster attack coming up. You could argue


maybe he kept the ball in hand but with these conditions, it is not a


bad idea. He is wearing the options nicely. Yes, and he strikes. It


gives you the option that he can mix tactics. A Craig Gilroy is


seizing his opportunity well. an absolute star of the future. He


is a star right now. Every time he gets the ball, there is


anticipation. He has electric foot work. If he was in an English


shared, like Jason Robinson, he has lovely dancing feet. He has to


learn to come up for more depth. He hits a beautiful line. It is the


He does it light up the crowd. People get excited. Absolutely. I


could hit Ian Humphreys screaming The guys will coming from depth,


coming at pace. Fantastic to watch. He looks to off load. He is looking


for the attacking option every time. Darren Cave missed a lot of the


season last year. It is almost like a new signing. He took his tries


brilliantly. Superb. Quality player. A good finish, he shows experience


by diving early. That move was made in mid- field. The backs have been


very good tonight. The guys know they have opportunities higher up


the pecking order. There are some individuals not performing and the


guys like Darren Cave and Spence, their performance will high-


standard. It was a three-to-one for a while. Ian Humphreys will be


disappointed. He has improved. is the nature of the game. He


controlled it very well. He has been exemplary so far. What we


think is simple, he missed them. It may be the nature of the new boots.


He will be disappointed with himself. To be honest, when it


seemed a Mrs penalties, when he score two great tries, you do not


miss them as much. A absolutely. But he will be disappointed. He is


a high percentage goal kicker. He was one of the top percentage


kickers in Europe last season. A couple of loose kicks. He was sore


but out in the second half. With the scoreline what it is, hopefully


we will not rude the misses. Have you been disappointed with Cardiff?


They have given away too many penalties for my liking. They have


only got their hands at the break down on a few occasions. Ulster are


playing a fast tempo game. The pace of the game will sit Ulster better.


Thank you. Jared Payne is signed with Ulster for three years. He has


been here for over a week so we thought we would show in the sides


of Belfast. Gavin Andrews to come on a tour in a black taxi. Ready to


Why it Ulster and why now? It was a tough decision. I was thinking


about moving. I thought I might do it now. I do not have any kids to


tie me down. I met Humphreys in Johannesburg. He did a good job of


That is the famous New of George Best. This is Queen's University,


Belfast. It is a nice city. I'm not a fan of the big City. I told to a


lot of Kiwis who came here. McKenzie was playing rugby for a


while. He did not say a bad thing about it. Time of his life. We are


coming to the Belfast shipyard. This is where the famous Ship


What do you make of the people here? The people are also in


Belfast. Irish people are friendly as. It is made the transition easy.


I have heard my name pronounced a few different ways! Slowly but


Back home, they are so much focus on the rugby team, will be similar


he? Will it be that forensic looking at how you play? Yes, you


always get to answer the critics. They support again madly and won


the best for the team. There are not too many professional teams but


that is part and parcel of it. They pump your tyres up when you do well


and do break and when you play badly. We are coming down the


Ravenhill Road towards the rugby ground. I have seen a few DVDs and


what not. The crowd looks special. Be get a few chance going. I am


looking forward to the experience - - they get chanting. What are the


ambitions with Ulster? Ulster are a good team so I want to make the


starting 15 week in, week out and perform well. Best of luck. Look


forward to seeing you up there. I wonder if he paid for the taxi!


New Zealand's loss is Ulster's game. Yes, he looks like a quality player.


He has the skills set. It looks like a shrewd signing by Ulster.


After two under-par performances, Ulster have clicked and will want


to finish off in style. I think so. They have been asking to be more


accurate and they have been. The line-out has been functioning. The


passes have been going to hand. It is something Ulster need to build


on. It will be difficult given conditions and it is a strong wind.


Ellese to the rain has stopped. Time for the second half. Sit back


We are delighted to say that the rain has simply gone away, and the


wind seems to have eased a bit, which will probably be in Ulster's


favour. Yes, Ulster may have to play with slightly closer alignment


in the backs. But given their performance in the first half, they


will be the team that is coming out with chests pumped up, looking to


enforce their patterns of play on the opposition. I would be looking


at a potential four tries and a bonus point. I think the victory is


the mind of everyone on this Ulster side. Don't reckon on that any


mantle of skipper. And no Rory Best. In fact, there is a change on the


Ulster side. Adam D'Arcy has come on. He seems to have come on on the


left wing. Ian Whitten is there, so there may well be a change


somewhere. Darren Cave, the scorer of both Ulster tries, has gone off.


So Ian Whitten will probably move into inside Centre and Nevin Spence


to outside centre. Ulster will want pressure. It is all about territory


for Cardiff, with the wind at their backs. They have looked very good


come scrum time. They will use that platform to try and get an


advantage, but they do need to be first on the scoreboard. That was


not straight forward from Rhys Thomas. It was on the Cardiff side


of that line out. A bit of luck has gone the Cardiff way. This is good


stuff by the men in blue. They seem pick-up. Desperate times for Ulster


early on in this second half. They are under a huge amount of pressure.


Either foot on the line nor the not straight. Ulster will be


wishing he spotted the one earlier. Michael Pattison, now 26 years old.


Former New Zealand Under 21 international. Just a year older


the versa to Teague they have now got within their back line -- the


front rows to be a bit higher. There were problems a week ago,


when the referee insisted that Ulster were engaging while standing


referee spotted the Cardiff knock- on, and Ulster had the advantage.


as Ian Humphreys has put in in recent seasons. Given the


conditions and the wind blowing against Ulster, that was an


exceptional clearance kick. Cardiff do have a bit of advantage in terms


penalty against Ulster. Henry was not inside the 15 metre line. Or


rather, he was inside the line, but moved outside it before the lineout


was effectively over. Some of the Cardiff coaching staff are agreeing


with the referee, not too far away from here. An Ulster indiscretion


has allowed Cardiff to get within striking distance of a home line


win. Ulster disappointed. Not wanting to give away scoring


opportunities. It is up to now Ulster defensively to deny them the


in blue when they have the ball in hand. They have made a lot of


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That was a good scrum, a real ball was brought in side from


outside. But it was fine. It is still a good positional advantage


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realised to his place is up for grabs. He was outstanding last


season. He has carried bad form into this season. Just showing his


to go on attack in this second half the lineout. Tuohy is having a


penalty. That is three or four Chris Henry has given away this


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evening. Ulster had a good rolling Ulster. There may be a late tackle


where perhaps hoping for a yellow card for the veteran Tongan


international. But just a penalty for the late tackle on Ian


Humphreys. Looks like McAllister is Humphreys, who regained his


composure pretty quickly. Declan Fitzpatrick, having done a good job


at the Riz head, gives way to Paddy McAllister, who start of the first


two games of the season. Pat on the tackle might have been hived. --


not get to that. It was a good clearance kick by Cardiff. When you


are playing into the wind you have to her work hard. Cardiff have the


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luxury of getting themselves out of are down to 14 men. An opportunity


now for Ulster. They have the numerical advantage. An opportunity


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a few occasions. Keeping it low, members rushing through. A huge


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captain, Chris Henry. The team doctor is on as well. He is nodding


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for Ulster where Sweeney kicked the breeze at their backs and into the


breeze. Their placement has been good. The chase has been excellent


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as well. It is placed huge pressure given the possession is a sign of


frustration and running out of options. We sort Nevin Spence try


to get on the outside of Laulala. Cardiff coming back on counter-


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successive excellent performance at the line-out. He has been


aggressive around the pitch, notable last week. You feel Cardiff


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win this game... Ulster have turned it over. Great piece of work by the


Ulster forwards. Nothing too clever. Ian Humphreys does at the right


thing. He has been a little awry recently. That was a belter.


Getting some congratulations from his team-mates. His first instinct


is to run. When he saw there was, the kick. Ulster will be happy


defensively they have withstood Kyriacou has gone off. Wannenburg


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playbook. Reaching the defensive line and trying to get the ball


around the corner with the off load. The notion of the ball backwards,


Ulster could not hold on to it in the end anyway. Does strike news


Ulster I using, happy with the execution of the strike moves.


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the Cardiff back row. Thomas Young breath. I wonder what he is saying.


He caught Casey Laulala. Cardiff were going to go for the penalty.


Right decision, Ryan? Who they have tried every other means of getting


points, and it has not worked. They have still got to score a number of


tries if they are going to get into this game or even getting to 17


point territory. They have chipped three points out of the scoreline.


Ceri Sweeney landed that one. 14 points between them. 15 minutes


remaining. Cardiff's first points of the evening. You would not have


bet on that happening. Ulster just have to pick up the tempo here. It


has been a scrappy last ten or 15 minutes. They did not manage to put


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any points on the board when lineout. Ulster have not had much


opportunity in this second half. Their defence has been excellent,


but they have not played much of the game down in Cardiff territory.


I am sure they relish the prospect of getting the ball in hand. It is


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for Ian Humphreys. He was hit by Casey Laulala after the ball had


been passed. It was very aggressive. He looks to be in a certain amount


of trouble. He was hit on the side of the shoulder. He has had


problems in that area before. Jackson has come on. David King has


called the attention of the referee to that hit. Injury to Paddy


McAllister. Not sure if there were enough arms in the tackle. That


could be one criticism you could make. He is talking to Ma'ama


Molitika. I suspect that Ma'ama Molitika may have taken over the


Cardiff captaincy. Tito has gone off the field. That was a warning.


Paddy Jackson has come on for Ian Humphreys. Ulster have not


increased their score since half- time. But with ten minutes to go,


slipping away from Cardiff, due to are probably not now in a position


to press for those extra tries. The first half was all about attack for


Ulster. Cardiff may still be looking for the victory. They will


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evening by Chris Czekaj, who has half from both teams. Ulster have


not allowed Cardiff to get into any rhythm, due to the ferocity of


their defence. They will certainly be very proud of their defensive


performance in this second half. They have not had a lot of


possession, but they have managed to keep Cardiff virtually score


are retaining possession, making life more difficult for Cardiff.


Cardiff have had a huge amount of possession in this second half. The


majority of it has been played in Ulster's half, and they have not


found any way to unlock this Ulster Defence. With players like Laulala


in your team, you have to give these players a bit of time and


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space, and they have not managed to control of a slippery ball on a


slippery surface. What a moment it would have been, had he been able


to control that and score a try on his debut. The referee gave Cardiff


every opportunity to do something, and when they didn't, he decided


the advantage was over. Jared Payne may have looked at the mural of


George Best, but he has not got George Best's footballing skills.


Some of these players are not blessed with the footwork of the


this result. Three from three at the start of the season, when they


are resources have been stretched, due to World Cup commitments.


Another great effort by Dan Tuohy, who has really been leading the way.


Ulster have no fewer than nine representatives at the World Cup.


Adam Macklin has come on. Ulster have now used up their full


wins is that last season, a number of wins came from Ulster's last


kick of the game. But these have been assured victories. They have


not set the world on fire by scoring loads of tries, but they


will be happy with this start to the season. They have been


comfortable victories. Paddy Jackson gets his first points as an


Ulster senior player. Asked to have scored the 17 point advantage that


they enjoyed at half-time. So a penalty apiece in the second half.


Not quite the fireworks we saw in the first half, when asked the's


Darren Cave scored two corking tries. But this wind -- this will


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be Pro 12 win number three, I am severity of the injury to Ian


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Humphreys taking a glass of the Ulster will be disappointed they


didn't give the crowd something to cheer about in the second half. Ian


Humphreys looks in considerable pain. He has been the target for


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from the Ulster back line. They dug their heels in. They got through a


huge amount of defensive work. Ravenhill. A couple of tries from


Darren Cave, a conversion, two conversions from Ian Humphreys and


Cardiff came back with 8 Sweeney I hope you did not miss the first


half because that is where most of the action happened. Darren Cave


scored two. Ulster it took a healthy advantage. The Ian


Humphreys and knocked over the penalties that mattered. He was


targeted himself. Cardiff could only muster a solitary second half


penalty. Paddy Jackson rounded off a very comfortable Ulster victory


at Ravenhill. Those two tries the difference. Lets hear from Darren


Cave. It is precaution wreak. Feeling


tired at half-time. I think I was due to come off anyway. Legs, arms?


Legs. Not too bad. The next game is Sunday. I might be available for up.


The second half? A strange game. We were in front. Conditions were


tough. I thought we defended well. Craig Gilroy in a moment.


fantastic tries. I was on the end of both of them. Craig, some are


dainty Crystal for you. You picked a we left off last year? Yes, along


pre-season. Did to get back into it. It has been good. Did it click in


the back line in the first half? felt like it did. Jarryd is great


to have. He has only been here for a week and a half. He has had a big


influence. He is bringing skill and leadership. He is giving us tips.


Brilliant southern hemisphere rugby to us. There was not much ball in


hand. It is great to get the win. Three in 3. It is frustrating in


the second half. It was a bit scrappy. It was a good game.


more against the Ospreys? Definitely. He is awarded man of


the match although Darren Cave scored two tries. He was in the


running for a. When someone goes off at half-time, you don't expect


it. Gilboy it was particularly good in the first half showing skill and


endeavour. A star of the feature. He uses his feet very well. He


recycles the ball quickly. In the second half, he had to catch the


ball. I thought the second half was fair. Craig could have been given


Darren Cave to kiss tries well. He says he must be fit for next week.


-- to look his tries. It is hard to know until medical staff look at


him. He got on the end of two tries. His work rate is high. His fitness


levels of good. He runs very deep. He is a smart rugby player. He is


Darren has a history of hamstring problems. Let's hope not. Lets hear


from Brian McLaughlin. Your wife has been telling you to


smile more on TV. Very much so. We are happy with the result. We


played some great rugby, two smashing tries. In the second half


we lost our way a little bit. We were not ruthless enough with the


ball. To win at home against Cardiff, we are happy. The players


talked about high-tempo rugby, is that coming-together? I think so.


The work it is paying off. A couple of set-piece tries which were top


draw. Excellent work. Jared Payne is coming in. His first game, nice


game? Always good to get a win. Some great scores in the first half.


The boys played awesome. It was good fun. And the Raven experience?


Good to see team participation. Three wins out of three. Three wins


but disappointing this second half did not live up to the first half.


They have a quality outfit here. That will be frustrating. They do


not want to wish they had a bonus point. But is the level of


expectation. Especially after a comfortable first half. Had used


some of the second? It wasn't pretty but it happens all the time.


A strong first half, exciting first half. We are egging them on but


very often it does not happen. The conditions did not help. A lot of


enforced changes which means it disrupts the flow of the game.


Thank you. More rugby coming up on BBC Northern Ireland. Next up for


Ryan McLaughlin will know that was a wasted chance for Ulster. Watch


how we get on next week against Ospreys. The game is like. 4:30pm.


You can see that on the BBC sport Do you think there'll be an outcome


with the Ian Humphreys? Hard to know. One of those big centres, Ian


Humphreys re across the pitch to give a pass. They get excited and


one to hit him. There is a strong possibility it something will be


Stephen Watson is at Ravenhill to present live coverage of Ulster against Cardiff Blues in the third round of the Rabo Direct Pro 12 League. In the corresponding fixture last season Ulster scored four tries to gain a bonus point win over the Welsh opposition. Jim Neilly is joined in the commentary box by former Australian international Ryan Constable.

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