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Dead-eye Davies sees Blues past Ulster

Guinness PRO12 Editor 29 Mar 2014

A classy kicking display from Cardiff Blues’ Gareth Davies ensured the Welsh outfit walked away 28-23 victors against Ulster in the RaboDirect PRO12.

The 30-year-old fly-half kicked seven penalties and one conversion and proved to be the difference between the two sides.

The win was a first in six match for the Blues who suffered against the Ospreys last week , losing 34-9 in the Welsh derby.

The Blues looked to have the game wrapped up at the break after ending the half 22-5 after Robin Copeland raced over the line following a clever pass from winger Alex Cuthbert.

The first five minutes looked worrying for the Welsh side as Ulster set the ball rolling with an early try from centre Darren Cave who made easy work of getting past Blues full-back Dan Fish.

When on the attack inside the Cardiff 22 Ulster’s Paddy Jackson swung the ball to Cave who latched on with his finger tips and accelerated to the gap and Fish was unable to stop the surging centre.

Jackson was unable to add the extras swinging the ball left of the posts.

The home-side cut the deficit five minutes later as Davies slotted home the first of the night’s seven penalties.

However despite the strong start from the Ulster the momentum shifted in favour of the Welshmen who pounded Ulster’s defensive line.

Mid-way through the first half Cardiff took the lead after Ulster were penalised for not moving from the tackle and Davies duly converted.

Minutes after being penalised, Ulster went down to 14 men after Dan Tuohy was binned for not releasing in the tackle.

Davies bagged his third penalty of the night and put Cardiff 9-5 ahead.

Cardiff came close to grabbing their first try of the evening with a remarkable 60m maul that Ulster were powerless to stop, and resulted in an easy penalty for Davies to convert after the visitors were penalised.

With the end of the half fast approaching Cuthbert scooped the ball up inside his own half and offloaded with a backhand flick to Copeland who raced over the line for the day’s only try, and Davies added the conversion.

A further penalty from Davies meant the Blues went into the break with a 22-5 lead.

Ulster faced a seemingly insurmountable uphill battle to get into the game. But from the off the boot of Paddy Jackson ensured visitors slowly clawed their way back into the game.

Jackson slotted penalties on 44, 48, and 57 minutes bringing the scoreline to 22-14. A reply on 65 minutes from Davies earned Cardiff some breathing space.

However a series of three penalties on 67, 72, and 75 minutes – all converted by Jackson meant that Ulster found themselves two points shy of Cardiff going into the final five minutes.

But as the Ulstermen piled on the pressure they gave away a penalty a minute before time which converted by Davies and pushed Cardiff five points clear.

And the home side resisted a three minute onslaught from Ulster after 80 minutes passed before finally seeing out the win.

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Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

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Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

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