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Bulls bring Cardiff back down to earth with a bang

MATCH REPORT: Cardiff’s run of victories came to an abrupt end at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, in Pretoria, on Saturday.


After dispatching the Stormers and Sharks this season, the Welsh region had high hopes of another South African scalp.

However, the brutal Bulls – despite a sloppy first half that saw them lead only 17-9 at the half-time break – raced clear in the second half for a bonus-point 45-9 win.

The Bulls brought Cardiff outfit back to earth by outscoring them six tries to nil.

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Canan Moodie touched down twice as the Vodacom Bulls thwarted Cardiff’s bid to complete a South African double.

The tourists were firmly in the contest for much of the first half, but tries from returning Springboks Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse helped the in-form Bulls take control.

Johan Goosen, who kicked 11 points in total, added a try early in the second half to move the hosts 15 clear, before Ruan Nortje wrapped up the bonus point, Moodie doubled his tally and Elrigh Louw also touched down late on.


Jarrod Evans brought up his 500th career point in the competition by kicking Cardiff into a second-minute lead, but parity was soon restored by a Goosen penalty.

Evans nudged the Blue and Blacks back in front and the Bulls suffered a blow when David Kriel – scorer of two tries against the Ospreys last weekend – was forced off with an apparent ankle injury midway through the half.

Cardiff were more than holding their own, but there was a lack of action in either 22 as both sides struggled to make their mark in attack.

When the breakthrough did arrive, it was finished off by two of the Bulls’ returning Boks, with Arendse sending Moodie over.


Goosen added the extras, but Evans had Cardiff back within a point shortly after the half-hour mark.

Arendse crossed himself before the break – adding to the five tries he scored for South Africa in November – and Goosen’s conversion made it 17-9 at the interval.

Goosen gave himself a simple kick by touching down under the posts early in the second half and was on target again when captain Nortje crashed over for the bonus point on the hour.

Arendse and Moodie combined again when the latter chased down the former’s chip to touch down before Louw completed the scoring, with Chris Smith converting both.

Man of the Match

Moodie missed South Africa’s Northern Hemisphere tour through injury but returned to Bulls action to great effect on Saturday. He was a constant threat, scoring two tries and gaining more metres than anyone else on the pitch.

Play of the match

The game was still in the balance when Goosen took matters into his own hands and danced his way through the Cardiff defence to touch down under the posts and leave himself with the simplest of conversions.

The scorers

For the Bulls
Tries: Moodie 2, Arendse, Goosen, Nortje, Louw
Cons: Goosen 4, Smith 2
Pen: Goosen

For Cardiff
Pens: Evans 3


Bulls: 15 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 14 David Kriel, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Canan Moodie, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Izak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Francois Klopper, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Lionel Mapoe.

Cardiff: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Mason Grady, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Aled Summerhill, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Botham, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Josh Turnbull (captain), 5 Seb Davies, 4 Lopeti Timani, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Carré.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Will Davies-King, 19 Teddy Williams, 20 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 21 James Ratti, 22 Ellis Bevan, 23 Harri Millard.

Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
TMO: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)

  • Additional reporting by @URCOfficial


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