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Ulster stage second half comeback to down Cardiff Blues in low-scoring thriller

By Adam McKendry

Ulster held on to get back to winning ways in the Guinness PRO14 as they defeated the Cardiff Blues 16-12 at Kingspan Stadium.

Eleven points from the boot of John Cooney and a try from Kieran Treadwell helped Ulster to the victory over a stubborn Cardiff side, who were strong defensively.

Cooney got Ulster off to a flier as he kicked them ahead in the third minute, only for the Blues to strike back immediately as Matthew Morgan went over for a 10th minute try.

Ulster responded quickly as Treadwell kicked ahead from Stuart McCloskey's offload and dived on the ball to score, but the Blues once again pushed ahead as Kristian Dacey went over from a maul.

The two sides clashed at the start of the second half after Ulster had introduced Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale off the bench, with McCloskey and Stockdale at the centre of a fracas, before Blues lock Seb Davies saw yellow for a shoulder charge at a ruck.

That allowed Ulster to turn up the pressure, and Cooney kicked them ahead through two penalties to give them a four-point lead.

Although they came close late on, the hosts held on thanks to key turnovers from Best and Stockdale for the four points.

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