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Bulls bring Cardiff down to earth with a bump

By PA
David Kriel of Vodacom Bulls during the United Rugby Championship match between Munster and Vodacom Bulls at Thomond Park in Limerick. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Cardiff came up well short in their bid to complete a South African double as they suffered a 45-9 defeat to the Bulls in Pretoria.

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Dai Young’s men pulled off a stunning 35-0 victory over the Sharks in Durban last weekend, becoming the first Welsh region to win in the southern hemisphere since the United Rugby Championship’s inception last season.

The tourists were firmly in the contest for much of the first half, but tries from returning Springboks Canan 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.

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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.

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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.

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