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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.

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.

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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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Tim 1 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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