Pro12: Ulster 39-21 Cardiff Blues
ULSTER (16) 39
- Tuohy 2, Payne, L Marshall, Trimble
- Jackson 3, Pienaar
CARDIFF (11) 21
- Copeland, Smith
- Halfpenny 3
Ulster ran in five tries to secure an impressive bonus-point victory over the Blues in the Pro12 clash at Ravenhill.
Tries from Dan Tuohy and Jared Payne put Ulster in control but the Blues hit back with a Robin Copeland try as the hosts went in 16-11 ahead at the break.
Luke Marshall touched down to extend Ulster's lead although Cardiff stayed in touch with Richard Smith's try.
Andrew Trimble sprinted in to secure the bonus point before Tuohy's late try sealed a sixth straight Ulster win.
Ulster's early pressure was rewarded after eighth minutes when Paddy Jackson slotted over a penalty.
The Blues made a quick reply with Leigh Halfpenny firing between the posts in Cardiff's first foray into the Ulster half.
Lock Tuohy scampered in at the corner from Robbie Diack's pass for the opening try on 15 minutes.
Ulster were on top, particularly in the scrum, and Payne darted over after 23 minutes from Tommy Bowe's pass to finish a move started by Ruan Pienaar's quick tap penalty.
Jackson missed both conversion attempts while Ulster skipper Johann Muller and hooker Rory Best were forced off with injuries.
Jackson's penalty took Ulster 13 points clear but the Blues stormed back with an impressive finish to the half.
Copeland charged over for a close-range try in the 34th minute and Halfpenny squandered the conversion before the Lions full-back found his range with a penalty to leave just five points between the sides.
Ulster seized control on the restart with Marshall stretching out to touch down for a try from Stuart Olding's break and off-load on 42 minutes.
Jackson again missed the conversion but was accurate from a penalty, awarded when Copeland was sin-binned for a blatant infringement.
However, Cardiff hit back after 51 minutes with wing Smith breaking through Olding's tackle before tapping down for a try in the corner, and Halfpenny added the extras with a superb conversion from near the touchline.
Another fine kick, this time courtesy of Pienaar from long-range, made it 27-18 although Halfpenny quickly replied for the Blues.
Pienaar saw another penalty from distance come off the woodwork before the inconsistent Jackson failed with a penalty attempt.
The bonus point was clinched on 67 minutes, Olding slipping the ball to Trimble and the wing powering down the line and over.
Pienaar missed the conversion but he scored with the final play of the game, converting Tuohy's injury-time try after he cantered in from Payne's pass.
Ulster: Olding, Trimble, Payne, L. Marshall, Bowe, Jackson, Pienaar, Black, Best, Afoa, Muller, Tuohy, Diack, Henry, Wilson.
Replacements: Cave for L. Marshall (70), Court for Black (64), Herring for Best (20), Lutton for Afoa (56), Stevenson for Muller (16), McComish for Diack (75). Not Used: P. Marshall, Allen.
Cardiff Blues: Halfpenny, Smith, Allen, Hewitt, Robinson, Patchell, L. Williams, Jenkins, Breeze, Andrews, B. Davies, Paulo, Navidi, Warburton, Copeland.
Replacements: Czekaj for Robinson (78), Jones for L. Williams (69), Hobbs for Jenkins (63), Dacey for Breeze (69), Filise for Andrews (31), Reed for Paulo (63), Watts-Jones for Warburton (78). Not Used: G. Davies.
Sin Bin: Copeland (45).
Ref: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy).