The Bulls relinquished a half-time lead as they slumped to a controversial 32-23 URC defeat against Ulster in Belfast on Saturday night.
The result sees Ulster close in on the second-placed Stormers in the URC standings, with only two log points separating them and just two regular season games remaining. As for the Bulls, they remain in seventh position in the table, spot which means they get an away playoff game.
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The visitors produced a surprisingly dominant display in the first half for a commanding 20-12 lead at the interval. But Ulster completed a second half comeback, which it has to be said, was aided by several contentious call by the official team.
One of whose refereeing interventions was when Bismarck du Plessis was controversially sent off for what the referees said was a failure to wrap his arms in the tackle against the Ulster flyhalf. But in reality, it was a perfectly legal hit by the veteran hooker.
Be that as it may, the were Bulls sparked by Springbok wings Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse, with the Springbok pair causing all sorts of trouble to Ulster’s defensive line. Ulster were powered by hooker Tom Stewart’s hat-trick of tries.
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BULLS GAIN FIRST HALF ASCENDANCY, ULSTER CONTROL GET MOMENTUM AFTER THE BREAK
Ulster drew first blood, but Chris Smith added three-pointer to get the Bulls on the board. The Bulls then snatched the lead from the hosts when a kick through from Ulster was picked up by Arendse who combined with Moodie, who in turn picked up his own chip before freeing up Arendse to score.
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Ulster would score again after the Bulls were questionably penalised at the breakdown, but the Bulls chalked up 10 unanswered points as they went 20-12 up.
It was all Ulster after the restart, with nothing going right for the Bulls. The home side scored 17 points before the Bulls managed to responded with a penalty. And as it turned out, that was to be there only points of the half, while Ulster would add three more to their tally to wrap up the win.
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URC RESULT GRAPHIC