Parks stars for Cardiff at Arms Park

Date published: February 17 2012

Fly-half Dan Parks scored 16 points to help Cardiff Blues beat Ulster 21-14 in their Pro12 clash at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

Former Scotland fly-half Dan Parks scored 16 points to help Cardiff Blues beat Ulster 21-14 in their Pro12 clash at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

Cardiff followed up their win over Connacht last week with a hard-fought win to leapfrog over Ulster in the Pro12 standings.

The Blues produced a great second-half performance to make it two wins in succession over Irish opposition at Arms Park. Fifth played sixth here, as both sides looked to break into the top four play-off spots, with Cardiff playing at Arms Park for the second week in a row at home.

Ulster perhaps started the better, as they had much of the play in the early stages, but after ten minutes, both sides were yet to make any real impact on the contest.

The away side eventually took the lead though from a Ruan Pienaar penalty and Cardiff were yet to make much impression.

Things got better for the visitors midway through the half, when they got the opening try of the game. A scrappy line-out from Cardiff allowed Robbie Diack in to score, a perfect start for Ulster.

The Blues were playing against a strong wind in the opening period, but Parks reduced their arrears with a penalty.

Ulster responded well though, and just before half time they restored their lead with another Pienaar penalty.

Right on half time however, Cardiff gave themselves a platform for the second half, when Parks landed a superb penalty. Cardiff gained confidence from that kick, and immediately from the restart they drew level with Ulster.

Parks opened up the Ulster defence with a killer pass, before he finished off the move himself to bring them all square with a try.

Both defences were then tested, before Cardiff scored a second try on the hour mark to take the lead. Great play between Gavin Henson and Gavin Evans put Tom James in to score, Parks adding the extras.

Ulster were in need of a try to get back in the contest, and were dealt a blow when Ian Humphries was sin-binned with fifteen minutes to play.

Things were made worse five minutes later when Parks landed another penalty for Cardiff. Pienaar immediately responded with an Ulster place-kick, but it was too late for the Irish side who couldn't peg back the hosts.

The scorers

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Parks, James
Cons: Parks 3
Pens: Parks

For Ulster:
Try: Diack
Pens: Pienaar 3

Yellow card: Humphreys (Ulster – 65th min)

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Tom James, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Ryan Tyrell, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 Maama Molitika, 20 Macauley Cook, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Chris Czekaj.

Ulster: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Nevin Spence, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Chris Henry (capt), 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Tim Barker, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Simon Danielli, 23 Adam D'Arcy.

Venue: Arms Park
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)