Bulls stumble after promising start against Ulster, fall to another URC loss

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Kurt-Lee Arendse in action (Getty)
Kurt-Lee Arendse in action (Getty)

The Bulls suffered another loss in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Saturday night, going down 32-23 to Ulster in a tight clash at the Kingspan Stadium. 

FT | Ulster 32-23 Bulls

This was the Bulls' fifth successive defeat in the competition, and they remain in 7th spot on the table with quarter-final qualification not yet secured. 

While the result did not go their way, the Bulls were impressive for large parts of this contest - particularly in the first half - as they reminded of the ability that saw them finish last year's tournament as runners-up. 

They had a 20-12 lead after 40 minutes and, in that period, had bossed the forward battle while also striking with their exciting and dangerous running backs. 

The Bulls did not have the best start as a poor defensive line opened space for wing Robert Baloucoune to dot down in the right corner, but the visitors were not rattled at all by that early setback. 

They were composed as they protected the ball through phases of attack, were accurate with their kicking out of hand and looked the complete package. 

The moment of the game for the tourists came on 19 minutes when Canan Moodie launched from deep, kicked ahead to gather his own ball and then offloaded to Kurt-Lee Arendse on his inside, completing a scintillating counter-attacking try. 

Scrumhalf Zak Burger scored the Bulls' second, but as the match drew on, Ulster grew stronger. 

Their maul was particularly strong, evidenced by hooker Tom Stewart landing a hat-trick of tries. 

The Bulls scored just three points in the entire second half, and while they were always in the contest up until the very end, it was Ulster who kept the scoreboard ticking over. 

In the end, the hosts had scored four tries to two from the Bulls. 


Ulster 32 (12)

Tries: Rob Baloucoune, Tom Stewart (3)

Conversions: Nathan Doak (3)

Penalty: John Cooney

Bulls 23 (20)

Tries: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Zak Burger

Conversions: Chris Smith (2)

Penalties: Smith (3)

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