Moodie, Arendse combine to spark thumping Bulls win as Cardiff crash down to earth

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Johan Goosen scores (Gallo)
Johan Goosen scores (Gallo)

Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie dazzled as the Bulls ran out comfortable 45-9 bonus point winners against Cardiff in an entertaining United Rugby Championship (URC) clash at Loftus on Saturday night. 

FT | Bulls 45-9 Cardiff

The hosts, with flyhalf Johan Goosen also impressive, scored six unanswered tries on the night to move up to 34 points on the URC table - tied with the Stormers in 2nd, though Jake White's men have played an extra game. 

The Bulls were slow starters, but got better and better as the contest progressed, and by the end, there was only one side making the plays. 

Boosted by returning Springbok star Kurt-Lee Arendse, who started at fullback, the Bulls shook off an error-ridden opening quarter that suggested a far tighter affair was on the cards.  

Cardiff had arrived in Pretoria oozing in confidence after their historic 35-0 win over the Sharks in Durban last weekend, and that much was evident in those opening stages. 

There is not much flash to this Cardiff attack, but there is sound execution, good decision-making and variation, while their work on the ground was also superior in the opening 20 minutes. 

The visitors had capitalised on some sloppy play from the Bulls to open up a 6-3 lead, but the moment of spark the Loftus faithful had been waiting for came on 28 minutes with a lively try that saw Arendse break and then release wing Canan Moodie down the left. 

A third Evans penalty came shortly after that try, though, and at 10-9 down, Cardiff were hanging on and punishing the Bulls for any errors inside their own half. 

Moodie and Arendse continued to look ominous every time they got the ball, and the former was almost in for a second try before the bounce of the ball he had kicked ahead did not fall his way. 

As the half drew to a close, it was the Bulls who had taken charge, and Goosen showed some neat hands after finding a mini-gap to offload to Arendse, who dotted down under the posts. 

Goosen added the extras, and the Bulls took a 17-9 lead into half-time. 

The Bulls pivot was at it again shortly after the restart, this time stepping two players to score a try of his own under the posts, and at 26-9 it began to look a long way back for Cardiff. 

The fourth try came after a sustained period of Bulls pressure saw Ruan Nortje barge over from close range, but the icing on the cake came in the 69th minute when Arendse and Moodie combined - once again - to produce a scintillating result. 

Arendse, seemingly out of options, spotted a gap and stabbed a deft kick over the Cardiff defence where Moodie was quickest to react, gathering and scoring down the left. 

With Cardiff out on their feet, the Bulls bagged one more try with No 8 Elrigh Louw - also monstrous on the night - rounding of a rolling maul to thump the final nail into the Cardiff coffin. 

Scorers

Bulls 45 (17)

Tries: Canan Moodie (2), Kurt-Lee Arendse, Johan Goosen, Ruan Nortje, Elrigh Louw

Conversions: Johan Goosen (4), Chris Smith (2)

Penalty: Goosen

Cardiff 9 (9)

Penalty: Jarrod Evans (3)


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