ULSTER (10) 37
Tries: Pienaar, Trimble 2, Diack
Pens: Pienaar 3
Cons: Pienaar 4
CARDIFF (13) 13
Drop Goals: Patchell
Dafydd Hewitt’s try helped Cardiff lead 13-10 at half-time with Ruan Pienaar scoring all Ulster’s points.
Andrew Trimble scored two tries in the third quarter and Robbie Diack marked his 100th appearance with a fourth try.
Ulster scored 27 unanswered points in the second half while the visitors failed to add to their first-half tally.
The home team were slow to settle and it was Cardiff, who had nothing to play for, who had the better of the opening period.
The visitors took the lead on three occasions during the first half hour, with Hewitt opening the scoring with a try in the fourth minute after a good break from scrum-half Lewis Jones.
Young fly-half Rhys Patchell kicked an easy conversion in front of the posts.
With so much at stake, Ulster struggled to get into any sort of rhythm and a Patchell penalty in the 21st minute restored the visitors’ advantage.
Ulster suffered a blow when World Cup winner John Afoa limped off with a suspected hamstring tweak after 22 minutes.
A Cardiff offside infringement allowed Pienaar to convert a penalty to tie the scores again at 10-10 but a drop-goal from a confident Patchell nudged the visitors ahead again at 13-10 before the interval.
Ulster had the wind at their backs in the second half and came out a transformed side, scoring 20 unanswered points in the first fifteen minutes after the break.
Andrew Trimble got the crucial try which put Ulster ahead for the first time in the game, powering through to ground the ball three minutes after the restart.
Pienaar converted and then tagged on two quick penalties as Ulster took control of the game and cruised into a 23-13 lead.
A mix-up between Robinson and Patchell enabled Trimble to kick and chase before sliding over for his second try of the game.
Pienaar continued his good night with the boot and his conversion saw Ulster storm into a 30-13 lead.
Ulster veteran Nigel Brady came on eight minutes from the end for his last appearance for the province.
Diack secured the bonus point with a try two minutes from the end after Hewitt was sin-binned for the Blues, who failed to score in the second half.
Ulster: J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, S Olding, T Bowe; R Pienaar, P Marshall; C Black, R Best, J Afoa; J Muller, I Henderson; R Diack, C Henry, N Williams.
Replacements: Fitzpatrick for Afoa (22), Jackson for P. Marshall (51), Brady for Best (52), , Court for Black (61), Tuohy for Muller (61), Doyle for Henderson (67), Allen for Cave (69), Nelson for Bowe (69).
Cardiff Blues: D Fish; T James, G Evans (capt), D Hewitt, H Robinson; R Patchell, L Jones; T Filise, K Dacey, S Andrews, B Davies, L Reed, L Hamilton, J Navidi, M Paterson.
Replacements: M Breeze for Dacey (49), Paulo for Reed (51), T Davies for Andrews (67), L Davies for Jones (74), M Cook for Paterson (74), Ma’afu for Filise (80).
Not Used : Sweeney, Smith.
Sin Bin: Hewitt (77).
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Rugby – Friday’s Results
May 4, 2013 Aviva Premiership Saracens 23 – 14 Bath Rugby
Aviva Premiership Sale Sharks 21 – 20 London Wasps
Aviva Premiership London Welsh 33 – 22 Worcester Warriors
Aviva Premiership Leicester Tigers 32 – 20 London Irish
Aviva Premiership Harlequins 22 – 19 Northampton Saints
Aviva Premiership Exeter Chiefs 40 – 39 Gloucester Rugby
Top 14 Orange Toulouse 57 – 7 Grenoble
Top 14 Orange Toulon 43 – 21 Agen
Top 14 Orange Racing Metro 29 – 28 Castres
Top 14 Orange Montpellier 50 – 22 Perpignan
Top 14 Orange Mont-de-Marsan 33 – 36 Bayonne
Top 14 Orange Clermont Auvergne 67 – 3 Bordeaux Begles
Top 14 Orange Biarritz 52 – 17 Stade Français
Super Rugby Force 11 – 11 Reds
Super Rugby Highlanders 25 – 22 Sharks
Asian 5 Nations – Top 5 Japan v Korea
May 3, 2013 RaboDirect PRO12 Ulster 37 – 13 Cardiff Blues
RaboDirect PRO12 Scarlets 17 – 41 Benetton Treviso
RaboDirect PRO12 Leinster 37 – 19 Ospreys
RaboDirect PRO12 Edinburgh 31 – 24 Dragons
RaboDirect PRO12 Connacht 3 – 20 Glasgow
RaboDirect PRO12 Zebre 25 – 27 Munster
Super Rugby Melbourne Rebels 33 – 39 Chiefs
Super Rugby Blues 18 – 17 Stormers