Cardiff Blues made a late change with Alex Cuthbert pulling out with a tweaked hamstring, which meant Tom James starting and Richard Smith moving onto the bench.
Patchell kicked off and it was the Blues who got the first points. The Blues won clean ball from a lineout 40 yards out and Lewis Jones threw a dummy and broke through the gap. The young scrumhalf showed great pace, drew the fullback before passing to Dafydd Hewitt to sprint in. Patchell converted.
Ulster soon leveled when Harry Robinson knocked on in his own twenty-two straight into the hands of Ruan Pienaar who sprinted in before converting his own try.
Patchell and Pienaar then exchanged penalties to make it 10-10 with 30 minutes gone before Patchell regained the lead. The young fly half dummied to drop goal off his right, before switching left and slotting the ball through the posts with a well-taken drop goal to put the Blues ahead 13-10 at half time.
Half time Ulster 10 Cardiff Blues 13
Ulster got off to a fling start in the second half. Following a good period of possession Andrew Trimble forced his way over with Pienaar converting from the touchline. Piennar soon added two further penalties to make it 23-13.
Ulster soon extended their lead when Trimble again showed great pace on the right to touch down for his second of the evening following Harry Robinson and Tom James colliding trying to gather a kick. Pienaar converted.
Ulster kept up the pressure and threatened the Blues line on several occasions with the Blues hardly venturing into the Ulster half.
Dafydd Hewitt was shown a yellow card for killing the ball just metres out from the Blues tryline and when Ulster took the penalty Robbie Diack crashed over with Pienaar converting to get the bonus point for table topping Ulster who now face the Scarlets in the Rabo semis
Cardiff Blues 15 Dan Fish (40off) 14 Tom James 13 Gavin Evans (c) 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Harry Robinson (72off) 10 Rhys Patchell 9 Lewis Jones (72off)
1 Taufa'ao Filise 2 Kristian Dacey (50off) 3 Scott Andrews (65off) 4 Bradley Davies 5 Lou Reed 6 Luke Hamilton (72off) 7 Josh Navidi 8 Michael Paterson
16 Marc Breeze (50on) 17 Thomas Davies (65on) 18 Campese Ma'afu (72on) 19 Teofilo Paulo 20 Macauley Cook 21 Liam Davies (72on) 22 Ceri Sweeney (40on) 23 Richard Smith (72on)
Ulster 15 Jared Payne 14 Andrew Trimble 13 Darren Cave 12 Stuart Olding 11 Tommy Bowe 10 Ruan Pienaar 9 Paul Marshall
1 Callum Black 2 Rory Best 3 John Afoa 4 Johann Muller 5 Iain Henderson 6 Robbie Diack 7 Chris Henry 8 Nick Williams
16 Nigel Brady 17 Tom Court 18 Declan Fitzpatrick 19 Dan Tuohy 20 Sean Doyle 21 Paddy Jackson 22 Michael Allen 23 Peter Nelson
Pen Patchell x 1
Tries Hewitt x 1
Con Patchell x 1
D/G Patchell x 1
Pen Piennar x 3
Tries Pienaar x 1 Trimble x 2 Diack x 1
Con Pienaar x 4
Yellow Cards: Dafydd Hewitt