ULSTER 48 TREVISO 0
Ulster romped to this comfortable victory over Benetton Treviso scoring seven tries as they picked up a full haul of five points to keep them in control at the top of the Heineken Cup’s Pool Five.
Having not won against the Italians in the past two seasons at home in the RaboDirect PRO12, Ulster registered a second home bonus point win over Treviso this season and maintained their 100 per cent record in Europe with this their fifth successive win.
Ulster are now seven points clear at the top of Pool Five although second placed Leicester Tigers and third place Montpellier are still to meet on Sunday afternoon.
The Italian visitors had dominated the first half with possession and territory, but they never threatened Ulster.
Ulster had signalled their intentions early on, but spilled balls by Darren Cave and Paddy Jackson saw chances spurned.
However, after five minutes the Irish Province took the lead when Luke Marshall and Cave combined to put Jackson to give him the perfect start to his 50th competitive appearance for the club.
Treviso rallied slightly and had Ulster pinned back in their own half but a break by fullback Jared Payne saw Ulster back on the front foot, Cave did well to hold possession and then give the perfect pass inside to Marshall for the try on 16 minutes. Jackson converted for a 12-0 lead.
Once again it was the Italians who pressed, but the home defence again did its job more than making up for the poor showing against Zebre last weekend in Italy.
Ulster worked they way back up the field and after 29 minutes New Zealand prop John Afoa crashed in under the posts.
Jackson added the conversion and then with the final kick of the first half added a penalty for a 22-0 advantage.
Having soaked up a lot of early pressure from the Italians, during which Marshall was sin-binned at a maul for not releasing and rolling away, Ulster got back on the front foot.
As Ulster pressed it was centre Cave again who provided, lock Dan Tuohy going over the fourth and bonus point securing try, which Jackson converted for a 29-0 lead on 58 minutes.
The floodgates opened with further tries for Sean Doyle, Andrew Trimble and Marshall, Jackson converting two of the three and the home side were 48-0 ahead after 74 minutes.
Ulster Rugby: Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rob Herring, John Afoa, Johann Muller (c), Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Sean Doyle, Roger Wilson
Replacements: Nial Annett (Herring), Callum Black (Court), Declan Fitzpatrick (Afoa), Neil McComb (Muller), Mike McComish (Wilson), Paul Marshall (Pienaar), Michael Allen (Payne), David McIlwaine (Trimble).
Tries: Jackson, Marshall (2) Afoa, Tuohy, Doyle, Trimble,
Cons: Jackson (5)
Sin-bin: L Marshall (52-62)
Benetton Treviso: Luke McLean; Ludovico Nitoglia, Michele Campagnaro, Alberto Sgarbi, Angelo Esposito; Mat Berquist, Edoardo Gori; Alberto de Marchi, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello (c), Cornelius van Zyl, Alessandro Zanni, Dean Budd, Robert Barbieri
Replacements: Franco Sbaraglini, Michele Rizzo, Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, Paul Derbyshire, Marco Filippucci, Christian Loamanu, Tobias Botes, James Ambrosini
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
News Letter man of the match: Darren Cave