Ulster cling on to end away day blues with win over Benetton Treviso

Ulster's Paddy Jackson scored 14 points in the 24-20 win at Treviso
Ulster's Paddy Jackson scored 14 points in the 24-20 win at Treviso


In a game of two contrasting halves, Ulster clung on to register their first away victory in six matches - four in the Guinness PRO12 - and remain in fifth position in the table.

But the Irish Province, having scored three tries in a dominant first half performance against lacked the clincial edge they have talked about improving for the past three months and were clinging on at the end to take the win.

Ulster scored 24 unanswered points in the first half before Treviso crossed for a converted try at the end of the half, which was to inspire them in the second - scoring 13 mores points and picking up a losing bonus point for their efforts.

Ulster had dominated the first half, reflected in their 24-7 advantage at the interval.

Outhalf Paddy Jackson showed some individual brilliance to open the scoring on six minutes when he chipped the defence and raced through to gather. He converted his own try to make it 7-0.

Ulster winger, Craig Gilroy was then sin-binned but in the 19th minute Jackson increased the advantage to 10 points with a penalty.

The Ulster dominance continued when Ruan Pienaar and Tommy Bowe went over for tries on 22 and 25 minutes respectively, Jackson making it four from four with the boot and a 24-0 lead.

But the Italians enjoyed a purple patch to end the half and Christie went over for a try two minutes from the break, converted by Jordan Hayward to leave it 24-7.

It was expected that Ulster would simply press on in the second half and secure their try scoring bonus point, but the fourth try never came as Treviso went on to dominate the second half.

They scored 13 unanswered points to leave Ulster shaking in their boots for a nervy finish.

Minto started the Treviso revival with a try on 57 minutes, again converted by Hayward who kicked two more penalties to leave it 24-20 after 72 minutes.

Ulster turned down a kickable penalty two minutes from the end opting to go for the corner as they made their bid to get that fourth bonus point securing try.

But they lost the lineout and had two more straight after it and were fortunate an intercept by centre Michele Campagnaro was knocked on -or it would have been a losing bonus point instead of four they were travelling home with.