Allen helps Ulster lay down a marker as Treviso are hit with five tries
Winger strikes twice as in comfortable win over Heineken Cup group rivals
Ulster’s Michael Allen tackled to touch just before scoring by Manoa Vosawai and Edoardo Gori of Benetton Treviso. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
ULSTER 32 (Tries: Allen 2, Marshall, Bowe, Best; Pen: Jackson; Cons: Jackson 2)
TREVISO 13 (Try: Barbieri; Pens: Berquist, Di Bernardo; Con: Barbieri)
Ulster finally began to deliver on some the expectation in this five-try defeat of the side they will also meet in this season’s Heineken Cup with the choreography looking pretty good too as returning Lions Tommy Bowe and Rory Best got on the score-sheet.
The pace and tempo that Ulster brought to the game also saw Paddy Jackson thrive even if he only landed three goal-kicks form six attempts.
Ulster managed to get their reward for early pressure after 10 minutes when Paddy Jackson nailed a penalty.
Mat Berquist levelled matters, but Ulster duly responded when Payne was put through by Jackson and drew two defenders before offloading to Luke Marshall who scored under the posts.
Jackson added the easy extras but wasn’t able to land a much trickier effort seven minutes later when another sparkling Ulster attack ended up with Allen this time getting over the line to give Ulster a 15-3 lead just before the half hour mark and there were no further scores in the first half.
Still, Ulster’s tendency to lose their intensity showed itself on the restart when Paul Marshall’s sloppy knock-on ultimately led to replacement out half Alberto Di Bernardo’s 42nd minute penalty.
The home side needed to respond and did so but only after Jackson’s cross-kick was horribly fumbled over the line by Ludovico Nitoglia presenting Bowe with an embarrassingly easy score, and Ulster got their bonus pointwhen Best crossed on 61 minutes.
Jackson failed to add the conversion but then Stevenson was binned and the inevitable happened with Roberto Barbieri’s 70th minute score being converted by Di Bernardo. Ulster, though, had the final say when Allen got over for the second time and Jackson finally managed to add another conversion.
ULSTER: C Gilroy; T Bowe, J Payne, L Marshall, M Allen, P Jackson P Marshall; T Court, R Best (capt), R Lutton; I Henderson, D Tuohy; R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson. Replacements: L Stevenson for I Henderson (47mins); N Williams for R Wilson and D Cave for J Payne (both 60 mins); M Heaney for P Marshall and C Black for T Court (65 mins); J McKinney for C Gilroy and R Herring for R Best (both 71mins); B Ross for R Lutton (76mins). Yellow cards: L Stevenson 64mins
TREVISO: L McLean, L Nitoglia, M Campagnaro, A Sgarbi, C Loamanu, M Berquist, E Gori, M Rizzo, E Ceccato, A De Marchi, A Pavanello (capt), M Fuser, S Favaro, A Zanni, M Vosawai. Replacements: R Barbieri for M Vosawai and A di Bernardo for M Berquist (both 31mins); I Fernandez-Rouyet for M Rizzo (37mins); D Budd for M Fuser (half-time); F Semenzato for L McClean (47 mins); P Di Santo for A De Marchi (62mins).
Referee: I Davies (WRU)