Ulster make their point comfortably
Mark Anscombe’s side retain 100 per cent record with bonus point win over Treviso
Ulster’s Sean Doyle celebrates scoring his side’s fifth try. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Ulster 48 Treviso 0: Ulster romped to a seven try win against Treviso and secured a bonus point win to hold their place at the top of Heineken Cup Pool 5. The round three match in Belfast was almost entirely one way traffic for the Ulster side with three tries in the first half giving a steady platform for the victory and their first try bonus win so far in the competition.
The Ravenhill side have now won three from three with the return fixture next week taking place in Italy.
Ulster’s first score came just four minutes into the match with Darren Cave acting as the supplier. The outside centre had, minutes before fumbled a pass from Robbie Diack with the try line yards away.
But that early error was quickly erased when his arching run stretched the Treviso defence enough to allow Paddy Jackson space inside him to touch down after four minutes.
By 16 minutes Ulster had made it two tries and well on the way towards a bonus point win. The second came as Treviso pushed into the home side’s 22 with big tackles from Diack and Sean Doyle turning over the ball. From there fullback Jared Payne made the most of space down the right channel, putting over Luke Marshall for 10-0, Jackson’s boot adding the extras.
Just before the half hour Ulster’s third try arrived on a plate. After several phases and recycles, John Afoa took the ball under the Treviso posts. From a standing start the Kiwi prop barrelled through the middle of the defence. It was poor defending from the Italians and stretched Ulster’s lead to 19-0, the bonus try looking like a real possibility before half time. But that had to wait, Jackson landing another penalty on 40 minutes for 22-0.
But if Ulster thought Treviso were going to fold they were gravely mistaken and for the first quarter of the second half all the rugby was played in the home side’s half, much of inside their 22. When Marshall tackled Treviso outhalf Matt Berquist on 52 minutes and continued to play the ball on the ground English referee Luke Pearce had no hesitation in showing the centre a yellow card.
That seemed to galvanise Ulster and in their first venture into Treviso territory in the second half lock Dan Tuohy combined with Cave to finally earn the bonus point on 58 minutes.
Cave put Tuohy on a run deep in the Treviso 22 and stayed in support. The centre collected again, drew the defence and this time Tuohy supported, gratefully so when Cave presented the ball to him under the posts for 29-0.
Openside flanker Sean Doyle added a fifth try minutes later, a swallow dive for the touchdown pleasing the 12,977 home supporters, Jackson converting for 36-0. Andrew Trimble squeezed in a sixth, stretching to the corner and Marshall a seventh as the scoreboard ominously moved towards the 50 point mark.
Ulster: Payne; Trimble, Cave, L. Marshall, Gilroy; P Jackson, Pienaar; Court, Herring, Afoa; Muller, Tuohy; Diack, Doyle, Wilson. Replacements: Allen for Payne (63), McIlwaine for Trimble (71), P. Marshall for Pienaar (70), Black for Court (60), Annett for Herring (69), Fitzpatrick for Afoa (66), McComb for Muller (63), McComish for Wilson (67).
Benetton Treviso: McLean; Nitoglia, Campagnaro, Sgarbi, Esposito; Berquist, Gori; De Marchi, Ghiraldini, Cittadini; Pavanello, van Zyl; Zanni, Budd, Barbieri. Replacements: Loamanu for Nitoglia (70), Ambrosini for Berquist (67), Botes for Gori (21), Rizzo for De Marchi (55), Sbaraglini for Ghiraldini (67), Fernandez-Rouyet for Cittadini (67), Derbyshire for Zanni (67), Filippucci for Barbieri (71).
Sin Bin: L Marshall (51)
Referee: Luke Pearce