Ulster eventually get the job done against Treviso

Craig Gilroy marked 100th cap with two tries in bonus-point win over Italian side

 

Ulster 43 Treviso 3

This was a no-brainer, really, in that Ulster knew that they just had to produce a result against a side who have managed to win just twice in the PRO12. Neil Doak’s men duly delivered with an all-important bonus point result which lifted them to second in the table and even saw Craig Gilroy mark his 100th appearance for the province with two of the tries.

It was also fitting that Gilroy grabbed the bonus point score in the 71st minute – their first in the PRO12 since October – as Ulster racked up the scores late on after the Italian resistance had pretty much disintegrated.

Not that this came easy. Ulster struggled for long periods to pull away but ultimately got over three times late on with Andy Warwick and then Gilroy again finishing things off with an intercept.

Ulster only led 10-0 at the break, through a Michael Allen try, and then got a penalty try on 60 minutes after Treviso had two men in the bin. Still, maximum points were banked and that was fundamentally all that mattered.

After a wobbly enough opening, Ulster took a grip on the game through a 17th- minute Ruan Pienaar penalty and eight minutes later Allen sidestepped his way over to score near the posts.

Pienaar again converted and Ulster were 10-0 to the good which could have almost immediately been more had Gilroy been able to hang on to his own kick and chase on the resumption.

After that, the game went flat again with Ulster dominating but being unable to put more points on the board. A score looked on after they launched a multi-phase attack in the dying minutes of the first half but despite some good work from Rob Herring and the ever eager Cave there was no breakthrough, though a penalty did appear to offer some form of consolation.

Unfortunately for the homeside, Pienaar’s effort hit the post and stayed out which was a bad miss and ensured that Ulster only led 10-0 as the sides trooped off.

After making a meal of a number of scoring chances early in the second half – when Ulster opted to go for mauls instead of trying for the posts – the homeside finally made the pressure tell when Treviso skipper Antonio Pavanello was sin-binned in the 52nd minute and the Italians were then reduced to 13 men just short of the hour when replacement Tomas Vallejos was shown yellow as well.

Ulster finally made their numerical advantage pay and won a penalty try on the hour with Pienaar converting and taking their lead to 17-0.

Treviso hit back with a Joe Carlisle penalty but Ulster then swept downfield and, after moving the ball right, replacement Stuart McCloskey dived over before Pienaar added a superb touchline conversion to take it to 24-3.

With the bonus point now very much on, Ulster came again and it was Gilroy who got over to claim it in the same corner as McCloskey had scored three minutes earlier.

Pienaar couldn’t convert this time but at 29-3 and with maximum points ensured, Ulster had got all they needed from the game.

Still, they scored again four minutes later when Andy Warwick got over and then Gilroy got his second from an intercept with Pienaar’s fifth conversion giving Ulster a 43-3 lead and a satisfying end to the evening.

Ulster: L Ludik; C Gilroy, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen, I Humphreys, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring, W Herbst, L Stevenson, F Van der Merwe, R Wilson (Captain), M McComish, N Williams. Replacements: J Andrew for R Herring 71mins ; A Warwick for C Black 66mins; B Ross for W Herbst 71mins; R Diack for N Willians and S McCloskey for L Marshall both 52mins; C Ross for R Wilson 71mins; P Marshall for I Humphreys 71mins; P Nelson Ludik 70mins

Treviso: J Hayward, A Esposito, E Bacchin, S Christie, L Nitoglia, J Carlisle, A Lucchese; M Zanusso, D Giazzon, R Harden, A Pavanello (capt), C Van Zyl, M Swanepoel, D Budd, M Luamanu. Replacements: T Vallejos for C Van Zyl half-time; A Pratichetti for L Nitolgia 54mins, A Anae for D Giazzon and J Novak for M Zanusso both 48mins; H Seniloli for A Lucchese 57mins; S Manu for R Harden 62mins

Yellow cards: A Pavanello 52mins and T Vallejos 57mins

Referee: I Davies (WRU)

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