Ulster 12 23 Benetton Treviso
Match Reports, Updated:
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Kristopher Burton's 18 points helped Treviso make it three wins in a row for the first time by beating Ulster 23-12.
Ulster were looking to return to winning ways after 2 defeats in a row in the RaboDirect Pro12, whereas Benetton Treviso were aiming to continue their impressive climb up the table. Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin made 6 changes to the side that was beaten by the Newport Gwent Dragons. The visitors made only the three changes to the team that beat the Scarlets.
A Kristopher Burton penalty gave the Italian side the lead after 6 minutes. Treviso's simple but effective game-plan of forward runners gaining yards then Burton kicking superbly out of hand had the hosts firmly on the back foot.
On the half hour mark, Treviso full-back Brendan Williams lit up the evening when he was just inches away from a brilliant individual try. Darren Cave's sensational try-saving tackle preventing a possible early candidate for try of the season.
Improper binding by Declan Fitzpatrick led to the loose-head being sin-binned after nearly 5 minutes of scrum pressure from the visiting pack. The following scrum left referee Stefano Penne with no choice but to award a penalty try. Burton added the extra's to make it 10-0 at half-time.
A Burton penalty on the hour mark gave Treviso a 13-0 lead. Burton then snaffled up a loose kick by Adam D'Arcy to run the length of the field to score. He converted his own try to make the score 20-0.
Ulster staged a mini-comeback when South African flanker Pedrie Wanneburg crashed over to score. Ian Humphreys made it 20-7. Wanneburg went over for his second try with just 10 minutes remaining to raise the hopes of the home supporters. A 77 minute Burton penalty quashed all Ulster optimism for a remarkable comeback. The 23-12 final score is Treviso's second win ever away from home in the competition.
Treviso ended Ulster's impressive nine home game winning run in all competitions.