Match Report: Benetton Rugby Treviso 13-32 Ulster Rugby

Lorcan Dow

Lorcan Dow made his debut off the bench

Ulster produced a strong second half performance to take all five points away from home against Treviso, winning 32-13 in their clash at the Stadio di Monigo.

The first half was difficult viewing with neither side showing much enterprise and it was Jayden Hayward and Ian Humphreys who battled it out with the boot, with the Ulsterman landing two penalties compared to Hayward’s one.

After the break Hayward added another penalty before Ulster ran riot, running in four tries courtesy of Sean Reidy, Darren Cave, Rory Scholes and the returning Stuart Olding to wrap up all five points before Abraham Steyn got a late score for the home side.

In the driving rain it was Ulster who struck first after just ten minutes when Treviso were caught offside in the midfield and Humphreys was able to put the simple penalty over from in front of the posts.

But the first half as a whole was a dour affair. The horrendous conditions discouraged running rugby and meant both sides were resorting to a kicking game that neither team were overly strong at executing.

The hosts were looking the marginally better side due to their dominance at the set piece and they were able to use that to work their way into the visitors’ 22 where Hayward was able to open his account with a penalty on the half hour mark.

Another Humphreys penalty a minute before half time meant Ulster went in at half-time with a 6-3 lead, however it was questionable whether they deserved that advantage.

After the break Treviso were playing with more territory and they were rewarded for their initial pressure with a second Hayward penalty after 48 minutes.

But the Irishmen had discovered they had a massive advantage at the rolling maul and after kicking a penalty to the corner it was an easy score for Sean Reidy who steered the catch-and-drive maul over the line and then scored the try.

With the first try under their belt, the second try was soon coming. After some prolonged pressure on the Treviso line, and with a penalty advantage, Paul Marshall’s short pass was deceptive enough to slip Darren Cave through for the seven-pointer.

Cave was also instrumental for Ulster’s third try five minutes later without having to touch the ball – his pressure on Treviso fly-half Sam Christie caused the Englishman to rush a blind pass which Rory Scholes intercepted.

After the horrid first half, Ulster had turned things around completely and they now went in search of what would be an unlikely bonus point try that would wrap up a brilliant second half, and they were to get it with eight minutes to go.

Having won a scrum against the head, the Ulster forwards battered away at the Treviso line before the backs had their go and it was the returning Stuart Olding who slid over for the try that sealed the five points.

Replacement back row Abraham Steyn powered over late on after breaking off the back of a driving maul for a consolation score for the hosts, but the game belonged to Ulster.

 

The scorers

For Treviso

Try: Steyn

Con: Hayward

Pens: Hayward (2)

For Ulster

Tries: Reidy, Cave, Scholes, Olding

Cons: Humphreys (2), Olding

Pens: Humphreys (2)

 

BENETTON RUGBY TREVISO

(15-9) Jayden Hayward, Ludovico Nitoglia (Simone Ragusi 58), Enrico Bacchin (Andrea Pratichetti 68), Alberto Sgarbi, Tommaso Iannone, Sam Christie, Alberto Lucchese (James Ambrosini 66); (1-8) Alberto de Marchi (Cherif Traore 58), Roberto Santamaria (Luca Bigi 16), Simone Ferrari (Filippo Filippetto 40), Filo Paulo, Tom Palmer (Jeff Montauriol 63), Andrea de Marchi, Marco Lazzaroni, Robert Barbieri (Abraham Steyn 58).

ULSTER RUGBY

(15-9) Louis Ludik, Rory Scholes, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy (Jacob Stockdale 72), Ian Humphreys (Luke Marshall 60), Paul Marshall (David Shanahan 73); (1-8) Callum Black (Andy Warwick 58), Rob Herring (John Andrew 72), Ricky Lutton (Bronson Ross 62), Alan O’Connor (Pete Browne 62), Franco van der Merwe, Clive Ross (Lorcan Dow 63), Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson.

 

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)