Ulster outclass Treviso
Published 27/09/2013 | 21:36
Returning Lions Tommy Bowe and Rory Best made the perfect return to club colours as Ulster racked up their first bonus point victory of the campaign in a 32-13 RaboDirect PRO12 win over Treviso.
Winger Michael Allen contributed two excellent scores while Ireland international Luke Marshall also crossed the Treviso line, with Paddy Jackson kicking two conversions and a penalty.
The home side nearly scored within the first two minutes after Bowe released Allen on the right only for the TMO to rule the score out, as was the case a minute later when Ulster drove over the line from a lineout.
Ulster continued to dominate, though, and got their reward when Paddy Jackson landed a 10th minute penalty.
However, Treviso hit back after Ulster were penalised at a scrum and Mat Berquist levelled the scores after 16 minutes.
Five minutes later Ulster were back in front after a marvellous burst from Payne created the space to put Luke Marshall in under the posts and, after the TMO was again consulted for a forward pass, the score was awarded. Jackson landed the easy conversion.
Seven minutes later, Allen this time clearly made it over the line after a great Ulster surge down the right which then saw Tom Court, Rory Best and Chris Henry all assist before Payne put Allen clear.
Jackson missed the tricky conversion and though there were no further scores in the remainder of the half, Ulster looked very secure with their 15-3 interval lead.
However, Paul Marshall's poor knock-on from the restart gave Treviso an easy three points from Alberto Di Bernardo to cut Ulster's lead to 15-6.
The hosts regrouped and after another great attacking move, Jackson's cross-kick to Bowe was fumbled over the line by Ludovico Nitoglia - presenting the returning Lions winger with the easiest of scores which Jackson failed to convert.
His fellow Lions tourist Best then crossed for the bonus point score two minutes after the hour mark but, yet again, Jackson failed to slot between the uprights.
Instead of taking total control, Ulster again did themselves damage when replacement Lewis Stevenson was shown yellow for infringing at the breakdown.
Despite some heroic defence, the inevitable try came when replacement Robert Barbieri barged over with 10 minutes to go and Di Bernado's conversion made it 25-13.
Then after conceding nothing further before Stevenson's return, Ulster finished strongly with Allen bagging his second score in the game's final move. Jackson managed to convert.