Ulster hang on in face of brave Treviso comeback

11 January 2015; Ulster's Tommy Bowe at the end of the game. Guinness PRO12 Round 13, Benetton Treviso v Ulster, Stadio Monigo, Treviso, Italy. Picture credit: Roberto Bregani / SPORTSFILE

By Phil Blanche

ULSTER survived a strong rally from Benetton Treviso to record a vital 24-20 victory in the Guinness PRO12 at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo yesterday.

Neil Doak's side were low on confidence having won only one of their last four games but Ulster dominated the first half as they crossed the Treviso try-line three times.

Paddy Jackson converted his own sixth-minute try and Ulster continued to pile up the points despite wing Craig Gilroy being shown a yellow card after 10 minutes.

Jackson landed a penalty and Ruan Pienaar soon crossed for his first try of the season which was also converted by the accurate Ulster outside-half.

When Tommy Bowe went in for another converted try Ulster had scored 24 points in as many minutes and were seemingly on their way to a convincing bonus point victory.

But Treviso soon discovered the spirit which had brought them back-to-back wins over Zebre and had them chasing a third successive victory for the first time since December 2012.

Outside-half Sam Christie's try two minutes before the break gave Treviso hope before replacement Francesco Minto crossed and Jayden Hayward added his second conversion to reduce the deficit to 10 points.

Hayward kicked two penalties in the final quarter but Treviso were unable to get the try which would have capped a remarkable comeback.