Wednesday 21 March 2018

Ulster thrash Treviso

Craig Gilroy scored two tries on his 100th Ulster appearance
Craig Gilroy scored two tries on his 100th Ulster appearance

Ulster returned to winning ways in the Guinness PRO12 with a 43-3 bonus-point victory over Treviso, which lifted them to second in the table and saw Craig Gilroy celebrate his 100th Ulster appearance with a brace of tries.

Even though it took Ulster quite a while to get going - they only led 10-0 at half-time - they stretched clear late in the game to stay unbeaten at home in the league and take a further step towards a play-off place.

Ulster's other try scorers were Michael Allen, Stuart McCloskey and Andrew Warwick, while they also bagged a penalty try against the lowly Italians, who at one point had 13 men on the field after two players had been shown yellow cards.

Ruan Pienaar ended the night kicking 13 points from five conversions and a penalty.

After a shaky enough start Ulster opened the scoring after 18 minutes when scrum-half Pienaar slotted a straightforward penalty after Treviso had been penalised at a scrum virtually under the posts.

Ulster scored again eight minutes later after they had initially lost the ball on the Italians' line and then regained it with Darren Cave bursting through and Allen stepping in to score. Pienaar converted and the home side led 10-0.

Gilroy then nearly got on the end of his own kick and chase straight after the restart but that was as good as it got for the home side with Pienaar's 40th-minute penalty - which came after Ulster had produced some impressive multi-phase attacking - hitting an upright to leave their lead at 10-0 at half-time.

After making a meal of a number of scoring chances early in the second half, the home side 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 Cinalli 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 McCloskey dived over and Pienaar added a superb touchline conversion to take the score 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 touched down three minutes earlier.

Pienaar could not 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 Warwick got over and then Gilroy got his second from an intercept with Pienaar's fifth conversion giving Ulster a 43-3 lead which is how it finished.

Press Association

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