Pienaar steers Ulster to hard-fought victory in Treviso

Benetton Treviso 11

Ulster 22

TRIES FROM LUKE Marshall, Ruan Pienaar and Rob Herring helped Ulster to grind out their second win from as many games in the new Guinness Pro12 campaign as they defeated Benetton Treviso this evening at the Stadio Monigo.

Ulster, who were victorious at home to Newport Gwent Dragons in last weekend’s opener, held a slender four-point lead at the interval, but second-half scores from Pienaar — who finished with 12 points — and Herring made the difference.

It took Ulster just four minutes to cross for their first try of the game. Marshall collected a short pass from Olding, before Pienaar added the extras.

Treviso responded well with a prolonged spell of consistent pressure but they were unable to make a substantial impact on the scoreboard. Tommaso Allan kicked a couple of penalties either side of a Pienaar penalty, which saw Ulster bring a 10-6 advantage into the half-time break.

Treviso were dealt a 49th-minute setback when Filo Paulo was sent to the sin bin for a late tackle on Ross Kane. Ulster swiftly capitalised as Herring got in for a try off an effective maul four minutes later.

Rob Herring celebrates his try. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/Presseye.com

Pienaar failed with the conversion, but the Springbok scrum-half needed just three minutes to make amends. After good work from man-of-the-match Clive Ross, Jacob Stockdale released Pienaar to score comfortably.

The South African international made no mistake with the conversion this time, leaving Ulster 22-6 in front. Ulster’s pursuit of a bonus-point try was hampered by the sin-binning of Herring with 14 minutes remaining for entering a ruck from the side.

The hosts grabbed a late consolation try when Tomasso Benvenuti touched down from a neat kick to the corner by former Leinster out-half Ian McKinley.

TREVISO: Jayden Hayward; Angelo Esposito (David Odiete, 56), Tommaso Benvenuti, Luke McLean (c), Andrea Buondonno; Tommaso Allan (Ian McKinley, 72), Giorgio Bronzini (Edoardo Gori, 56); Nicola Quaglio (Alberto De Marchi, 56), Ornel Gega (Roberto Santamaria, 48), Simone Ferrari (Tizano Pasquali, 56); Marco Fuser (Filippo Gerosa, 52) Filo Paulo (Dean Budd, 68); Francesco Minto; Marco Lazzaroni, Marco Barbini.

ULSTER: Louis Ludik; Rob Lyttle, Luke Marshall (Darren Cave, 55), Stuart Olding, Jacob Stockdale; Brett Herron (Stuart McCloskey, 73), Ruan Pienaar; Kyle McCall (Andrew Warwick, 61), Rob Herring (c), Rodney Ah You (Ross Kane, 48); Kieran Treadwell (Pete Browne, 43), Franco van der Merwe (John Andrew, 68); Clive Ross, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson (Robbie Diack, 61).

Replacement not used: Angus Lloyd.

Referee: Dudley Phillips [IRFU]

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