RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster notch bonus-point 32-13 win over Treviso
Last Updated: 27/09/13 10:29pm
Returning Lions Tommy Bowe and Rory Best made the perfect return to Ulster colours as their side beat Treviso 32-13 on Friday night.
The hosts, who are also in the same European pool as Treviso, scored five tries as they racked up their first bonus point victory of the campaign and their second consecutive win after their rocky start to the RaboDirect PRO12 season.
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 for the Kiwi to put 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, 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 bisect 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 Roberto 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 which Jackson managed to convert.
RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 R4
The Ospreys joined Glasgow at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table after a 43-26 victory over Connacht in Galway.
Scarlets battled their way to a 22-9 victory at Edinburgh, scoring tries through Nick Reynolds and Jordan Williams.
Ospreys welcome back Justin Tipuric for their clash with Connacht, while Paul O'Connell is named on Munster's bench.