Crest_1_Fru-200x200Benetton Treviso (3) 13
TRY: Abraham Steyn. CON: Jayden Hayward. PEN: Jayden Hayward 2
Ulster (6) 32
TRY: Sean Reidy, Darren Cave, Rory Scholes, Stuart Olding. CON: Ian Humphreys (2), Stuart Olding. PEN: Ian Humphreys (2).

Photo credit: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Ulster came away with a bonus point win in Treviso but they made hard work of it, all the tries coming in the second half after an instantly forgettable first!

Sean Reidy, Darren Cave, Rory Scholes and Stuart Olding all crossed with Ian Humphreys adding two conversions to his two first half penalties before Olding took over kicking duties to add a conversion.

As with Munster at Ravenhill and Oyonnax away it was a lacklustre first half performance from the boys up front with Ulster somewhat fortunate to take a 3 – 6 lead into the break thanks to two Humphreys penalties.

Things did improve dramatically in the second half despite Treviso levelling the game at six all, with their second penalty from Hayward, minutes after the restart. Stung into action Ulster finally put a bit more pace on the game and a succession of penalties led to the pack mauling over in the left hand corner with Sean Reidy at the bottom of the pile. Humphreys converted  and Ulster didn’t look back.

A trademark break by Stuart Olding sparked Ulster’s second which was expertly finished off by Darren Cave, the veteran midfielder picking a cracking line to cross unopposed. Humphreys converted to push Ulster fourteen points clear.

With the win secured the maverick maestro that his iHumph trotted off for Luke Marshall to come on, Olding bumping up one to take over the out half berth, as Ulster chased the bonus point.

However, they had hardly got into position before a strong defensive play by Cave in midfield allowed Rory Scholes to race clear after an intercept. Olding added the extras and Ulster had 18 minutes to find that all important fourth try.

The turnaround was completed by Olding who crossed nine minutes later, to wrap up the bonus, but as the benches emptied it was the hosts who had the last say with replacement Abraham Steyn going over in the corner for a converted consolation try.

Final Score: Treviso 13 Ulster 32

Ulster: Louis Ludik, Rory Scholes, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy, Ian Humphreys, Paul Marshall, Callum Black, Rob Herring, Ricky Lutton, Alan O’Connor, Franco vd Merwe, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson. Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Bronson Ross, Pete Brown, Lorcan Dow, Dave Shanahan, Luke Marshall, Jacob Stockdale.

OK it was a shocking first half, especially by the forwards but it was pleasing to see Stuart Olding back in action though, to me, it was Darren Cave who stole the show in the second half.

I haven’t quite made up my mind about Les Kiss yet though I will say I do think he’s taking the team in the right direction and it was pleasing to see Lorcan Dow and Jacob Stockdale get a run out towards the end. However he, Kiss that is, needs to sort out the early match lethargy in the forwards if our talented backs and up and coming youngsters are going to reach their full potential!