Ul­ster tough it out to see off Tre­viso charge

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SPORT -

UL­STER with­stood a strong fight­back by Benet­ton Tre­viso but did enough to hold on to win 21-14 and main­tain their win­ning start to the PRO14 sea­son.

Les Kiss’ men opened up a 21-0 lead by the hour mark at Sta­dio Monigo be­fore hav­ing to deal with a re­cov­ery by the Ital­ians. But a strong open­ing half where An­drew Trim­ble marked his 150th ap­pear­ance, 12 years to the day since he made his Ul­ster de­but, with a brace of tries.

They pushed on to get a third from new Ir­ish in­ter­na­tional Ja­cob Stock­dale but were un­able to seal a bonus point win for the sec­ond week.

Trim­ble pounced for the first try on nine min­utes when he pounced on a loose ball off an at­tack­ing li­ne­out.

John Cooney has a tough act to fol­low in re­plac­ing Ruan Pien­aar but the scrum-half pro­duced an­other top class dis­play in as man of the match.

Ul­ster’s pres­sure re­sulted in more points as Trim­ble crossed for a su­perb team try in the 24th minute. Full­back Louis Ludik off­loaded to Trim­ble on the right-wing and Trim­ble fed Cooney. The scrum-half drove forward be­fore re­leas­ing Trim­ble with a re­verse pass and Ul­ster’s cap­tain for the evening pro­vided the fin­ish. Cooney added the con­ver­sion to give Ul­ster a 14-0 in­ter­val lead.

Ul­ster weren’t as dom­i­nant after the restart but they did add to their tally on the hour when Stock­dale touched down.

Cooney again was in­volved when he charged down a Benet­ton clear­ance but failed to gather the ball be­hind the try line. Ul­ster got an­other rub of the green though as Stock­dale was on hand to col­lect and score Ul­ster’s third try. Cooney added the con­ver­sion to give the vis­i­tors a 21-0 lead.

Benet­ton pulled a try back as Fed­erico Ruzza scored off a li­ne­out to give the home side some hope. McKin­ley slot­ted the con­ver­sion to make it 21-7 with 14 min­utes left.

McKin­ley set up a tense fin­ish for Ul­ster as he crossed for a try in the 71st minute to set up a good fin­ish. Benet­ton won a turnover on half­way and broke. To­masso Al­lan chipped in, gath­ered and re­leased McKin­ley who ran clear un­op­posed to score. The out­half con­verted his own try as Benet­ton looked to turn Ul­ster over with a late surge but Ul­ster held on.

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