Ulster struggle but do enough
Ulster moved up to second in Conference B after another stuttering performance proved to be enough to get past their hosts. The northern province came from being 7-0 behind to make it two wins from two.
Ulster’s lineout issues were exposed again but they did just about enough to keep Benetton, who attacked with more purpose than Dan McFarland’s squad, at bay. “It was really important [we won],” said McFarland. “Although we put ourselves under the pump in the first half we showed some [fight] every inch mentality. We fought hard and to go in at half-time 7-3 down was testament to our defence. Coming out we showed much better urgency at the breakdown.”
The Italians were totally dominant in the opening half, but could only manage a solitary try by hooker Hame Faiva, scored off a lineout maul in the second minute, along with Tommaso Allan’s conversion to show for all their territory and possession.
Dislodge the ball
Tommaso Benvenuti should have scored in the 39th minute, and was over the line only for James Hume to dislodge the ball.
After the restart, an early try from Seán Reidy – Burns who had kicked a first-half penalty missed the conversion – put Ulster in front, and they stayed there until the end.
Stuart McCloskey had a 51st-minute try ruled out for not grounding the ball after his stretch for the line was looked at by referee Mike Adamson and the TMO but, with flanker Michele Lamaro in the bin for pulling down a subsequent maul, Ulster took immediate advantage, with Rob Herring driving over from close range.
Burns’ conversion put Ulster eight in front, and although the Italians finished strongly – Allen kicked a 62nd-minute penalty – their own inaccuracy undid their efforts.