Irish ace McKinley stars again for Treviso
IAN McKinley celebrated his Test call-up with a stand out performance as Treviso downed Italian rivals Zebre and secured their place in the Champions Cup next season.
The former Leinster flyhalf retired in 2011 after losing an eye but he made a competitive return to rugby with Zebre last season wearing protective goggles before moving to Treviso last summer.
Earlier this week, he was called up by Conor O’Shea to represent Italy in Tests against Scotland, Fiji and Australia and he ended it by kicking 14 points, including the conversion to Marco Fuser’s try.
It was Fuser who opened the scoring for Treviso with McKinley adding the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Zebre were able to reduce the deficit through Carlo Canna’s penalty on 16 minutes and there was another chance for Zebre to score five minutes later but Canna’s penalty came back off the posts.
McKinley extended his side’s lead to 10-3 on 34 minutes but they were dealt a blow two minutes before the break when Fuser was binned for an illegal tackle.
But it was Treviso who pulled further in front early in the second half as two penalties from McKinley took the score out to 16-3.
A third second-half McKinley penalty added another three points but Zebre were not giving up without a fight and kept preserving with the pressure telling when Treviso’s Tiziano Pasquali received a yellow on 74 minutes.
But the visitors’ defence held firm to record the win.