Connacht too good for Treviso

Date published: February 26 2017

Connacht claimed a convincing  34-19 victory over Treviso at Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Sunday.

Craig Ronaldson scored 17 points as Connacht overcame Treviso 34-19 to move closer to the Pro12 top-six.

Despite a slow start, the Irish province managed to garner a 20-0 advantage through Caolin Blade and Finlay Bealham tries, while Ronaldson added 10 points from the tee.

Andrea Buondonno reduced the arrears by five just before the interval but the away side continued to control the game in the second half. Ronaldson and Tiernan O’Halloran touched down during those final 40 minutes to secure the bonus-point and make the game safe, but they still have work to do if they are to play European Champions Cup rugby next season.

Treviso had the final word via Luca Sperandio and David Odiete tries, but they remain in 11th position in the table.

Pat Lam’s men were poor in their narrow victory over Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend and it took them a while to get going in Italy. However, once Ronaldson had given them a 6-0 lead after 21 minutes following successive penalties, the visitors began to open up.

The centre and O’Halloran signalled their intent with searing breaks before Blade picked up and scampered over.

Connacht were rampant and a second try was soon forthcoming when Bealham spotted a hole and had an easy run to the line for a 20-0 lead.

Treviso just about managed to keep themselves in contention at the break via Buondonno’s effort, but the Irish province were well in control going into the second period.

That was demonstrated by Ronaldson’s try early in the half, a score which ended any thoughts of a comeback. O’Halloran then made sure they would get the full five points but a late Benetton surge, which saw scores for Sperandio and Odiete, gave the Italians some consolation.

The scorers:

For Treviso:
Buondonno, Sperandio, Odiete
Cons: Tebaldi, Buondonno

For Connacht:
Blade, Bealham, Ronaldson, O’Halloran
Cons: Ronaldson 3, Carty
Pens: Ronaldson 2

Treviso: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Andrea Buondonno, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Mark Irving, 19 Luca Nostran, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Enrico Francescato, 22 Andrea Pratichetti, 23 David Odiete

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Nepia Fox-Matamua, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 James Cannon, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 John Andress, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Naulia Dawai, 21 John Cooney, 22 Tom Farrell, 23 Stacey Ili

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies (Wales), Guiseppe Vivarini (Italy)